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Trinity Lake

Trinity Lake Kiteboarding Guide

Part of the State of Jefferson Kiteboarding Guide


Trinity Lake (formerly named Claire Engle Lake), is one of the largest reservoirs in California. Located about an hour northwest of Redding in the Trinity Mountains. Trinity Lake offers superb scenery, crystal clear water, but finicky mountain wind.


Trinity Lake's main axis runs north and south for about 17 miles and varies in width from 1 mile to over 4. A very convoluted shoreline creates a multitude of inlets and coves which make up the 145 miles of shoreline.


The lake enjoys a long season due to moderate elevation, but not as long as Black Butte Lake for instance. The number of rideable days is influenced largely by the occurance of passing fronts. I haven't spent enough time here to know how often a thermal wind blows.


Trinity Center Boat Ramp: Located in the small town of Trinity Center, is the only launch I have used and works on a southerly wind. I am sure other spots exist but I haven't had the time to find them yet. This is a US Fee Area and costs $5 to park and you get the use of toilets. Hike north and east around the marina to a point beyond the south end of Trinity Airport. During low water (minus 40') it's easy to stay out of the airport's air space. At normal water level (2370') this site may be become difficult as the water line ends up closer to the runway. Make sure you are well off the center line of the runway before raising a kite or go somewhere else if space is limited!


Submerged stumps and large rocks lurk in the shallows. Body drag out to deeper water before ripping.

Wind & Water Data:

Current Redding Airport Weather
NOAA Point Forecast
Trinity Lake Resevoir Level


Both public and private campgrounds abound near the lake.

Primitive or self-contained camping is allowed on public lands near the lake. When camping, "Leave No Trace" so the area is as clean or cleaner than when you found it. Camp at least 200 feet from water sources to allow wildlife access to the water. Please respect private landowners, take a map and ensure that you are recreating on public lands.


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