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Adventures at the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area

I’ve driven past the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area many times because my family lives in Little Shasta Valley. I also lived in the valley for a few years. I’m embarrassed to admit that I never stopped to visit the wildlife area. I assumed the land was the domain of hunters and fishers, but that’s not true. You can hike, bird watch, or enjoy mountain views at the wildlife area.

In the spring of 2019, I finally visited the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area. I learned that the land was a former ranch, and it was designated as a wildlife area by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1991. The area is roughly 4,700 acres, and it is surrounded by rolling hills, juniper trees, three deep water reservoirs, and seasonal wetlands.

I enjoyed my solo trip to the area, and I was surprised by the epic views of Mount Shasta and all the wildlife! I spotted countless birds, a rock chuck spying on me (he was hiding behind rocks at a pullout), fish jumping in Trout Lake, deer, a jack rabbit, and a snake crossing the road.

I spent most of the afternoon at Trout Lake walking and taking photos. There were four small fishing boats on the lake and a few kayaks. I loved wandering around taking snapshots, admiring the giant clouds, and watching the birds. In short, it was a relaxing afternoon.

On my next trip to the wildlife area, I want to visit Bass Lake. I don’t fish. But, I love being near water. I’ll bring a fisherman with me because both lakes are great places to catch rainbow trout and largemouth bass.

Whether you’re a local or visiting Siskiyou for the first time, the Shasta Valley Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to explore and observe nature.

Happy adventuring!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Pair your outdoor adventures with a stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Yreka, CA. More lodging options can be found here.

Good Eats: I’d encourage you to bring a picnic to the wildlife area because you can’t beat the views! I didn’t see any picnic tables, so don’t forget to bring a folding chair.

The Miner St. Meat Market in Yreka has delicious deli sandwiches; perfect for a picnic. You can also stop at Kathy’s Deli & Bakery in Montague. It’s on the way to the wildlife area. Plus, Kathy’s sandwiches and baked goods are tasty!

Looking for more dining options in town? Read Good Eats in Yreka, CA.

Buy a Day Pass: Before visiting the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, you need to buy a CDFW Lands Pass for $4.58. Buy a pass online (click here for details), by phone, or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. If you have a valid California hunting or fishing license, you don’t need to buy a pass.

Directions & Access: The Shasta Valley Wildlife Area is roughly 8 miles east of Yreka. Look up directions online before you leave your hotel, or ask a hotelier for directions.

Trout Lake is about a fifteen-minute drive from the entrance of the wildlife area. It’s a gravel road, and the road is in good condition. You’ll find plenty of pullouts along the route to take photos, bird watch, or walk.

During hunting season (October 1st – January 31st), access to the land is walk-in only from the entrance gate.

Extra details about hunting and fishing at the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area can be found here.

I’ve driven past the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area many times because my family lives in Little Shasta Valley. I also lived in the valley for a few years. I’m embarrassed to admit that I never stopped to visit the wildlife area. I assumed the land was the domain of hunters and fishers, but that’s not true. You can hike, bird watch, or enjoy mountain views at the wildlife area.

In the spring of 2019, I finally visited the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area. I learned that the land was a former ranch, and it was designated as a wildlife area by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1991. The area is roughly 4,700 acres, and it is surrounded by rolling hills, juniper trees, three deep water reservoirs, and seasonal wetlands.

I enjoyed my solo trip to the area, and I was surprised by the epic views of Mount Shasta and all the wildlife! I spotted countless birds, a rock chuck spying on me (he was hiding behind rocks at a pullout), fish jumping in Trout Lake, deer, a jack rabbit, and a snake crossing the road.

I spent most of the afternoon at Trout Lake walking and taking photos. There were four small fishing boats on the lake and a few kayaks. I loved wandering around taking snapshots, admiring the giant clouds, and watching the birds. In short, it was a relaxing afternoon.

On my next trip to the wildlife area, I want to visit Bass Lake. I don’t fish. But, I love being near water. I’ll bring a fisherman with me because both lakes are great places to catch rainbow trout and largemouth bass.

Whether you’re a local or visiting Siskiyou for the first time, the Shasta Valley Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to explore and observe nature.

Happy adventuring!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Pair your outdoor adventures with a stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Yreka, CA. More lodging options can be found here.

Good Eats: I’d encourage you to bring a picnic to the wildlife area because you can’t beat the views! I didn’t see any picnic tables, so don’t forget to bring a folding chair.

The Miner St. Meat Market in Yreka has delicious deli sandwiches; perfect for a picnic. You can also stop at Kathy’s Deli & Bakery in Montague. It’s on the way to the wildlife area. Plus, Kathy’s sandwiches and baked goods are tasty!

Looking for more dining options in town? Read Good Eats in Yreka, CA.

Buy a Day Pass: Before visiting the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, you need to buy a CDFW Lands Pass for $4.58. Buy a pass online (click here for details), by phone, or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. If you have a valid California hunting or fishing license, you don’t need to buy a pass.

Directions & Access: The Shasta Valley Wildlife Area is roughly 8 miles east of Yreka. Look up directions online before you leave your hotel, or ask a hotelier for directions.

Trout Lake is about a fifteen-minute drive from the entrance of the wildlife area. It’s a gravel road, and the road is in good condition. You’ll find plenty of pullouts along the route to take photos, bird watch, or walk.

During hunting season (October 1st – January 31st), access to the land is walk-in only from the entrance gate.

Extra details about hunting and fishing at the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area can be found here.