Download GPX file for this article
40.7-121.8Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Shasta Cascades region of California includes the northeast corner of the state, home to volcanoes, lush forests, high mountains, and clear lakes. California is the most populous state in the US, but you wouldn't suspect it from traveling through most of this region, which is generally wild and remote.

This is the southern end of a range that extends from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon.


Map of Shasta Cascades

  Butte County
Named for the Marysville Buttes that are actually found in neighboring Sutter County, Butte County is a rural destination featuring rolling hills, rivers, and large agricultural areas. The town of Chico is a college town that is home to many excellent restaurants, massive Bidwell Park, and the National Yo-Yo Museum. The town of Oroville boasts a downtown area that dates back to the Gold Rush, and is now home to America's tallest dam (tours available), behind which sits a reservoir that is enjoyed by boaters and hikers. Further afield, 410 ft (120 m) tall Feather Falls rewards hikers willing to traverse the 8 mi (13 km) loop trail.
  Lassen County
Rural Lassen County sits at the confluence of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, the volcanic Cascade Range, and the high elevation Great Basin desert. Fishing, biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities attract most visitors to the area, with the 26 mi (42 km) Bizz Johnson trail the county's most popular hiking and biking route. "The Bizz" follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad along the Susan river canyon, traversing abandoned railroad bridges, trestles and tunnels and rewarding visitors with mountain views, beautiful fall foliage, and colorful spring wildflowers.
  Modoc County
Located in California's northeast corner, Modoc County is home to only about 10,000 people, or slightly more than two people per square mile. The county's northern and western portions have been shaped by volcanism, as evidenced by the many lava flows, cinder cones, hot springs, and volcanic mountains that visitors will encounter, while the Warner Mountain range and its many alpine lakes are found in the county's eastern side. The county is home to several wildlife refuges where bald eagles, peregrine falcons, goshawks, golden eagles, mule deer, elk, wild horses, wild burros and pronghorn antelope can be seen.
  Plumas County
The forests, rivers and mountains of Plumas County were originally inhabited by Native Americans before miners arrived during the Gold Rush, followed soon after by loggers, and today tourists visit the county for its camping, fishing, whitewater, snowshoeing, and other outdoor opportunities. The Feather River Scenic Byway is a popular way to see the county's beauty, with the east-west route following California's first designated wild and scenic river past nearly one hundred waterfalls, historic bridges and tunnels, spring wildflowers, vivid fall colors, and the "Stairway of Power" consisting of seven hydroelectric powerhouses installed along the river.
  Shasta County
Shasta County is a land of mountains, lakes and rivers. Massive Shasta Lake, California's largest reservoir, is the "houseboat capital of the world", with rentals available for those who want to vacation on the water. Several spectacular waterfalls can be found in the county, including the 129 ft (39 m) Burney Falls, which Theodore Roosevelt described as "the Eighth Wonder of the World", and McCloud River Falls, which is actually three scenic waterfalls. In the county's southeastern corner, Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to a geologic hotspot highlighted by 10,457 ft (3,187 m) Lassen Volcano. The mountain can be summitted via a steep trail, but plan to do so in the summer - the park's 600–700 inches (1,500–1,800 cm) of annual snowfall make it the snowiest place in California.
  Siskiyou County
Siskiyou County is dominated by 14,179 ft (4,322 m) Mount Shasta, the west coast's second-tallest volcano, towering nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above its surroundings; while a summit climb requires advanced mountaineering skills, its lower slopes are great for hiking, backpacking and cross-county skiing. The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway links Mount Shasta to Lava Beds National Monument in the county's northeast, home to over 800 lava tube caves, several of which are open to exploration. The county is also a premier destination for birdwatchers, with nearly two million birds passing through Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge during migrations, and North America’s largest concentration of snow geese arriving in spring.
  Tehama County
Tehama County has a quintessentially "western" feel, with most county residents employed in ranching, timber or farming, and most tourists drawn to the region for fishing, boating, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The county's largest town, Red Bluff, has a population of only about 15,000 inhabitants, but hosts the Red Bluff Round-Up, one of the west's largest annual rodeos, each spring. While there are numerous streams and rivers, the Sacramento River is the largest, intersecting the county and offering excellent fishing for rainbow trout, king salmon, chinook salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, and striped bass.
  Trinity County
One of only three California counties with no incorporated cities, rugged Trinity County lies among the Salmon and Klamath Mountains along the Trinity River. The county seat of Weaverville is home to some of California's oldest buildings, with the state's second oldest courthouse (built in 1856), a drugstore that has filled prescriptions since 1852, and California's oldest Taoist Temple (operating since 1873). Those looking for outdoor adventure will find numerous opportunities for camping, backpacking, rock climbing, boating, rafting/kayaking, hunting, and fishing, with Trinity Lake in particular a favorite spot for houseboat rentals.


Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lassen Volcanic National Park - On May 22, 1915, an explosive eruption at Lassen Peak, the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range, devastated nearby areas and rained volcanic ash as far away as 200 miles to the east. This explosion was the most powerful in a 1914-17 series of eruptions that were the most recent to occur in the Cascades prior to the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
  • 2 Lava Beds National Monument - Lava Beds National Monument is a volcanic landscape created by the Medicine Lake volcano, which has erupted intermittently for approximately half a million years and was last active 900 years ago. While the above-ground landscape is impressive, it is underground where the park truly shines, as past eruptions have formed over 800 lava tube caves, many of which can be explored, and some of which extend for more than a mile.
  • 3 Whiskeytown National Recreation Area - Park's features include: Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Bally (6,209 ft.) and numerous waterfalls, providing outdoor enthusiasts opportunities for water recreation, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.


Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

See "By bus" under "Get around" for a list of additional bus companies serving the area.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

By plane[edit]

The Redding Municipal Airport (RDD IATA) in Redding is the only major airport for general aviation with limited commercial service by Skywest Airlines dba United Express nearest to Chico, Redding, and the Siskiyous. The next nearest airports for commercial flights with additional airlines are in Medford Rogue Valley Airport (MFR IATA) located 152 mi (245 km) north of Redding, and in Sacramento International Airport (SMF IATA) located 154 mi (248 km) south of Redding. Some of which may be closer to your final destination than Redding. All are directly accessed from the I-5 corridor. From the airport most travelers rent a car and continue to their final destination.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

The below are local county operated buses connecting the cities and towns across rural areas in the region as public transportation. Outside of the main cities and towns they do not necessarily run daily and are on very limited schedules so check schedules closely before using this option especially for travel across longer distances:

  • Sage Stage, (base address) 111 W North St; Alturas, California, +1 530 233-6410. Connects Alturas to Klamath Falls, Redding, Susanville, and Reno on multiple routes. It may be a shorter way to connect to Klamath Falls and Reno from Redding. Schedules are limited so be sure of the departure and connection times before using this option.
  • Susanville Indian Rancheria Public Transportation Program (SIR), +1 530 257-1128. Connects Susanville to Chester, Red Bluff and Redding. Passengers connect in Susanville to Lassen (County) Rural Bus to continue to other towns in Lassen County or to another SIR or Sage Stage bus (see above) to continue towards Reno from Susanville. Schedules are limited so be sure of the departure and connection times before using this option especially if going to Reno.
  • Trinity Transit. Connects Redding to Weaverville and Willow Creek (in Trinity County). If you need public transportation to these towns, this is where you go. Willow Creek is also served by Redwood Transit System, which goes all the way to Arcata in Humboldt County from Willow Creek. To go one way from Arcata to Redding (or the other way) it costs $24.35 ($4.35 from Arcata to Willow Creek, $10 from Willow Creek to Weaverville, and another $10 from Weaverville to Redding). You can ask the driver to confirm the fare for each segment. Schedules are limited so be sure of the departure and connection times before using this option. Passengers transfer buses in Arcata to continue to McKinleyville, Eureka, Crescent City or anywhere along the US-Hwy 101 corridor by the coast.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Shasta Cascades is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!