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Take a Day Trip to East Siskiyou

A few years ago, I took a day trip to East Siskiyou with my father-in-law, Roy. Our first stop was Orr Lake. While Roy fished, I wandered around the lake’s scenic trail taking photos of Mt. Shasta. It was a perfect June day; the sun was out, there were a few clouds in the sky, and a light breeze kept me cool.

During my wander, I discovered a boat launch, floating docks for fishing, and numerous campsites that are near the lake’s three-mile trail. I also spotted a variety of birds including a pelican! We were at the lake on a weekday, and there were only a few folks fishing. It felt like we had the area to ourselves.

After our adventures at Orr Lake, we drove through Tennant, CA, a tiny town near the lake. Tennant was founded in 1921 as a logging camp; established by the Long Bell Lumber Company of Weed, CA. According to WayMarking.com, Tennant had amenities like a general store, a church, post office, a library, hotels, and schools. At the peak of logging operations, “trains were needed to move 3.5 billion board feet of logs to the Weed sawmill. During logging operations, the town had a population of about 800 people.”

In the 1950s, logging operations ended, and today the community is composed of vacation homes and a few long-term residents. Tennant doesn’t have many remaining amenities; however, driving through the town provides a fascinating glimpse into Siskiyou’s history.

I also enjoy spending time at Antelope Creek in East Siskiyou. The creek is near Orr Lake and Tennant. Most of East Siskiyou is considered a high elevation dry climate; however, both Orr Lake and Antelope Creek are a lush oasis. The area has many lava tubes, and although most of the water is located underground, Antelope Creek is an example of that water rising to the surface. Then the water dives back underground in a “sink.” See below for driving directions.

With all of the water, there are also nearby clusters of beautiful aspens. Typically the only sounds in East Siskiyou are gurgling water and a breeze through the trees.

Happy adventuring!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Compliment your fishing and walking adventures with a stay in Yreka, CA at the Best Western Miner’s Inn. Alternatively, you can go big and stay at the Antelope Creek Lodge. Camping at Orr Lake is another great option.

Fishing Information: If you’re planning on fishing at Orr Lake, purchase a valid California Fishing License here. Looking for more fishing hot spots? Read Top Fishing and Camping Spots in Siskiyou.

Trail Information: Hike Mt. Shasta posted a helpful summary of the Orr Lake trail, and you’ll find driving directions at the bottom of their post. Learn more here.

Good Eats: The trail around Orr Lake is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic lunch, so don’t forget to pack food for your outing. If you stay in Yreka, end your day with a delicious dinner. For dining recommendations read Good Eats in Yreka.

Timing: If you love fall colors, the golden aspens near Orr Lake are a sight to behold in mid-October. Thanks to water from the snowmelt, June is also a lovely time to visit because the area is green.

Directions to Antelope Creek: Before leaving your hotel, use Google Maps to get driving directions to Antelope Creek. Cell reception is spotty in East Siskiyou, so write down directions or bring a paper map on your day trip.

Below are directions from Yreka, CA to Antelope Creek:

  • From Yreka Follow I-5 S to the 99-97 Cutoff and US-97 N
  • Take Tennant Rd to Kangaroo Ct

Explore the map here.

At the old Antelope Creek Campground, there is an access point to the creek. There should be a sign at the location.

The Antelope Creek Lodge owns a portion of the surrounding area. However, Antelope Creek can still be accessed by the public.

A few years ago, I took a day trip to East Siskiyou with my father-in-law, Roy. Our first stop was Orr Lake. While Roy fished, I wandered around the lake’s scenic trail taking photos of Mt. Shasta. It was a perfect June day; the sun was out, there were a few clouds in the sky, and a light breeze kept me cool.

During my wander, I discovered a boat launch, floating docks for fishing, and numerous campsites that are near the lake’s three-mile trail. I also spotted a variety of birds including a pelican! We were at the lake on a weekday, and there were only a few folks fishing. It felt like we had the area to ourselves.

After our adventures at Orr Lake, we drove through Tennant, CA, a tiny town near the lake. Tennant was founded in 1921 as a logging camp; established by the Long Bell Lumber Company of Weed, CA. According to WayMarking.com, Tennant had amenities like a general store, a church, post office, a library, hotels, and schools. At the peak of logging operations, “trains were needed to move 3.5 billion board feet of logs to the Weed sawmill. During logging operations, the town had a population of about 800 people.”

In the 1950s, logging operations ended, and today the community is composed of vacation homes and a few long-term residents. Tennant doesn’t have many remaining amenities; however, driving through the town provides a fascinating glimpse into Siskiyou’s history.

I also enjoy spending time at Antelope Creek in East Siskiyou. The creek is near Orr Lake and Tennant. Most of East Siskiyou is considered a high elevation dry climate; however, both Orr Lake and Antelope Creek are a lush oasis. The area has many lava tubes, and although most of the water is located underground, Antelope Creek is an example of that water rising to the surface. Then the water dives back underground in a “sink.” See below for driving directions.

With all of the water, there are also nearby clusters of beautiful aspens. Typically the only sounds in East Siskiyou are gurgling water and a breeze through the trees.

Happy adventuring!

PRO-TIPS

Lodging: Compliment your fishing and walking adventures with a stay in Yreka, CA at the Best Western Miner’s Inn. Alternatively, you can go big and stay at the Antelope Creek Lodge. Camping at Orr Lake is another great option.

Fishing Information: If you’re planning on fishing at Orr Lake, purchase a valid California Fishing License here. Looking for more fishing hot spots? Read Top Fishing and Camping Spots in Siskiyou.

Trail Information: Hike Mt. Shasta posted a helpful summary of the Orr Lake trail, and you’ll find driving directions at the bottom of their post. Learn more here.

Good Eats: The trail around Orr Lake is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic lunch, so don’t forget to pack food for your outing. If you stay in Yreka, end your day with a delicious dinner. For dining recommendations read Good Eats in Yreka.

Timing: If you love fall colors, the golden aspens near Orr Lake are a sight to behold in mid-October. Thanks to water from the snowmelt, June is also a lovely time to visit because the area is green.

Directions to Antelope Creek: Before leaving your hotel, use Google Maps to get driving directions to Antelope Creek. Cell reception is spotty in East Siskiyou, so write down directions or bring a paper map on your day trip.

Below are directions from Yreka, CA to Antelope Creek:

  • From Yreka Follow I-5 S to the 99-97 Cutoff and US-97 N
  • Take Tennant Rd to Kangaroo Ct

Explore the map here.

At the old Antelope Creek Campground, there is an access point to the creek. There should be a sign at the location.

The Antelope Creek Lodge owns a portion of the surrounding area. However, Antelope Creek can still be accessed by the public.