Etna is a town of 716 people (2016) roughly 25 mi (40 km) to the west of Yreka on Highway 3 in Siskiyou County in Northern California. It's at about 3500 feet in altitude in the verdant Scott Valley. In addition to more natural beauty than is healthy, Etna also features a gas station, grocery store, hardware store, second hand store, a bar, a theater (stage), a public swimming pool, and seven churches. Etna used to be a gold mining and timber town. Timber production has slowed, which many locals blame on environmentalists. Farming is another common occupation in the area.
- By Air The nearest airport is in Medford, Oregon. From the airport, travel south on the I-5 for roughly 45 minutes until reaching the exit for CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about 12 miles and Greenview after eighteen.
- By car From the I-5 exit at CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about 12 miles and Greenview after 18.
- By foot From the Pacific Crest Trail, hike to Etna Summit. At the top of Etna Summit there is some radio gear, a small parking lot, and a road. Follow the road down the mountain. It will lead you directly to downtown Etna.
- By bus The nearest Greyhound stop is in Yreka. The Greyhound drops off in Yreka, but it doesn't pick up in Yreka.
- By train The nearest train station is in Dunsmuir. From Dunsmuir travel north on the I-5 for roughly 45 minutes until reaching the exit for CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about 12 miles and Greenview after 18.
Etna is small enough to walk around the entire town. To go anywhere else it's easiest to have an automobile. Hitch-hiking is not difficult and fairly well accepted in the area.
Scott Valley is a place of amazing natural beauty.
There's plenty of hiking and camping around.
- Go camping-- Etna is surrounded by national wilderness. Inquire at the Forestry Service building in Greenview about getting a map.
- Hike to Johnson's Waterfall-- From the public pool, cross the street and walk past the baseball field & scrap metal. From there follow the path going towards the right (when facing the mountains). You'll want to have crossed the small creek before having climbed too far. Once you've crossed the creek at its low, shady crossing, simply follow the path up. After roughly thirty minutes, you should reach Johnson's Waterfall, which is surrounded by granite outcroppings and offers a view of Etna from the mountain. It's a place of great beauty, and there's room enough to pitch a tent or spread a picnic blanket near the waterfall.
- Hike the Pacific Crest Trail-- The easiest way to get to the PCT is to take Sawyer's Bar Road to Etna Summit. From there it's possible to hook up with the PCT.
- Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival. It happens on a weekend in early July in a park near the high school. Great music, good food, and booths from local vendors. It is necessary to pay for admission, but the cost is very reasonable.
- Swimming at the local pool-- The pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and costs less than $2 to swim in. It's across the street from the high school.
- Take a swim in Etna Creek-- From Collier Way turn right onto Main Street in downtown. Main Street turns into Sawyer's Bar Road. Travel down Sawyer's Bar for a couple miles and you'll see places to pull over. The creek runs parallel to Sawyer's Bar Road. Ask a local for thoughts on the best places to swim. Watch out, it's cold.
Etna's old drug store is now owned by a pizza place called "Denny Bar". This historic building used to house the old high school.
- Bob's Ranch House (Burn't to da Ground). Serves classic American food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Decorated in the western style, Bob's has been serving the valley for years and has become a trademark of the town.
- Dotty's. The local burger joint. It also has inexpensive frosties and milkshakes of many flavors. Inside, the walls and tables are covered with historical pictures.
- The Trailhead. Main Street. Serves large portions of mixed styles of food for lunch and dinner.
- Denny Bar, ☏ .
- Etna Brewing Company, 131 Callahan St, ☏ , fax: . W-Sa 10AM-6PM. A microbrewery making both beer and what's said to be really good root beer. An excellent choice if you want fresh beer and a nice meal. You can either eat outside on the garden patio or inside overlooking the brewery itself. The brewery serves all ages.
- Legends Saloon (in Fort Jones, 12 miles down the road on CA-3). It's probably the rowdiest bar around. It also manages to attract some rocking bands.
- There is a small motel on Collier Way.
|Routes through Etna
|Weaverville ← Callahan ←
|→ Yreka → Montague