Shasta Cascade Road Trip
The name itself is refreshing, and this road trip through one of California’s most expansive and wildly beautiful regions does not disappoint. Snow-capped peaks, glassy lakes, hidden caverns, and some of the best craft beer in the state can be found between Tahoe City and Mount Shasta.
Located at the northern end of California’s Sacramento Valley this region is known for its history, abundant natural wonders and unlimited recreational opportunities. This area of the Golden State is the perfect vacation destination for skiing, snow boarding, fishing, golfing, mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking. If you are looking for some less active things to do then you can enjoy some one of the most scenic views in California with mountains, forests, rivers, and miles of wide open landscape.
This is a getaway that necessitates the use of a vehicle. The entire loop is about 650 miles long, with Mount Shasta being 275 miles or 4 hours from San Francisco. It’s a long drive down I-5 to I-80 for the 220-mile (3.5-hour) trip back to San Francisco from Redding.
The lake is enjoyed year-round by fishermen, water skiers, house-boaters, or visitors who just want to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Free tours of the dam are offered.
The Shasta Dam/Shasta Lake Scenic Byway is located on Interstate 5 just seven miles north of Redding. It runs through Shasta Lake, which has all services. The byway starts at Shasta Dam Blvd. and Lake Blvd. and heads west to a vista point with a breathtaking view of the three Shastas: Shasta Dam (the tallest center overflow dam in the world), Shasta Lake (California’s largest lake), and Mt. Shasta (14,179 feet).
After arriving at Shasta Dam, there are numerous activities available, including guided tours of the dam, a boat ramp, and bank fishing at Fisherman’s Point. Camping, biking, and hiking trails can be found on the dam’s west side.
Lake Shasta Caverns
Three adventures in one. A boat ride across Lake Shasta, A scenic bus ride to the carven entrance and finally a tour through the caverns. View cave coral, cave drapery, stalagmites and stalactites.
Lassen Peak, Lassen Volcanic National Park 106,000 acres of forests, lakes, hydrothermal areas, and geologic formations. All four major types of volcano’s found in the world are here.
The Lake Shasta Caverns (H1) are a network of limestone caves with glistening stalagmites, stalactites, and crystals. Take exit 695 and head west on Shasta Cavern Road to get there. The two-hour tour begins with an insightful ferry ride across the lake, where you will be met by a bus that will take you to the caverns. You will be rewarded with spectacular views along the way. Prepare to be awed by 250 million years of multi-hued geologic wonders as well as the cave’s cool 50-degree temperature.
Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
Elevations range from 1,000 feet along the southern and eastern edges of the Forest to 14,162 feet at the summit of Mt. Shasta .Fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking.
Oroville Dam, Lake Oroville
With 167 miles of shoreline, hundreds of campsites, miles of trails, and 15,000 surface acres of warm water, Lake Oroville is the perfect vacation destination.
McArthur-Burney Falls State Park
Burney Falls was once called “The Eighth Wonder of the World” by Teddy Roosevelt. The water emerges as springs above the falls and drops 129 feet. A trail circles the falls.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
A 300-acre campus filled with educational and entertaining activities. Features include: Turtle Bay Museum, River Aquarium and Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp.
Coleman Fish Hatchery Road
The fish hatchery is located on Battle creek which is one of the many creeks running into the Sacramento river. Chinook Salmon and Steelhead trout are raised at the hatchery.
Lava Beds National Monument
More than 500 lava tube caves are at the monument. The historic battlegrounds of the Modoc War are also located here. Caving and hiking are favorite things to do.
The City of Weed
Weed is surrounded by national forests, high desert plains and volcanic formations of geological interest. It is just fifty miles from the Oregon border.
The Volcanic Legacy Byway
This 500 mile journey from volcano to volcano you will find opportunities for adventure, exploration, communion with nature and an appreciation for the culture and history of the region.
The byway’s southern end begins at Lake Almanor in California, just miles from the active geothermal features of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon, at the northern end of the byway, is where mysteries of the earth’s interior are studied.
The slopes of Mount Shasta protruding above the valley floor to the top of the mountain at 14,179 feet, curtains of water showering over basalt ledges at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, McCloud Falls – Upper, Middle, and Lower falls, and lands rife with remains of underground magma passageways at Lava Beds National Monument are all spectacular sights along the Byway.
Yreka – The Golden City.
Downtown Yreka – various unique shops and restaurants in the business district housed in buildings constructed in the late 1800’s. 22 miles to the Oregon border.
Siskiyou County Museum
Built in 1950 by the county to collect and preserve the history of the area. Detailing Siskiyou County’s colorful history from Indian cultures to 20th century themes.
Lake Almanor Basin
Many different activities winter or summer. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy downhill or cross-country skiing. Summer months are for hiking and camping.
The Feather River Canyon
One of the most popular scenic driving routes in the state. Cascading waterfalls and wildflowers in the spring and brilliant colors in the fall highlight the canyons natural beauty.
The Feather River Scenic Byway winds through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, following the North Fork of the Feather River. The route was one of California’s first over the Sierras, and it provides the lowest elevation highway crossing during major winter storms. The byway, which runs through the northern Sierra Nevada and ends near the Nevada border, is notable for its botanical and cultural diversity.