Copco Lake, California, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Copco Lake.

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Copco Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - West - California - Shasta Cascade -

Copco Lake is tucked snugly away into the mountainous country of northern California’s Shasta Cascade region. The region, named after the indigenous Shasta people who left their marks on the land, is a wonderland of wide open spaces and natural beauty, inviting those who are looking for a place to relax, rewind or embark on some truly remarkable adventure.

Copco Lake, surrounded by the picturesque beauty of gently sloping hills covered by scattered pine, was formed by a dam on the Klamath River in 1917. “Copco” is actually the acronym of the California Oregon Power Company, now merged with PacifiCorp which regulates the dam for energy usage. In the 1960s, the company formed another lake, Copco Lake’s neighbor, Irongate. The two lakes are rich repositories of yellow perch, a unique trait since yellow perch is generally rare in California.

Fishing is altogether exceptional on the Klamath River, which has been designated a Wild Trout River on the stretch that runs from the nearby Oregon border to Copco Lake. Trout is also abundant in the lake, and in addition to the countless perch, there are thriving populations of bass and catfish.

The scenic Klamath River rises in Oregon and flows southwest through northern California where it is dammed at Copco Lake. Along with its great fishing opportunities, it is also known for its superb white water rafting experiences. As you rush along the changing currents, indulge in the beauty of the changing landscape, from river caves and high cliffs and mountain slopes to redwoods.

The hilly landscape around Copco Lake offers great terrain for hiking. As you hike, watch for a variety of wildlife. Black-tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons, porcupines, beavers, otters, muskrats and turtles are some of the animals that call the area home. Coyotes are not quite as common but can still be sighted and, rarely, one might happen upon a bear or mountain lion. A plenitude of birds offers much opportunity for bird watching. On and around the lake you will find Canadian geese, white pelicans, ducks, owls, quail, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, hawks, wild turkeys and eagles.

Other activities offered by the Shasta Cascade region include mountain biking, hunting, winter sports, caving and horseback riding. Visit some of the exceptional wineries or breweries in the region; stop to peruse in intriguing museums and discover historic towns. Yreka, just southwest of Copco Lake is a charming and beautiful historic town. The town, prominent during the gold rush era, has been well preserved and listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. It is also a gateway to tons of recreational activities and home to breathtaking scenery.

Copco Lake has a small community of people living around it. Real estate is available with options for lakefront lots or homes with beautiful panoramic views. Rise with the sun to see a vast expanse of sky, miles of nature’s beauty beyond the hills and the sparkle of the water…all just outside your window.

Custom Copco Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Copco Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Copco Lake

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Copco Lake

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Copco Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Copco Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: PacifiCorp

Surface Area: 1,000 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,607 feet

Maximum Depth: 75 feet

Water Volume: 46,867 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1922

Drainage Area: 4,300 sq. miles

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