If you are camping instead of house boating, I wouldnt go to Arbuckle. The mud is knee high and it gets everywhere. I would reccomend Gooseneck Cove on the Sacramento arm. No mud and a great beach. You will most likely get smoother water on the Pit, but its really muddy and you have to watch out for trees sticking up out of the water. And the water in Gooseneck cove isnt all thatbad, just not as good as the Pit.
We ussually go to Lake head, pull into the RV Park with our 1977 CLass c looking like the clampets but the kids have a blast and so do us adults. You can launch your boat just down the road and everything is right there.
I live in Shasta and have been camping the lake several times. I personaly like to take the boat out and go find a nice little shady spot (because it gets hot as hell during the day) However if your staying for more than 2 days than I would recommend that you find a desinated campground. The website that I listed will provide you with all the information you need to pick the best campground for you
Doug - Hirz bay has a couple of group sites which would be perfect for your big group. The campground is very rustic, but puts you close to the water. If the water is high enough, there is a little cove that goes back which is perfect to keep your boat. It gets pretty rough out by the ramp during the day and I would not want to keep my boat there overnight, but the ramp is right there.
nayR - We tent camp at Shasta all the time - usually Gooseneck or Ski Island. We like Ski Island because you can find good water and it is close to marinas, but gets kind of crowded on weekends. We have stayed up at Gregory Creek which is nice when the water is high, but they seem to have it closed for bald eagles when we want to go there.
Do you know of any good camping spots that are not camp grounds? We have looked around, but it is hard to find a spot with decent shore and flat enough to pitch a tent in the trees. ANy suggestions would be appreciated.
Dave if you launch out of Bridge Bay and go up the Sacremento River Arm you will find a few spots on the right shaded by trees. However when the water level is low it is hard to see because it is located on the top of the hill and you will have to do hiking but not alot. Since you are Launching off of goose neck go down the sac arm and on your left you will see a few spots. If those are taken up go up near the pit river arm and you will find alot of spots there also. Try to stay away from Antlers because it tends to get crowed around there during the weekends than again alot of resorts are like that
In my opinion, the Sac arm is a joke for riding. It get's blown out with idiots by nine in the morning. One positive though, if you go all the way up to the rope swing, there's usually some nice eye candy.