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Your guide to Mount Shasta
All About Mt. Shasta
Located in California’s far northern Siskiyou County, not far from the Oregon border, the city of Mt. Shasta sits at the base of a snow-capped dormant volcano of the same name. The town provides a convenient base for a wide range of outdoor adventures including biking, hiking, and camping. On auspicious occasions, you may spy a ring of clouds circling the peak.
In town, where the city streets are framed by the towering volcano in the background, you’ll find art galleries featuring photography and paintings that pay tribute to the area. Along South Mount Shasta Boulevard, the main drag, the shops housed in old brick buildings range from used bookstores to old-fashioned markets, as well as diners and a few higher-end bistros.
Hikers will find plenty of trails with varying degrees of difficulty around the region. You can enjoy a simple walk near the base of the mountain, or experienced mountaineers can also hire a guide to lead them up the rigorous climb through Avalanche Gulch to the summit of Mt. Shasta, 14,000 feet above sea level.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mount Shasta?
The part of northern California sees dramatic swings between the seasons, with dry, hot summers and frigid winters that cover the mountains and valleys with snow. Mt. Shasta reaches its warmest, sunniest temperatures between June and September, which is when the most hikers and mountain climbers come to town. Over Labor Day weekend, the city organizes its annual Blackberry Festival, which features live music, local wine, and blackberry treats. During the winter months, you’ll want to pack for freezing temperatures, especially if you intend to ski, sled, or go snowmobiling, and check the weather conditions on the highways before driving to your Mt. Shasta cabin (tip: bring snow chains for your tires!). During the winter, some hiking trails are closed, while others turn into snowshoe trails.
What are the top things to do in Mount Shasta?
Mount Shasta City Park
This urban park, which spans 26 acres, sits just a mile from downtown and is more than suitable for spending a day outdoors on its walking paths, playground, and picnic areas. The park is home to the headwaters of the Sacramento River, meaning that the river starts right here in the park from a spring that comes out of Big Springs Hill.
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Located 35 minutes south of Mt. Shasta, the 2.2 million-acre Shasta-Trinity National Forest is the largest national forest in California. There are hundreds of miles of trails to be explored on foot or mountain bike. Be sure to check out the Castle Crags, where towering stone spires and sheer granite cliffs give the appearance of castle ruins up on the mountainside. Trinity River, found deep in the park, is a great place for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing for salmon and brown trout.
Lake Siskiyou, just to the southwest of town, is a picturesque, sparkling lake that offers an outstanding view of the sunrise over the fir-clad hills. The surrounding area contains several hiking trails and a sandy beach. One of the best ways to experience Lake Siskiyou, however, is by paddle boarding or kayaking across its waters, and you can rent equipment in town.