Lewiston Lake, California, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lewiston Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Lewiston Lake

A great blue heron intent on catching fish for his breakfast stands undisturbed as a canoe glides by, holding an angler with the same idea. With nothing but the swish and pop of a fly rod to break the silence, morning begins on Lewiston Lake. Nestled at the base of the Trinity Alps in northern California, Lewiston Lake’s glassy waters reflect the surrounding mountains while the trout under the surface call fly fishermen from all over.

Created by the construction of the Lewiston Dam in 1963, Lewiston Lake is an impoundment of the Trinity River, which makes up both its inflow and outflow — the eight-mile long lake is a pause on the river’s journey. Built primarily for flood control and to generate hydroelectric power, Lewiston Lake has become a popular recreation destination.

Lewiston Lake is downriver from the much larger Trinity Lake, and its water comes from the bottom of Trinity Lake. As a result, the water temperature hovers around 45 to 50 degrees year-round. The lake’s water levels are very stable and do not fluctuate seasonally. The cooler water is perfect for trout, and Lewistown Lake has abundant populations of rainbow trout, brook trout, and German brown trout. There is also a healthy kokanee salmon population.

Although all anglers will find plenty of fish, the lake is very popular with fly fisherman. In fact, Lewiston Lake is one of the best fly fishing lakes in California. The first two miles of the Trinity River below the Lewiston Dam are reserved for catch and release fly fishing. Anglers can try their hand against the silver salmon and king salmon and steelhead and German brown trout that live in the river. Also below the dam, the Trinity River Fish Hatchery is operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. The hatchery raises salmon to compensate for salmon lost because of the dams, and it is open to the public.

Lewiston Lake is ideally suited to quiet boats and kayaks, and there are no personal watercraft or jet skis permitted on the lake. Small motor boats are allowed, and there are several marinas and boat launches around the lake. There are also boat rentals available. The Trinity River is a great place for rafting.

The Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area surrounds Lewiston Lake. It is part of the 2.1 million acre Shasta-Trinity National Forest, which is the largest national forest in California. It is an incredibly diverse national forest with elevations ranging from 1,000 feet to mountain peaks of 14,162 feet. The forest includes part of five designated wilderness areas, and the recreation opportunities are almost limitless. There is hiking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, skiing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and hunting all within the forest, an easy drive from Lewiston Lake.

There are vacation rentals and some real estate and residential development around Lewiston Lake. Accommodations range from tent camping to cabin rentals. There are RV sites, and the forest service runs several campgrounds around the lake including the Mary Smith campground. Designated as one of the prettiest lakeside campgrounds in California, it is for tent camping only. Nearby historic Lewiston has restaurants, shopping and other amenities. Lewiston and the area around it has a rich gold mining history.

The surrounding forest and mountains make Lewiston Lake feel like a high mountain lake and the cool water makes it fish like a slow -oving river. With such abundant fish and peaceful surroundings, it is a great lake for fly fishing and quiet boats.

Things to Do at Lewiston Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • National Forest
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Lewiston Lake

  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Coho Salmon
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Lewiston Lake

If you’re considering a Lewiston Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lewiston Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lewiston Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lewiston Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 759 acres

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,902 feet

Average Depth: 7 feet

Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Water Volume: 14,660 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1963

Water Residence Time: 2-10 days

Drainage Area: 26 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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