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Shasta Cascade Wonderland

Shasta Cascade Wonderland
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Discover why the Shasta Cascade area has been called a wonderland for almost a century. In this spectacular region of northern California, visitors will discover snow-capped mountains, majestic forests, pristine lakes and scenic rivers.
Trip Length: 5-7 days

Start your journey at the Anderson California Welcome Center , located at the Shasta Outlets, 9 miles south of Redding. Pick up any information you might need to make the most of your trip, then head south on I-5.

 

On the short journey from Anderson to Red Bluff , you can get a glimpse of the broad Sacramento River valley dotted with magnificent oaks, fertile fields and orchards, and old bridges. In Red Bluff, visit the Kelly Griggs House Museum for a taste of what life was like in the 1880s.  A side trip to William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park will provide another glimpse of old West history, and Lake Red Bluff  offers relaxation.

 

From Red Bluff, Highway 36 takes you to Chester , home to Lake Almanor, known for its wide variety of water-based recreational activities. For a side trip, continue on Hwy. 36 to Susanville to visit the Susanville Historic Train Depot, the official trailhead for the Bizz Johnson Trail , or fish for the world-famous 3- to 5-lb. trout at nearby Eagle Lake

 

Visit nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park , where all four types of volcanoes in the world plus active geothermal areas are found in park’s 106,000 acres, or just enjoy a leisurely and scenic drive along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All American Road . This route through the park is only open in the summer. Other seasons require taking an eastern detour on Hwy. 36 to Hwy. 44.

 

Hwy. 36 continues on to Hat Creek , where you can try your casting skills on the creek itself, considered one of the best trout fly fishing streams in the country. You can also explore Subway Cave   near Old Station and walk through a 1/3-mile-long volcanic lava tube. While on Hwy. 89 headed toward Burney, visit the nearby community of Fall River Mills , where you can test your swing on one of California’s best public courses, or visit Fort Crook Museum .

 

North from Burney is what Theodore Roosevelt called the “eighth wonder of the world”  McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park . The most spectacular feature of the park is Burney Falls, which also features a campground, picnic sites and trails. Continuing along the All American Road affords a spectacular view of Mt. Shasta on your way to McCloud , a historic logging town. Nearby the three McCloud River Waterfalls  provide for an interesting stop.

 

Next stop is the city of Mt. Shasta , which is nestled at the foot of majestic Mount Shasta. Standing 14,162 feet high, Shasta ranks as the second highest volcano in the United States.  Area attractions not to be missed include the Mount Shasta Trout Hatchery , the oldest operating hatchery west of the Mississippi; the Sisson Museum , which highlights the history of the town, local Native Americans, the geology of Mt. Shasta and its glaciers, as well as the history of climbing the mountain; and Lake Siskiyou, known for its great recreational opportunities.

 

Just south of Mt. Shasta, where the Sacramento River  begins its 250-mile trip to the Pacific Ocean, you will find the community of Dunsmuir . You’ll also start to catch glimpses of an imposing small granitic mountain range – Castle Crags State Park – where huge dome-topped granite spires rise more than 4,000 feet above the Sacramento River. Dunsmuir has changed little since its beginnings as an old railroading center for the Southern Pacific Railway. 

 

A side trip to Hwy. 97 will take you to the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges , home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the continental U.S. Also nearby is Lava Beds National Monument , where you can explore caves created by the sudden cooling of lava flows, or check out the site of the only Indian war in California. 

 

As you head back on Hwy. 97 to I-5, then onto Hwy. 3 along the Trinity Heritage Scenic Byway to Coffee Creek, you’ll find the peacefulness of nature.  Bike on quiet country lanes, fish nearby Trinity River or visit the award-winning Alpen Cellars  winery. 

 

Return south on I-5 to Redding , the largest city in the region with a variety of activity choices. You can enjoy  a  leisurely walk on the Sacramento River Trail , which will connect to California’s newest icon – the Sundial Bridge , a glass-surfaced pedestrian bridge. The bridge is located at Turtle Bay Exploration Park , one of Northern California’s largest museums. 

 

North of Redding is Shasta Lake , considered the houseboat capital of the world. Numerous campgrounds and cabins dot the lake. Finish up your adventure with a tour of Shasta Dam or Lake Shasta Caverns .

 

 

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