Description - The Shasta Cascade Region is a land of dense conifer forests, volcanic landscapes, and few people. The area's dominating physical feature, the snowy volcano Mount Shasta, is one of North America's most massive mountains.
Copyright: National Park Service
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
- There are at least two great ways to explore the incomparable Shasta Cascade region. The first is to concentrate on the numerous sights that lie along I-5. The second is to work your way into the region's remarkable backcountry. For those who want to stay close to the interstate, a visit to the historic Victorians and adobes in Red Bluff is a must; if you are in town during the spring, don't miss the Red Bluff RoundUp, one of the largest rodeos in the West. To the north is Redding, where you'll find a picturesque 5-mile-long nature trail at Turtle Bay on the banks of the Sacramento River. As you get closer to the border, the grade gets steeper through the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity National Forests and past Mt. Shasta. To the west is Yreka, the word Native Americans gave to this snowcapped mountain. This Western town appears to be from a bygone era, as does its nationally registered historic district of Victorian homes and short-line railroad that chugs east to Montague. Straight ahead is the rugged and remote Cascade Range.
Of course there are some fabulous sights to be seen beyond the interstate, too. To the east is Lassen Peak, an active volcano that last erupted in tons of ash and molten lava around 1917. Man-made Shasta Lake seems close to the region's main artery, but this houseboating and waterskiing mecca actually has 370 miles of hidden shoreline to explore, which means it doesn't take long to leave the freeway far behind.
These are the sorts of things you don't want to miss when you visit Shasta Cascade. So is the drive northwest of Redding up Scenic Highway 299, which passes fast-running streams and ice-cold lakes before arriving in Weaverville, once a major supply post for gold prospectors and now the site of a beautiful 19th-century Chinese temple and joss house. Beyond this quaint town, the road hugs the Trinity River as it cuts through the Klamath Mountains, home to Sasquatch, or Bigfoot (don't worry; he's as docile as a cuckoo bird and seen around these parts just about as frequently).
A different sort of landscape awaits if you head east from Redding. In places the word "moonscape" would more be more accurate as you pass the basalt flows along Hat Creek or the incredible, seemingly endless caves in Lava Beds National Monument. And then there's Burney, where a creek disappears into a porous lava flow one minute, only to reemerge out of nowhere before dropping over a misty 129-foot waterfall the next. No less an authority than Theodore Roosevelt once proclaimed Burney Falls "the eighth wonder of the world." However you add them up, scenic sights are as plentiful as pinecones in the Shasta Cascade region.
The Shasta Cascade Region features five national forests, three national parks sites and numerous state parks and historic sites.
Recreation - The Shasta Cascade Region offers a scenic venue for camping, hiking, road biking, mountain biking, hunting, fly fishing, swimming, boating, mountaineering, climbing, and waterskiing spring through fall. Winter brings snowshoeing, snowboarding, and downhill skiing.
Climate - Climate in the Shasta-Cascade Region varies greatly with elevation. Higher elevations tend to have much cooler temperatures and higher precipitation. Summer weather is usually hot and dry with lower elevation temperatures ranging from 85° - 100°+F and lows from 60° - 70°. Fall days are usually mild and warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls, averaging over 55 inches per year, much of it in the form of snow in the high elevations. Highs range from 40° - 60° and lows from 30° - 40° in the lower elevations. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days.
The Shasta Cascade Region is located in the northeastern corner of California, bordering both Nevada and Oregon. It lies around the communities of Yreka, Redding, Chico and Alturas. The main highways accessing this region are Interstate 5 running north/south and California 36 running east/west.