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Road Trip in Siskiyou

Driving on U.S. Route 97 (US 97) is one of my favorite road trips in Siskiyou because the scenery is gorgeous. The route goes north from I-5 in Weed, CA to the Oregon state line. It’s also part of the Volcanic Scenic Legacy Byway.

If you enjoy day trips, this is a fun route to drive. Stop along the way to sightsee, and watch for animals like elk, antelope, and cattle. Also, Amtrak parallels the highway, and as a passenger, I enjoy watching the train speed by.

Sites to See

You can drive to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and go birding. The refuge is off US 97 outside of Dorris, CA. You can also take a longer detour and visit the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge. If you visit a refuge, look for birds like the bald eagle, the American white pelican, falcons, and more.

Alternatively, you can plan less and see where the road takes you. You might end up in a unique and unexpected place.

And speaking of unique sites below is a list of my favorite stops—in no particular order—along US 97:

The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden

The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden is an art installation and a war memorial and it’s free to visit. According to the U.S. Forest Service, it was “created in 1988 by a dedicated group of veterans,” and “the site includes the Hot LZ Memorial Wall, The Labyrinth, and ten sculptures by artist Dennis Smith.”

The sculptures are unique, and the mountain views make this location an incredibly beautiful and compelling place to visit.

The Grass Lake Rest Area

Stop for a break at the Grass Lake Rest Area. There is a short trail around the area that’s perfect for walking and capturing photos of the lake and wildflowers. It’s also a lovely location to watch the sunrise or sunset or have a picnic.

A short caveat: Currently, the Grass Lake Rest Area is closed for renovations. For additional updates visit Caltrans District 2 here.

Unique Photo Opportunities of Mount Shasta 

The Mount Shasta Scenic Viewpoint is a sweet setting to take photographs of the northern side of Mount Shasta. The viewpoint is south of Grass Lake, it’s relatively close to Weed, and there are informational displays about Mount Shasta and the volcanoes in the region.

Wildflower Hunting

Spring is a beautiful season to take a day trip on US 97. Stop at the places I mentioned above and look for wildflowers like the Indian paintbrush, Pacific Dogwood blossoms, and more.

Happy road tripping!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Pair your weekend driving adventures with a stay in Weed at the Garden Gate Cottage or Motel 6. Explore more lodging options here.

Good Eats: Stop at Grocery Outlet in Weed to purchase picnic supplies for your road trip. Also, Ellie’s Espresso & Bakery offers homemade pastries, delicious sandwiches, soups, and you can place takeaway orders; perfect for a driving adventure.

Directions: If you need help getting to US 97, ask a hotelier to point you in the right direction. Google Maps is a great resource too. Finally, cell phone reception in East Siskiyou is not reliable, so make sure you have a paper map in your vehicle.

Driving on U.S. Route 97 (US 97) is one of my favorite road trips in Siskiyou because the scenery is gorgeous. The route goes north from I-5 in Weed, CA to the Oregon state line. It’s also part of the Volcanic Scenic Legacy Byway.

If you enjoy day trips, this is a fun route to drive. Stop along the way to sightsee, and watch for animals like elk, antelope, and cattle. Also, Amtrak parallels the highway, and as a passenger, I enjoy watching the train speed by.

Sites to See

You can drive to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and go birding. The refuge is off US 97 outside of Dorris, CA. You can also take a longer detour and visit the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge. If you visit a refuge, look for birds like the bald eagle, the American white pelican, falcons, and more.

Alternatively, you can plan less and see where the road takes you. You might end up in a unique and unexpected place.

And speaking of unique sites below is a list of my favorite stops—in no particular order—along US 97:

The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden

The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden is an art installation and a war memorial and it’s free to visit. According to the U.S. Forest Service, it was “created in 1988 by a dedicated group of veterans,” and “the site includes the Hot LZ Memorial Wall, The Labyrinth, and ten sculptures by artist Dennis Smith.”

The sculptures are unique, and the mountain views make this location an incredibly beautiful and compelling place to visit.

The Grass Lake Rest Area

Stop for a break at the Grass Lake Rest Area. There is a short trail around the area that’s perfect for walking and capturing photos of the lake and wildflowers. It’s also a lovely location to watch the sunrise or sunset or have a picnic.

A short caveat: Currently, the Grass Lake Rest Area is closed for renovations. For additional updates visit Caltrans District 2 here.

Unique Photo Opportunities of Mount Shasta 

The Mount Shasta Scenic Viewpoint is a sweet setting to take photographs of the northern side of Mount Shasta. The viewpoint is south of Grass Lake, it’s relatively close to Weed, and there are informational displays about Mount Shasta and the volcanoes in the region.

Wildflower Hunting

Spring is a beautiful season to take a day trip on US 97. Stop at the places I mentioned above and look for wildflowers like the Indian paintbrush, Pacific Dogwood blossoms, and more.

Happy road tripping!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Pair your weekend driving adventures with a stay in Weed at the Garden Gate Cottage or Motel 6. Explore more lodging options here.

Good Eats: Stop at Grocery Outlet in Weed to purchase picnic supplies for your road trip. Also, Ellie’s Espresso & Bakery offers homemade pastries, delicious sandwiches, soups, and you can place takeaway orders; perfect for a driving adventure.

Directions: If you need help getting to US 97, ask a hotelier to point you in the right direction. Google Maps is a great resource too. Finally, cell phone reception in East Siskiyou is not reliable, so make sure you have a paper map in your vehicle.