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Adventures on the Family Cattle Drive

My husband grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Yreka, CA, and it’s one of my favorite places in Siskiyou because it’s so beautiful. At the end of May, we stayed at the ranch because we went on a few Siskiyou themed adventures, and it was time for our family’s annual cattle drive.

Every year my in-laws—along with help from their cowgirl and cowboy friends—move their cattle from Little Shasta Valley to the Klamath National Forest. Usually, the cattle drive starts at day-break on Saturday morning and ends on Sunday afternoon. During the drive, the cattle and crew cover about 30 miles.

On Saturday night the crew (and cows) rest, relax and eat before continuing their journey on Sunday morning. And speaking of eating, I love the Saturday evening barbecue because the gathering is a great way to catch up with friends and family who live in Siskiyou. Plus, the food is delicious! We ate tri-tip steak, potato salad, garlic bread, and there was a wide range of desserts to choose from like cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and more. I tried to eat all the food!

This year the eating festivities ended early because of thunder and rain. The crew grabbed desserts, retired early, and I drove back to Little Shasta Valley because I didn’t camp out.

Sunday Morning at Aspen Acres

I don’t know how to ride a horse, so I didn’t move cows on the cattle drive. I did help in a small way, though, by moving trucks on Sunday morning. I might be the slowest truck driver ever. Driving a large vehicle through a large herd of cattle is stressful, but I did it!

One of my favorite parts of the cattle drive is having lunch at Aspen Acres on Sunday. Aspen Acres is on the outskirts of Tennant, CA; a tiny community in Siskiyou. The U.S. Forest Service has signage at the site and notes, “Aspen is a valuable ecological component of the forest ecosystem. It is very limited locally compared to other places, such as in the Rocky Mountains. Isolated stands such as this one, provide very important habitat for numerous species of wildlife.”

The aspen restoration site is a peaceful place and a gorgeous place to take photos. I spotted a few birds in the aspens, including a Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s warbler, and I heard woodpeckers in the trees. My father-in-law’s bird book came in handy this weekend!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: My in-law’s cattle drive isn’t open to the public. However, you can still experience ranch life in Siskiyou for yourself! Consider staying at Camp Five Marys. Alternatively, you can ride a horse, fish, swim and more at the R-Ranch.

Sites to See: While you’re in Siskiyou, visit Aspen Acres. It’s a beautiful place to take photos and watch birds. Then take a drive through Tennant, CA, and stop at Antelope Creek and Orr Lake for a wander.

Directions to Aspen Acres: Aspen Acres doesn’t appear on most maps. When you’re preparing for your trip, get directions to Tennant because the aspens are just outside the community.

Below you’ll find general directions to the aspens:

  • From Weed, CA, take US-97 North for 28 miles
  • Turn right onto Tennant Rd
  • Continue straight for approximately 9.5 miles

Aspen Acres will be on the right side of the road. Watch for the sign!

Cell reception is very limited in East Siskiyou, so carry a paper map in your car.

Trip Ideas: Read Take a Day Trip to East Siskiyou for information about Orr Lake, Antelope Creek, and more.

Happy adventuring!

My husband grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Yreka, CA, and it’s one of my favorite places in Siskiyou because it’s so beautiful. At the end of May, we stayed at the ranch because we went on a few Siskiyou themed adventures, and it was time for our family’s annual cattle drive.

Every year my in-laws—along with help from their cowgirl and cowboy friends—move their cattle from Little Shasta Valley to the Klamath National Forest. Usually, the cattle drive starts at day-break on Saturday morning and ends on Sunday afternoon. During the drive, the cattle and crew cover about 30 miles.

On Saturday night the crew (and cows) rest, relax and eat before continuing their journey on Sunday morning. And speaking of eating, I love the Saturday evening barbecue because the gathering is a great way to catch up with friends and family who live in Siskiyou. Plus, the food is delicious! We ate tri-tip steak, potato salad, garlic bread, and there was a wide range of desserts to choose from like cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and more. I tried to eat all the food!

This year the eating festivities ended early because of thunder and rain. The crew grabbed desserts, retired early, and I drove back to Little Shasta Valley because I didn’t camp out.

Sunday Morning at Aspen Acres

I don’t know how to ride a horse, so I didn’t move cows on the cattle drive. I did help in a small way, though, by moving trucks on Sunday morning. I might be the slowest truck driver ever. Driving a large vehicle through a large herd of cattle is stressful, but I did it!

One of my favorite parts of the cattle drive is having lunch at Aspen Acres on Sunday. Aspen Acres is on the outskirts of Tennant, CA; a tiny community in Siskiyou. The U.S. Forest Service has signage at the site and notes, “Aspen is a valuable ecological component of the forest ecosystem. It is very limited locally compared to other places, such as in the Rocky Mountains. Isolated stands such as this one, provide very important habitat for numerous species of wildlife.”

The aspen restoration site is a peaceful place and a gorgeous place to take photos. I spotted a few birds in the aspens, including a Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s warbler, and I heard woodpeckers in the trees. My father-in-law’s bird book came in handy this weekend!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: My in-law’s cattle drive isn’t open to the public. However, you can still experience ranch life in Siskiyou for yourself! Consider staying at Camp Five Marys. Alternatively, you can ride a horse, fish, swim and more at the R-Ranch.

Sites to See: While you’re in Siskiyou, visit Aspen Acres. It’s a beautiful place to take photos and watch birds. Then take a drive through Tennant, CA, and stop at Antelope Creek and Orr Lake for a wander.

Directions to Aspen Acres: Aspen Acres doesn’t appear on most maps. When you’re preparing for your trip, get directions to Tennant because the aspens are just outside the community.

Below you’ll find general directions to the aspens:

  • From Weed, CA, take US-97 North for 28 miles
  • Turn right onto Tennant Rd
  • Continue straight for approximately 9.5 miles

Aspen Acres will be on the right side of the road. Watch for the sign!

Cell reception is very limited in East Siskiyou, so carry a paper map in your car.

Trip Ideas: Read Take a Day Trip to East Siskiyou for information about Orr Lake, Antelope Creek, and more.

Happy adventuring!