California may not usually be considered a great fall color destination, but the mixed blessing of cold winters and the abundance of Oaks, Big Leaf Maples, Aspen and Dogwood trees makes Siskiyou County’s fall foliage unforgettable. For the month of October and into November, Siskiyou is brushed with yellows, roses, oranges and burgundies, as exotic –or non-native – trees typically peak in the first half of October, while native trees typically peak in the second half of the month. The color is particularly impressive when set against the backdrop of a snow-capped Mt. Shasta.
Here are our 5 favorite spots to view the fall foliage in Siskiyou!
An autumn stroll around Lake Siskiyou is a perennial go-to. The seven-mile loop around the lake offers gorgeous views of golden trees, with Mt. Shasta rising in the background. After your stroll, head to Pipeline Craft Taps for brews and bites.
The 24-mile driving loop from Yreka to Scott Valley is particularly wonderful in the fall, with a mandatory photo stop at the Mormon Church in Etna. There, several exotics surrounding a steepled church put on a peak color display in mid-October that rivals any east coast color. From Yreka, take Highway 3 south and follow the signs for Fort Jones and Etna. (Local tip: Turn left on Eastside Road just past the town of Fort Jones, and you’ll find a Pumpkin Wagon after about a mile. Pick a locally-grown pumpkin or gourd and leave cash in the box!)
Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens
Located in the Dunsmuir City Park in far northern California, the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens encompass ten acres of hilly, wooded area with a meadow containing the various gardens. Each fall, the gardens come alive with vibrant fall colors ranging from deep red to fiery orange and yellow. A playground area and picnic sites border the beautiful Upper Sacramento River, making this a great family-friendly stop. Dogs welcome on leashes!
Yreka’s Greenhorn Park is one of the most beautiful and well used recreation areas in all of Siskiyou County. The newly signed trails offer hours of great hiking and mountain bike riding, or just take a leisurely stroll around the reservoir on the paved one-mile loop trail. Pick up sandwiches at the Miner Street Meat Market and enjoy a picnic lunch while enjoying the vibrant fall colors. Dogs welcome on leashes!
Mt. Shasta Golf Course
Mount Shasta Resort’s 6,035-yard par 70, 18-hole course features natural alpine terrain, undulated greens, and breathtaking views. The holes are uniquely different with three sets of tees and yardages. In addition to gorgeous fall colors, you may also see a wide variety of wildlife on the course. The facility is open to the public, with a limited membership available. You may choose to walk or rent an electric cart. Tee times are available one week in advance. Overnight guests can book tee times at the same time they make their lodging reservations.