Open roads, low population, lots of curves…Siskiyou is thrilling on a motorcycle. As restrictions lift and you’re anxious to get out and explore, we’ve gone ahead and combined some of our favorite rides in the area. Of course, you don’t have to be on two wheels to enjoy Siskiyou’s most scenic motorcycle routes, but you’ll certainly love them if you are.
Disclaimer: More than ever, your health and safety is our top priority in Siskiyou. We are actively monitoring the news and changes in restrictions and recommendations from federal, state, county and local officials during the active COVID-19 pandemic. Here is information on how to protect yourself and others as outlined by the CDC.
Round the Mountain
A local favorite scenic motorcycle ride is to go all the way around Mount Shasta in a day. There are fantastic glimpses of the mountain the whole way, but there are particularly stunning views of Shasta on the return heading south toward Weed. This ride can also be started from Weed or McCloud, heading in a counter-clockwise direction around the mountain. Take in several amazing stops along the way, including the charming town of McCloud, McCloud Falls and the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden. Make sure to fill your tank before McCloud, as there’s no gas between there and Macdoel. Grab a bite at either the Bartle Lodge (try the homemade potato pancakes!), the Mt. Hebron General Store or pack a lunch. Also be very careful to watch for rocks and wildlife.
Yreka to Happy Camp
A gorgeous scenic drive right along the Klamath River and deep into Bigfoot country, with lots of twists and turns. It’s particularly beautiful in the spring and fall with spring blooms and fall color. Take the scenic 263 out of Yreka to Highway 96 and head toward Happy Camp. Along the way, take the pancake challenge at Seiad Cafe and check out the famous Bigfoot statue welcoming you to historic Happy Camp. Happy Camp makes an especially great overnight, especially if you intend to ride deeper into Bigfoot Country. Or, you can make the whole route a loop by heading pack toward Yreka and going via Scott River Road through Fort Jones. The return half of the journey down Scott River Road can get narrow in places and is not recommended for novice riders. Make sure to fill up with gas in Yreka, as there is no gas again until Fort Jones.
For lodging options in Happy Camp and Yreka, visit here.
Ft. Jones Loop
If you only have a partial day, you can also explore this scenic motorcycle loop from Yreka. First, head north out of Yreka along scenic 263 to 96, with dramatic views of the Klamath River the entire way. At Hamburg, you’ll turn down twisty Scott River Road to follow the Scott River. This section of road is not for novice riders as it narrows in places, but the turns can’t be beat. Stop to refresh at Jones Beach, a small sandy beach along the Scott River with picnic tables about 15-20 minutes before you hit Ft. Jones. There are also great food options in Ft. Jones before you head back “over the hill” to Yreka. Be sure to watch for rocks on this route, and no gas available after you leave Yreka until you reach Ft. Jones.
The Lava Beds Loop
This predominantly flat, straight and well-paved journey through the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge(the first waterfowl refuge in the nation!), the Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge is suitable for just about all riders and makes the most of some of the region’s most important historic sites. Make sure to fill your tank before starting out on this scenic route (closest gas to Dorris is Macdoel) and be very careful watching for wildlife. Food is available in Tulelake at Senor Tequila’s (no tequila) or Mike & Wanda’s(tequila). There is also a slight detour that can be made via a very short dirt road to Petroglyph Point, one of the largest panels of Native American Petroglyphs in the United States.
This scenic route takes you from Yreka to Ft. Jones to Callahan, then over Gazelle Mountain to Weed. Stop there, or take the Old State Road back to Yreka. First, head “over the hill” from Yreka through Scott Valley for a little taste of the Swiss Alps. Sprawling agricultural lands with majestic mountains views as you travel through a few quaint towns before going over the Gazelle pass, where you’ll be rewarded with epic views of Mt. Shasta. Great food options along the way in Ft. Jones and Etna, with a throwback to a wonderful dive bar and market in Callahan called The Callahan Emporium. No gas available after Etna until you reach Weed, so make sure you have a full tank. As with much of Siskiyou, also be sure to watch for rocks and wildlife.
Shasta Valley Loop
High desert terrain dominated with fantastic and expansive views, unusual geology, generally empty roads and plenty of sunshine makes this scenic motorcycle route through Shasta Valley a local favorite, especially in the afternoon nearing sunset. Start out in Weed and head north. You’ll be rewarded with epic views of Mt. Shasta that dominate this entire loop, but there are several other picture-worthy stops along this route with the historic Little Shasta Church, the Little Shasta Cemetery, and Pluto’s Cave as points of interest. You’ll want to make sure your tank is full as there are no gas stations on this route aside from Montague (or once you get back to Weed). Also, be sure to watch for rocks and wildlife.
For turn-by-turn directions on these Siskiyou scenic rides and more, check out our hosted routes on the RoadRunner Rides App, available through both the Apple Store and Google Play. Click here for download info.