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Mount Shasta Information
About Mt. Shasta
Mount Shasta is a fast-growing vacation destination in northern California where anyone, from nature lovers to extreme sports enthusiasts to retirees, can find recreation they enjoy. With plenty of activities and accommodations around the Shasta Cascade area, the city is often the base visitors use to explore nearby rivers and mountains. As the famed naturalist John Muir describes it: “When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”
Things to do in Mt. Shasta
Mount Shasta refers to the city in Siskiyou County, as well as the volcanic peak at the southern end of the Cascade Range. The active volcano is the second highest peak in the Cascades, and a part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. For a closer look at the mountain, drive to the end of the 15-mile paved road from Mount Shasta City. You’ll see the Castle Crags toward the west, and the white glaciers adorning the peak. Hiking or climbing the mountain is also an option, or taking in the scenery aboard the Blue Goose Excursion Train. The ride departs from the 1889 Yreka Depot and Museum and lasts about three hours. There’s also a free museum at the depot of railroad memorabilia, as well as a 1000-foot model railroad display. Lake Shasta is another attraction that captures the pristine beauty of Shasta County. With over 350 miles of shoreline, the lake is a popular place for fishing, watersports and boating. In the winter, the region is known for snow sports, including back country skiing and snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling and showshoeing. Mount Shasta has some great runs, but Mt. Eddys and Scott Mountain are alternative options for skiing or boarding. Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery is the oldest in operation of its kind west of the Mississippi. Tour the facilities, which are open to visitors year round from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to see large, open ponds filled with rainbow and brown trout. Visit in the spring to see millions of trout eggs hatching. The Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum is adjacent to the fish hatchery and features exhibits about the history of the area. You can get a picture taken on the 1915 fire truck or participate in featured activities with museum volunteers.
Day trips from Mt. Shasta
Take a scenic drive on Everitt Memorial Highway. You can get halfway up Mount Shasta by car, and stop at various vista points along the way to stretch your legs and make the most of the photo ops. A short hike through Shasta-Trinity National Forest will get you to Everitt Vista Turnout, where you’ll see the expanse of Squaw Valley and upper Sacramento River Canyon below. You can also hike or camp beneath the jagged peaks of Castle Crags State Park, located about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The park offers swimming and fishing in the Sacramento River, incredible views of Mount Shasta and more hiking in the backcountry. Stop by Dunsmuir, located about 24 miles from Mount Shasta, to see the only remaining working railroad turntable in the United States. You’ll also find the best catch-and-release trout fishing this side of the Sacramento River, a historic main street featuring the old California Theater and a great little breakfast spot called the Cornerstone Bakery. Another little town that’s great for a day trip is McCloud, an early 1900s historic district that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Catch the Shasta Sunset Dinner Train or check out the candy store in the old mercantile building while you’re there. Pluto Cave Trail is a pretty loop through volcanic, high desert terrain. It leads to Pluto Cave, a mile-long tunnel formed by molten lava passing through tubes of older, hardened lava. This attraction is located 39 miles from Mount Shasta.
Mt. Shasta accommodations
Whether you’re staying for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday, Mount Shasta has a vast array of accommodations for travelers. Relax at the Mount Shasta Resort, where one or two bedroom chalets are nestled in the pines along the shores of Lake Siskiyou. Stay at a renovated 101-year-old historical home converted into a spa featuring a Swedish outdoor sauna, Jacuzzi tubs, massage therapy and spa services. You’ll find a couple of lodging options along the main street of the city. Renting a room on Mt. Shasta Boulevard gives you close access to downtown area restaurants and attractions. Other vacation rentals in the form of homes, chalets, lodges and cabins are scattered throughout the city, from single-bedroom spaces to elegant homes. Mount Shasta also has several retreat facilities including Flowing Waters, a meditative and creative retreat space, and U.M. Shasta Camp, for solitude in a rustic environment.
Transportation in Mt. Shasta
Redding Municipal Airport is the closest airport to Mount Shasta at about 55 miles away. Rogue Valley International Medford Airport and Sacramento International Airport are farther out, but provide more flight options. The closest Greyhound Bus terminals are located in Redding, about a 45-minute drive, or Weed, around 35 minutes away. Interstate 5 is the major freeway through central Siskiyou County, if driving into the area. In terms of public transportation, STAGE serves Siskiyou County, with weekday buses operating around Mount Shasta and outlying towns. Taxi service is also available in the city.
Popular Day Trips Near Mount Shasta