There’s plenty to do in Mount Shasta
The beauty of Siskiyou, California’s northernmost region, is a sight to behold any time of the year. Visiting Mount Shasta, the second-highest peak in the Cascades, makes your trip to Siskiyou even better given the wide variety of activities available around the mountain, not to mention its spectacular view.
If you plan a vacation during the winter, you’ll find plenty of spots to ice skate, ski, snowboard and ice fish, just to name a few ideas. The magic of spring brings flowers of every color and an abundance of ways to explore Mount Shasta, such as on foot, by car or with the assistance of a tour guide.
Summertime means getting in and on the water, including Lake Siskiyou. The lake, located at the foot of Mount Shasta, offers plenty of trails that are ideal for sightseeing, as well as excellent conditions for boating, swimming, paddling and all sorts of water sports. And the yellow, orange, rose and burgundy colors of the trees in autumn, especially with a backdrop of Mount Shasta, provide a spectacular vision you’ll never forget. Whether you enjoy the view by hiking, biking or simply strolling around, the sights are breathtaking.
Here are a few ideas for your first (or return) trip to majestic Mount Shasta and Siskiyou, the crown jewel of northern California.
Located about 2 miles from Mount Shasta is Lake Siskiyou, which offers plenty of shoreline and a trail around the lake with several access points for boaters, swimmers and others year-round.
Whether you like to camp, glamp or something in between, there are plenty of opportunities. Located right on the lake is Lake Siskiyou Resort Camp, a beautiful getaway surrounded by tall Douglas firs, pines and cedar trees. From tent camping to spacious houses, there’s a lodging choice that’s perfect for you. Kayaking, fishing, paddleboarding, walking the 6.5-mile long trail around the lake and more is available to you. During the summer, a waterpark of large inflatables is pure fun for all ages. Make sure to bring a blanket no matter what time of year you arrive, because when the sun goes down, the stars come out like you’ve never seen before.
MOUNT SHASTA RESORT
If your idea of camping is staying at a highly rated all-season resort, then Mount Shasta Resort is for you. Nestled in a forest that overlooks Lake Siskiyou, the private chalets at the resort offer all the comfort of home plus activities like golfing on an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, skiing, relaxing at a day spa and dining in an exceptional resort restaurant with views of the mountain.
MOUNT SHASTA CITY PARK
The 26-acre Mount Shasta City Park, located 1 mile north of downtown Mount Shasta, is the site for numerous public events throughout the year. With four scenic picnic areas, a gazebo, a playground and other amenities, this area is perfect for a relaxing day with the family. You can spend the day unwinding, or explore a nature trail that winds through the trees and meadow as well as a trail that leads to the beautiful Headwaters Spring,
A HIKER’S PARADISE
The Siskiyou area is known for its outdoor recreational activities, and hiking is at the top of most adventurer’s list.
You’ll find beautiful alpine meadows and spectacular views along the Clear Creek Trail, a 5.7-mile route that leads to a popular spot where a view of Mud Creek Falls is possible. Although the view is from a mile away, the falls are so massive, their beauty can still be seen from that distance. For those who want a closer view, there is a cross-country route from the end of the trail.
For a shorter, yet beautiful journey, Heart Lake Trail is a 2-mile moderate trail that leads to a bench on top of Castle Lake. Above Castle Lake is Heart Lake, surrounded by rocky cliffs. What makes this trail even more incredible is the view of Mount Shasta from the lake. On a clear, calm day, the sight of the mountains reflected in the lake will have you in awe. Bunny Flat Trail is another popular and fairly easy journey when the weather is warm, and a perfect location for snowshoeing in the winter. The road is the main access point for all winter activities, so the road to Bunny Flat is always plowed.
Sisson Meadow is a popular spot for visitors to take in the views and nature of this wetland. The 7.5-acre area offers plenty of wildlife and plants, as well as places to sit and public installation art. Views of Mount Shasta, Mount Eddy, Black Butte and Castle Spire are possible from this location.
Gateway Trail offers visitors access to the forest directly from the town. Only a mile or so ahead of Mount Shasta High School, this shared-use trail is popular with bikers, hikers and even equestrians, providing trail explorers of all kinds with nearly 10 miles of paths to discover.
CHECK IT OUT!
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023, the Mount Shasta Sisson Museum offers a look at the past, present and future of the Mount Shasta region. Exhibits showcasing the history and science related to Mount Shasta and the surrounding areas have been seen by more than 500,000 visitors. The museum shares the property with the oldest fish hatchery in operation west of the Mississippi River. The hatchery opened in 1888.
From November through April, have fun on the Shastice Park outdoor ice rink. The park, located in the northeastern part of Mount Shasta, is perfect for getting your steps in, and dogs are allowed as well. Then head to Snowman’s Hill for a thrilling sledding adventure. Located between Interstate 5 and McCloud, the hill is at the high point of the roadway. For more winter fun, visit the Mount Shasta Nordic Center, a nonprofit organization that provides groomed cross-country ski trails, a snowshoe trail as well as a warming hut, ski rentals, lessons and more.
Siskiyou is home to numerous food and drink establishments, most of them independent and some family-owned. Pipeline Craft Taps and Kitchen, located in Mount Shasta, offers a variety of comfort food and seasonal dishes, as well as craft beer and wine. Yaks on the 5 in Mount Shasta offers mouthwatering gourmet burgers, salads and microbrews, and don’t leave without trying a house-roasted coffee or handcrafted pastry. There are a variety of restaurants throughout the area, so make sure to try a few.
Mount Shasta is not just another pretty place. It’s also known for its healing arts – it is a sister mountain to Mount Fuji in Japan after all. Crystals play an important part of Mount Shasta’s allure, and there are numerous shops that offer them. According to local spiritual guides, it’s important to cleanse your crystal to clear away all the energy of the many hands that touched it. Hedge Creek Falls, which is a short drive away in Dunsmuir, and Sacramento Headwaters are among the locations with healing properties.
PLAN A GETAWAY
There’s so much to see and do in Siskiyou throughout the year; we’ve only scratched the surface in this blog. Make plans to visit for a few days, a week or longer to really understand why this region is so loved. There are a variety of lodging choices, including bed-and-breakfasts, inns, cabins and hotels, such as the new Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Mount Shasta and close to everything in this unique town.