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Celebrate the Solstice in Siskiyou

The winter solstice is happening this Friday, December 21st at 2:23pm.  Winter solstice is the term used to describe the exact moment when the sun reaches its southernmost point from the earth’s equator and is marked by the shortest day of the year – all due to the fact that the Earth is tilted on its axis about 23.5 degrees. Containing the Latin sol– meaning “the sun” – and sistere – meaning “to make stand” – the word solstice literally means the moment that the sun stands still.  It’s the time of year when ancient pagans celebrated Yule and when Christianity adopted Christmas – a time when we light candles and fires, decorate our homes with evergreen plants, feast, dance, and give gifts. Whatever your religious background, Winter Solstice offers the perfect opportunity to get together with family and reflect on the year that has gone and the year to come.   In honor, we’ve compiled some great places to do just that this week in Siskiyou!

Eat by Fire or Candlelight

The longest night of the year calls for a feast by firelight and there’s no shortage of spots to choose from.  Cooper’s at the Best Western Tree House Inn in Mount Shasta is a favorite standby, while Sage Restaurant in McCloud or Café Maddalena in Dunsmuir offer some of the most romantic and candlelit dining in Siskiyou.  For one of the most unique fireside dining experiences, head to the Railroad Park Resort’s dining car.

Buy Some Evergreens

Siskiyou is, in general, an ode to natural beauty but why not celebrate the solstice with some new evergreens…or just get a jump on spring planting?   In Yreka, you’ll find two great spots to do just that: Twigs & Sprigs and the Scott Valley Feed Store (which also features a second location in Greenview).  In Mount Shasta, head for the longtime favorite Spring Hill Nursery and Gardens.

Reflect, Release & Let Go

The end of one season and the start of another is the perfect opportunity to reflect, release and let go.  If you’re into Yoga, there are numerous places to do just that, including the Wellness Center at Mount Shasta Fitness or Magic Mountain Massage & Wellness in Dunsmuir.  But there are also several places to take a meditative walk, including Sisson Meadow in Mt. Shasta or just about anywhere around Lake Siskiyou.  You can even check out Shasta Vortex Adventures for some meditative snowshoe tours!

Stay Up All Night

Why not celebrate the longest night of the year with some of the best nightlife Siskiyou has to offer?  Sengthong’s Blue Sky Room in Dunsmuir is a local favorite, along with newly renovated Rex Club & Empire Room on Yreka’s Historic Miner Street.  You can also dive into Handsome John’s Speakeasy in Mount Shasta which always offers games, food and a good time.

Set Intentions

However you decide to spend the solstice, it’s a great time to write down some intentions for the next 365 days of the year.  An intention is a thing, idea, habit, etc., that you would like to bring into your life and just might become the basis for any New Year’s resolutions you decide to set.  One of the best places in Siskiyou to contemplate life is the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden in Weed.  Just bring a coat and scarf!  Stewart Springs Mineral Spa also offers a perfect way to spend a day in contemplation – no coat necessary.


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