Day 1: Shasta Lake
Shasta Lake is the largest manmade reservoir in California, offering over 360 miles of shoreline when full. All manners of boats are available on Shasta Lake, from rowboats to powerboats to pontoons. Skiing and wakeboarding are popular, as are kayaking and paddle boarding. Wooded flats, steep, rocky hillsides, secluded creeks, an occasional waterfall, and thousands of acres of mountainous country surround the lake. With literally hundreds of coves to claim for an afternoon (or two), you may never leave the boat again!
No visit to Shasta Lake is complete without a trip to see Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark - three adventures in one! Start the tour with a catamaran cruise across Shasta Lake, then hop on a bus and make your way to the beautiful and historic limestone caves. Once there, you'll be taken on a guided tour of caves that have been 250 million years in the making!
Day 2: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a Yosemite and Yellowstone look-alike…but with a fraction of the crowds. It is a hiker’s dream - Lassen's trails lead to meadows, bubbling mud pots, and even to the top of a volcano! Or head to a pristine mountain lake and kayak the day away.
Day 3: The sundial Bridge
The Sundial Bridge in Redding, California is the most unique pedestrian bridge in America. Featuring a 210-foot pylon that acts as the gnomon of a sundial, the bridge is one of the largest sundials in the world, casting its enormous shadow on a giant dial plate bordered by a natural garden to the north. It also acts a a hub for Redding's vast trails system, with a variety of walking and biking trails branching off from the bridge as a starting point.
Day 4: Wild For Waterfalls
Head on over to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park where the main centerpiece of the park is a 129-foot waterfall that gushes out 100 million gallons of water a day! The falls can be enjoyed from above at a wheelchair-accessible lookout point. But for a more refreshing perspective, take the trail to the pool at the base of the falls and along the stream. The park features several hiking trails along the creek and through the park’s evergreen forest. You can even check hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail off your bucket list.
Day 5: Biking
On the one wheel, you have the trails capital of California, on the other: the sunniest city in the state. Put them together, and you have a cyclist’s paradise! Redding’s Sacramento River National Recreation Trail is a two-trail arrangement that crosses the internationally-acclaimed Sundial Bridge and travels north to Shasta Dam alongside an historic abandoned railway. The Sundial Bridge stands in the heart of town and is considered the hub of Redding’s impressive trail system: paved trails fan out from either end of the bridge and wind their way up hills, through botanical gardens, along the water, and across town.
On your way to Whiskeytown, don't forget to stop at Shasta State Historic Park. These ruins and some of the nearby roads, cottages, and cemeteries are all silent but eloquent vestiges of the intense activity that was centered here during the California gold rush. The County Courthouse has been restored to its 1861 appearance and is filled with historical exhibits and an unparalleled collection of historic California artwork.
Day 7: Castle Crags State Park
Finish your trip off with a visit to Castle Crags State Park, named for its 6,000-feet tall glacier-polished crags. Whether you need breathtaking views or just a pleasant walk in nature, Castle Crags has something for you. There are more than 28 miles of trails, including the rigorous 6.5-mile Castle Dome Trail. You gain just over 2,000 feet in elevation and the rare chance to see the unparalleled view of Mt. Shasta and the surrounding valleys. If you aren’t up for the strenuous hike to the dome, there is an accessible paved 0.25-mile trail to a vista point where you can still get an excellent view of the park features.