About Shasta Cascade Region
The largest county in Shasta is Siskiyou County, located in the north central portion of the state and bordering remote Del Norte County. Siskiyou is an outdoor lover's paradise, and the centerpiece of the region, Mount Shasta, is located in this county. This volcanic mountain stretches 14,000 feet into the air and is a popular place for summertime climbers, both experienced and inexperienced. Others just admire it from the ground!
In addition, six of California's rivers flow through Siskiyou. They include the Sacramento River, McCloud River, Scott River, Salmon River, Klamath River, and the Shasta River. All offer an abundance of watersports, including top-notch fishing, whitewater kayaking or rafting, and swimming. In the winter, cross country and alpine skiing and even dog sledding are popular here.
The largest city in Siskiyou is Yreka, with a population of about 7,300 residents. Located near Highway 5 and the Klamath River, Yreka (not to be confused with Eureka in nearby Humboldt County) is dubbed "the Golden City" and is the only full-service community along Highway 5 within about 100 miles of the Oregon border. The historic downtown area is fun to explore and visitors should be sure to stop at the small but interesting Siskiyou County Museum on Main Street.
Just below Siskiyou is Trinity County, just east of Humboldt. Trinity is home to a number of small communities in addition to some of the region's most awesome scenery. The Trinity River is a designated "Wild and Scenic" river and provides opportunities for rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and sports fishing. Expansive Trinity Lake, with 16,000 surface acres and 147 miles of shoreline, is popular with house-boaters and water skiers. In contrast, Ruth Lake is quiet and off-the-beaten-track, attracting campers and anglers looking for a peaceful, pristine location.
Trinity County is also home to Shasta-Trinity National Forest and also portions of Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests. At the former, avid fishermen can enjoy world-class trout fishing in Lake Lewiston. Visitors can view picturesque forests and lakes by driving along the Trinity Heritage National Scenic Byway, a 120-mile stretch of road that climbs nearly 4,500 feet and gives guests a look at the route traveled by Gold Rush miners and settlers in the mid-1800s.
Scenic Weaverville also allows visitors a glimpse of yesteryear in this small town that was home to miners as well as a large number of Chinese immigrants. Visit the well-preserved downtown area, the Joss House State Park - home to the oldest still-in-use Chinese Temple in California, and the Sam Lee Folk Art Center, where you can view and purchase local and regional art.
Travel north from Siskiyou and you'll reach Modoc County, a quiet, remote area of northeastern California which consists basically of one town, Alturas, and lots of wilderness areas. One of the best ways to tour the area and learn about its rich Indian history is by driving the Modoc Volcanic Scenic Byway, which begins in the former company-owned mining town of McCloud and ends at the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where guests can view the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the U.S. Along the way, explore Lava Beds National Monument, used to train the Apollo astronauts for the first moon landing!
East of Trinity and in the center of the Shasta Region is Shasta County. Full of rivers, forests, and parkland, Shasta County is home to the area's largest city, Redding. Located at the intersection of Highway 5 and the Sacramento River, Redding is the county seat and home to about 100,000 residents.
Redding and the neighboring towns of Anderson and Red Bluff are popular locations from which to explore the remainder of the county, including Lake Shasta, Lassen Volcanic Park, and the mighty rivers in this county that offer myriad watersports opportunities. Redding boasts about 2,500 available rooms for those who wish to spend a few days and the city is proud of its 200+ restaurants that cater to all tastes.
Some resorts such as the R-Wild Horse Ranch in nearby Platina, have the option to buy timeshares there, to secure a week of lodgings every year at a nice rate. This can provide you the comforts of home as you venture out to explore this diverse region. You can also rent California timeshare if you are just looking for a good deal on a single week. Also consider looking into hostels.
Lake Shasta, about 12 miles north of the city, is considered the houseboat capital of the West. California's largest man-made lake is also a mecca for those who enjoy camping, boating, fishing, swimming, and water skiing. Nearby Shasta Caverns offers a look at the world underground. Most Shasta Caverns tours include a boat ride across Lake Shasta and a bus ride to the caverns, so guests can tour both the lake and the caves at the same time.
Whiskeytown Lake and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area are located about 20 miles west of Redding and the area is a favorite spot for hikers and mountain bikers. With
36 miles of shoreline, the lake offers visitors the chance to boat, swim, or water ski. Families will also enjoy a number of ranger-led activities, including panning for gold!
Another fun area to visit is Castle Crags State Park, located near Dunsmuir. About 30 miles north of Redding at the top of Shasta County, Castle Crags attracts visitors who come to admire the scenery, including the soaring peaks of granite that reach up to 6,000 feet above sea level. This wilderness area also includes 9 miles of well-maintained trails, camping facilities, and plenty of room for swimming in the Sacramento River.
For many, however, the true gem of Shasta County is Lassen Volcanic Park. Volcanic Lassen Peak hasn't erupted since 1914, but guests still enjoy traveling the park's main auto road to get a look at three sides of the volcano as well as lakes and a handful of interesting geothermal features. Hikers can take advantage of the 150 miles of trails located in Lassen Volcanic Park and might choose to camp at the mile-high campgrounds located there. Fishing is excellent on nearby expansive Eagle Lake, the second largest natural lake in California, known for its huge trout.
East of Shasta County is Lassen County, a large area about the size of the state of Connecticut. Susanville is the county seat and home to the Lassen Historical Museum. Other nearby towns include Bieber and Westwood, both built by Northern California's timber industry.
Lassen is home to the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, a 25-mile stretch of road that takes hikers, mountain bikers, joggers, and horseback riders through the rugged Susan River Canyon. During the winter, it's a great place for cross country skiing.
For a look at the wild horses of Northeastern California, take a drive on the Buckhorn Back Country Byway, where visitors can see not only horses, but also hawks and golden eagles, deer and pronghorn antelope, and the beautiful scenery of the high desert of the Golden State.
Head south to Plumas County and you'll reach one of the prettiest man-made lakes in the Shasta Cascade region, Lake Almanor. At 75 square miles in size, this lake can accommodate a variety of water activities, including boating, water skiing, fishing, and much more. Campgrounds are available as well.
The majority of Plumas County's 1.6 million acres, however, is national forest land, so the area is especially popular with avid outdoorsmen. The Plumas National Forest is rich with streams and lakes and beautiful canyons just waiting to be explored. Plumas-Eureka State Park in Blairsden is also a delight to discover, with lots of groomed trails and a small museum featuring displays of early mining equipment.
East of Plumas County and below Shasta County is Tehama County. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, including those of the Trinity Mountain Range, Tehama County, like its neighbors, offers myriad outdoor activities including world-class fishing in the Sacramento River. The town of Red Bluff boasts beautiful Victorian homes, a few small museums, one of the best rodeos in the state, and friendly residents who enjoy organizing annual festivals and other events. The tiny neighboring town of Corning is known as the olive capital of the U.S. and consists mostly of farms and cattle ranches.
The Shasta region's smallest county, Butte County, is bordered by Plumas, Tehama, and Glenn Counties and was one of California's original 27 counties. Visitors can tour grand Victorian homes, explore the Chico Museum for a history lesson on Butte County, or head to one of many state parks and recreation areas. Don't miss picturesque Feather Falls, the sixth-highest waterfall in the U.S. and a great photo opportunity.
The towns of Butte County are also interesting to explore. Oroville, the county seat, is home to Lake Oroville, the tallest earthen dam in the United States. It's a perfect spot for house boaters and considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country.
The town of Chico was originally part of the 28,000-acre Bidwell Ranch. The philanthropic Bidwells donated land to anyone willing to build a home or public structure in the area, resulting in the development of the town of Chico. Chico is also home to the California State University at Chico, originally a teacher's college built in 1887 on donated land. Visitors can still tour the original Bidwell Mansion and the expansive park built to honor the legacy of the Bidwells.
Shasta Cascade Region Upcoming Events
Silver Dollar Fair
Grandstand line up for the 2006 Silver Dollar Fair. Fun includes races, special exhibits daily grounds acts and carnival
Big Bikes and Fun in the Sun
Thunder rolls through the North State. Three days of motorcycle madness and everything related to them. Vendors displays
Butte County Fair
Five days of old fashioned family style country fair, held at the fairgrounds on 36 tree-shaded acres.
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