Lake Shasta Caverns
A visit to Lake Shasta Caverns is far more than just an exciting exploration of nature’s underground magic, thousands of years in the making. It begins with a colorful catamaran cruise across the lake, a 15 minute sail on Shasta’s sky-blue waters, surrounded by majestic mountain beauty. By all means bring your camera. Opportunities are unequaled for colorful and unusual photographs you will always highly prize.
Until 1964, Lake Shasta Caverns were seen each year by only a handful of hardy “spelunkers” who inched their way through steep, restricted natural fissures to view its startling formations. Then a tunnel was driven to enable visitors to enter the series of connected chambers from a lower level. The caverns remain just as nature made them. Only conveniences such as paved walkways and stairs, guardrails and indirect lighting have been added. The humidity level is 95% and the temperature is a comfortable 58 degrees constantly.
Multi-colored fluted columns… magnificent stone draperies in symmetrical folds… stalactite and stalagmite formation studded with brilliant crystals… milky white flowstone deposits in miniature waterfalls and other unusual and graceful forms. It is this complete fairyland of nature’s creations in the Caverns which has led geologists to compare its beauty favorable to that of any other limestone and marble cave in the nation.
While lore of the Wintu Indian tribe suggests the Caverns have been known since antiquity, the first recorded white explorer was James A. Richardson, a federal fisheries employee. His claim of discovery is still clearly legible on the wall where he wrote it that dayâ€”November 3, 1878â€”with carbide from his miner’s lamp.
Castle Crags State Park
Castle Crags State Park is adjacent to and within a portion of the Castle Crags Wilderness Area. It features soaring spires of ancient granite with elevations ranging from 2,000 feet along the Sacramento River to more than 6,000 feet at the top of the Crags.
The most popular activity here is swimming in the park’s two miles of the cool, quick-running Sacramento River or hiking in the park on the nine miles of maintained trails. Approximately 12 miles of the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail, one of only two National Scenic Trails in the United States, cross the adjacent Castle Crags Wilderness Area.
Camping is also popular in the park and many motels, RV parks, cabins, houseboat rentals and campgrounds are available in the nearby communities of Dunsmuir, Castella, Mt. Shasta and McCloud.
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is located in the beautiful evergreen forest of the Pit River country. Spring-fed steams of pure, cold water make this great fishing country, and the volcanic landscape is full of wonders and wildlife. The most spectacular scenic feature within the park itself is Burney Falls, which President Theodore Roosevelt once called “the eighth wonder of the world.”
The park includes a campground, picnic sites, trails, and other facilities set amid some 875 acres of forest with nearly two miles of frontage along Burney Creek and a bit of shoreline on Lake Britton, a nine-mile-long lake where swimming, fishing, boating and water skiing are all popular activities.
Old City Hall Arts Center
Truly a monument to the colorful history of Redding, the Old City Hall Arts Center now serves as a central resource for the arts in Shasta County.
The Shasta County Arts Council (SCAC) acts as steward of the historic Old City Hall Arts Center. The facility houses a gallery, classroom, performance hall, green room, video production studio, and offices for SCAC. It is surrounded by a small city park and employs a bricked courtyard for receptions and gatherings. The gallery offers professional exhibition space to local and regional (Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Tehama counties) artists, and the upstairs performance hall (seating 150) is perfect for intimate concerts, workshops, and receptions.
Built in 1907, this historic building once housed the city’s offices, council chambers, and a police department. It still contains one of the original jail cells. Renovated in 1987 to coincide with Redding’s Centennial, Old City Hall received a new cupola and was redesigned to house a gallery and performing arts theater.
Redding Convention and Visitors Bureau
Seating 2,082, the convention center hosts a variety of cultural events including a Broadway Series, big-name concerts, trade shows and conventions.
The Redding Convention and Visitors Bureau is a multipurpose building that was designed to serve as an auditorium, convention center, and exhibition hall. This versatile facility plays host to a variety of events, from top-billed performers like magician David Copperfield, radio personality Garrison Keillor, and comedian Gallagher, to world-class performances by dance troupes such as the Bolshoi Ballet.
The center is located near downtown Redding in a protected open space, surrounded by the beautiful Sacramento River and the Turtle Bay complex of museums.
It will accommodate over 2,000 people in plush, cushion-type seats. The downstairs area, which consists of Orchestra and Dress Circle, contains 1200 seats. The Balcony areas, seating people on both sides and the rear of the theater, has a seating capacity of 822.
When the facility is hosting conventions, trade shows, and exhibit shows, the seats are removed on the main floor and the balcony sections are raised, allowing the entire area to be used for display space, exhibits or banquets.
The city of Redding, in the county of Shasta, is located at the northern tip of the Central Valley, 160 miles north of Sacramento, with Interstate 5 running through the heart of Redding and Shasta County.
Sacramento River Trail
An 8-foot-wide trail designed for pedestrian and bicycling traffic, the Sacramento River Trail attracts people of all agesâ€”from the dedicated jogger to the elderly couple out for an evening stroll, from the weekend bicyclist and family picnickers to the fisherman looking for that ideal angling spot.
Besides being a pleasant outing, the Sacramento River Trail is also an educational experience, offering insights into Redding’s early history and natural surroundings. Along the trail, point-of-interest markers explain that the present trail crosses the road travelled by pioneers, mountain men and gold miners. Certain hints of the pastâ€”such as the site of a ferry crossing and the remains of hydraulic mining operations, can be readily seen from the trail.
The southern portion covers 2.5 miles of fairly flat spaces and rolling hills to the pedestrian foot bridge below Keswick Dam. This bridge, the first of its kind in North America, is a 13-foot-wide, 420-foot-long concrete stress-ribbon structure, and is promoted by the State Department of Parks and Recreation as an “environmentally safe bridge.”
Crossing over to the north side, the trail continues for another 1.4 miles over steeper, more rugged terrain that contours with the river. There is a slight break through a comfortable residential area, and then the trail picks up again for .8 mile and exits on Lake Redding Drive, near Caldwell Park and the original entrance. From start to finish, the complete loop is approximately 6 miles and can easily be walked in a couple of hours.
To complement the original 6-mile loop, a 1.7-mile extension of the Sacramento River Trail has been added on the river’s north bank from the Diestlehorst Bridge to Benton Ranch. The new section of trail is 12 feet across and runs downriver through Lake Redding and Caldwell Park under the Market Street vehicle bridge, stopping near the downstream end of Benton Ranch.
The second largest and highest concrete structure in the United States, Shasta Dam is 602 feet high and 3,460 feet long. A spectacular view of “The Three Shastas” (Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta) is an added enticement for a visit. Free one-hour guided tours are conducted daily.
Located 12 miles north of Redding on I-5, Shasta Lake offers the ultimate vacation experience whether you take advantage of scenic lake-view campgrounds and cabins, or rent a luxurious houseboat. Shasta Lake is the largest lake in California, with over 365 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth: 517 feet. The average water temperature is 77, perfect for any water sport.
Shasta Lake draws more people to Redding each year than any other attraction. Shasta Lake is noted for being the houseboat capital of the west. For a relaxing vacation, nothing can compare to houseboating, and Shasta Lake is truly a houseboater’s dream. Majestic mountains and towering evergreens are the backdrop to the lake. Shasta Lake’s many arms and inlets make it a paradise for explorers and boaters alike.
There is a variety of recreation opportunities: Camping, boating, picnicking, swimming, waterskiing and fishing are favorite pursuits. If fishing is your pleasure, Shasta is almost a dream. With several main species of fish in the lake, angling is exciting year ’round. Warm-water fish include bluegill, crappie, small- and largemouth bass, bullhead, channel and white catfish, and white sturgeon. Trout fishermen test their skills on rainbow, brown, and kamloops.
Shasta State Historic Park
Shasta was a thriving community during the gold rush era, boasting a population of over 3,500. To handle the needs of the gold miners, the town had many amenitiesâ€”including a store, a hotel, and even the county’s first courthouse. Today, Shasta is gradually being restored to its original glory. The Courthouse Museum features memorabilia of the gold mining heyday; it also displays the courtroom, jail and gallows. In addition, one of the largest collections of California landscape art and a fine array of Pit River Indian basketry are on exhibit.
Across the street, the Litsch Store Museum gives visitors a look at a general store of yesteryear. Operated from the 1850s to 1960, the Litsch Store surrounds you with the feeling of the pastâ€”complete with wooden barrels that stored everything from pickles to whiskey and shelves that are packed with canned goods, yardage and derbies.
|Location:||Hat Creek, near the junction of Highways 44 & 89.|
The Subway Caves are located one-half mile north of Hat Creek on State Route 89. They are under the Lassen National Forest jurisdiction. The Forest Service offers a self-conducted tour of the caves; a flashlight is recommended. The trail is an easy 1/3 walk that begins and ends at the parking lot. Along the trail you will visit the underground world of a lava tube.
Geology: Less than 2,000 years ago the Lava of the Hat Creek flow was discharge in large volumes from a series of north-south fissures located south of Old Station. The lava flowed northward for 16 miles, covering the floor of Hat Creek Valley. Many lava tubes or caves were formed during the flow, but most of them are inaccessible and small. these lava tubes or caves were formed when the surface of the lava flow cooled and hardened, while the still liquid lava beneath the crust flowed away. The entrance to the cave was formed by a partial collapse of the caves roof many years ago.
For additional information of the geology of the Hat Creek Valley, visit the information center located 1/2 mile south of Subway Cave on SR89.
Turtle Bay Museums
For a unique experience, visit the Turtle Bay Museums, a 300-acre indoor/outdoor riverfront complex, which provides a captivating hands-on experience for children. Features include:
- Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp â€” historic logging and ecology exhibits and also hosts a popular summer butterfly house.
- Redding Museum of Art & History â€” a constantly changing schedule of gallery exhibits in its lovely Caldwell Park setting,
- Carter House Natural Science Museum â€” thrills visitors young and old with its owls, hawks, turtles, bees and beetles.
- Redding Arboretum by the River â€” 220 acres with paved walking trails through beautiful oak savanna and wetlands teeming with wildlife.
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
In July 1848 Major Pierson B. Reading found gold on a sandbar in the Trinity River. Though a few Chinese had come to California in 1840, there were only 54 Chinese men and one Chinese woman here by early 1848. But several thousand - most from the province of Kwangtung - arrived with the thousands of other gold seekers who came to the region. The miners spread out and quickly established claims on the creeks and cuts in the mountains, and a large Chinese settlement grew in Weaverville.
About 1852 the Chinese erected a place of Taoist Worship at Chimney Point in Weaverville. The original temple building and most of its furnishings, some of which had come from China were destroyed by fire in 1873, and local Chinese contributed to build a new temple. Construction of the new temple began in February 1874, and it was dedicated the following April.
In an effort to preserve this important part of California’s Chinese tradition, the temple became a part of the California State Park System in 1956. Many of the historical objects have been restored and the structure itself stabilized. In addition to the temple equipment, park visitors will see Chinese art objects, pictures, mining tools, and wrought iron weapons used in the 1854 tong war.
Whiskeytown Lake is located approximately 20 minutes west of Redding on Highway 299 W. With 36 miles of shoreline, the lake is part of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area and offers sandy beaches, marinas, camping facilities, excellent boating, plus numerous marked hiking tails. Located on the south shore is a memorial to President John F. Kennedy, commemmorating his dedication of the Dam in 1963.
Of the three parts of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, the Whiskeytown Unit (authorized Nov. 8, 1965 and established October, 21,1972), is the only unit administered by the National Park Service.
The Whiskeytown Unit, with its mountainous back country and man-made large reservoir, offers many summer activities, including hiking and boating as well as the historical remains of buildings built during the California Gold Rush of 1849. Whiskeytown Lake, with 36 miles of shoreline and covering 3200 acres, is excellent for most water-related activities, such as swimming, scuba diving, water skiing, boating and fishing. The lake was created by diverting water through tunnels and penstocks, from the Trinity River Basin to the Sacramento River Basin. The most prominent landmark within the Recreation Area is the Shasta Bally (elevation 6,209 feet). The summit may be reached on foot and by 4-wheel drive vehicle but is closed in the winter. Picnicking, hiking, hunting, interpretive programs and horseback riding are also popular within the Whiskeytown Unit. The other two units (Shasta & Trinity) offer additional activities and are administered by the USDA Forest Service.