The following attractions are in or around the town of Mt. Shasta – or slightly further afield, but all are in Siskiyou County.
Castle Crags are well worth a visit. Besides Mt. Shasta, the crags are what most people remember about their drive north on Interstate 5. These sharp rock formations rise in elevation from 2000 feet to over 6500 feet. There are over 27 miles of developed hiking trails in the Castle Crags area.
Pull into the main entrance (conveniently located within a very short drive of the 5 freeway – pay the admission at the ranger station and then continue your drive up to the vista point. The vista point is located about 1.5 miles in from the main entrance – note that before this single lane road starts to climb up the hill there is a pull around spot for campers and RV’s (as the road is way to narrow for large vehicles). Sunset or sunrise are great times to be hanging out at the end of the Vista Point Trail (only about 1/4 of a mile hike) as the sun’s golden rays kiss the top of these dramatic rocky spires.
There are a number of camp sites near the main park entrance. For more information visit: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=454
Dunsmuir Gardens are located in the town of Dunsmuir, only 10 miles south of Mt. Shasta City. These picturesque botanical gardens contain many species, including but not limited to, dogwood trees, rhododendrons, ferns, and azaleas. There are also 11 different varieties of Japanese maples. An interesting botanical note is that these gardens are the home of a unique plant found only in the Shasta area, the Shasta Lily.
The gardens are also next to the Sacramento River. Visitors who are familiar with the size of this river down by Redding and Red Bluff will have a hard time accepting the fact that this river is so narrow as it passes through Dunsmuir. During the late summer months and into Fall one can actually cross it by food. A park is located next to it’s banks with some nearby picnic tables. Very easy access off of the 5 freeway (within a several minute drive once you actually exit the freeway).
For more information visit: www.dunsmuirbotanicalgardens.org
Gold Exhibit in the main lobby of the county courthouse in Yreka is well worth seeing. It may be small but the collection contains some fine specimens as well as other neat pieces of gold.
To find this exhibit, exit Interstate 5 at Central Yreka. Turn west and drive to Fourth Street. Lastly, turn left on 4th Street and you will soon see the courthouse. NOTE: unfortunately much of the gold was stolen during a heist in 2012 and the remaining part of the collection has been moved to an undisclosed location for security purposes. This exhibit is no longer on display in the county courthouse.
John Everitt Vista Point is named after a firefighter. John used to be an avid protector of the natural resources on Mt. Shasta. John died a short distance away from where the current vista point is located. In fact there is a small monument to him, which marks the exact spot where he died. There are parking and restrooms located here as well. The views of Mt. Shasta and of Strawberry valley are incredible. There are several hiking trails in the area. Two areas that come to mind are the trails at Bunny Flats, and the trails at Panther Meadows. Either location are only minutes drive from the Vista Point.
To get to the Vista Point take the central Mt. Shasta turnoff from Interstate 5 and drive east on Lake Street through the stop lights, to the top of the hill. Lake Street will eventually bend and become the Everitt Memorial Highway. The Vista Point is only 6 miles up the road. This road is almost all uphill to the Vista Point. A short road leads to a small parking area next to a Nature Trail. Otherwise this area is surrounded by a thick strand of trees and you aren’t able to actually see much from the parking lot.
Lake Shastina is favored by fisherman for catching catfish and bass. To access this beautiful lake exit Interstate 5 in Central Weed and drive to Highway 97 north. After about 5 miles you will come upon a sign directing you to Lake Shastina. Camping is free of charge, but the sites are a bit primitive (and be sure to check prior to arriving as the camping areas often close for the season in mid Fall through to Spring and because of camper abuse in the past may be closed past the seasonal dates). The sites feature portable bathrooms, fresh water, and a BBQ.
Visitor’s to the lake cannot help but notice the excellent views of Shastina cinder cone as well as of Shasta itself.
Golfers take note, the well-regarded 27 hole Lake Shastina Golf Resort opened in 1973 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and Sr. Visitors can stay next to the course and also enjoy meals at the Putter’s Bar & Grill. Great views of Mt. Shasta from parts of the course.
Lake Siskiyou is well worth a visit if you have some time, and you want a place to either relax, windsurf, boat, fish, drive a paddle boat or camp. If you are going to camp overnight, you most likely will need to get reservations.
To reach the lake from Interstate 5, take the Central Mount Shasta exit and head west to Old Stage Road. Turn south on this road and stay to your right when the road splits. Follow the road signs to the lake. Located only about 10 minutes from downtown Mount Shasta City. A trail runs the entire width of the lake. Also of interest is the Lake Siskiyou Beach and Camp located on the shores of the southwestern part of the lake.
Visitor’s looking for some history in the area should make a point to stop at the Berryvale Post Office; this was the first post office in the Mt. Shasta area and dates from 1870. The post office was located in front of the Berryvale Hotel – and besides serving mail to local families it was also a stage stop and sold basic supplies. The building you see today was restored in the early 1990’s (square nails, to mimic the original nails were also used).
Living Memorial Sculpture Garden From Interstate 5 take the Central Weed exit and drive to Highway 97. Drive for about 13 miles. When you see road A12, you will be about 1 mile from a sign for the Sculpture Gardens. Pull in off the highway on the gravel entrance – there is plenty of parking.
Immediately you will notice the Hot LZ Memorial Wall (made from granite it contains the names of hundreds of veterans). Look a little closer and you will notice the iron helicopter sculpture sitting on top of the wall.
More then 10 metal sculptures honor veterans who have served in the US military – these are scattered throughouAlso a commemorative wall listing names of veterans. Great views of Mt. Shasta to the south east.
For more information, visit: www.weedlmsg.org
Mount Shasta Sisson Museum is located at 1 N. Old Stage Road – a short drive from the 5 freeway. This tiny museum (opened in 1983) offers a rich look at the heritage of Mt. Shasta City and the nearby surroundings. Features always changing exhibits focusing on Mt. Shasta, the history of the area, photography and much more. A 1915 fire truck is on display. The hours vary dramatically based on the time of year – usually closed during the winter months. Admission is free although a small donation is suggested.
The museum is named after Justin Sisson, one of Mt. Shasta City’s founding fathers and also the founder of the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery located next door (oldest working fish hatchery west of the Mississippi River). The hatchery makes a nice stop after you have browsed the exhibits in the museum. Popular with family’s – the fish hatchery offers up close views of hundreds of trout. Also a food station is located on site – for a small fee you can feed handfuls of food to the fish. Remarkably this hatchery has sent trout eggs all over the world including to exotic locations such as Mexico, New Zealand, China, India, Pakistan, The Philippines and Bangladesh.
The ski park operates daily in the winter – usually mid December through early to mid April. They are open from 10am until 5pm. This park offers chair lift rides as well. They transport you over 1000 vertical feet to a vista point. Those interested in going off the groomed slopes should check out the Beyond The Boundaries, a backcountry guide service for skiers and snowboarders. Part of this experience includes a visit to a stone cabin at 7,400 feet.
Mountain Biking is a popular sport at the park in the summer. You can use your own bike or you can rent. An all day chair lift pass rate is quite reasonable.
The climbing tower is another popular activity in the summer months at Shasta Ski Park. This tower stands about 30 feet tall. Trained staff are on hand at all times.
Some of the attractions you can expect in the summer are the following (most of these events are held on Saturdays): Blues and a BBQ, Micro Brewery Festival, Mountain Bike Festival, and a World Music Festival. Note that often outside of the ski and summer season, the gate about 1 mile before the Mt. Shasta Ski Park will be locked. For more information visit: www.skipark.com
Seven Lakes Basin is a series of seven lakes. This is an excellent fishing area especially for cold water fishing. There are Several well marked hiking trails are located in the area offering fairly easy hiking among gorgeous scenery.
To access this area take the central exit from Interstate 5 through Mt. Shasta City. Drive west to Old Stage Road. Next turn south on Old Stage Road and stay to the right when this road forks. Follow the signs to Lake Siskiyou and follow the road past the campgrounds, along the south fork of the Sacramento River. Eventually you will arrive at Gumboot, which is the main area for accessing the seven lakes.