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Mount Shasta – Perfect Bay Area Getaway

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MOUNT SHASTA

The Mount Shasta region is a beautiful getaway spot in northern California, with every nature feature your heart desires. From beautiful lakes to the breathtaking Mount Shasta. This is your guide to everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful california destination.

Need to Know:

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English

Airports:

SMF – Sacramento

OAK – Oakland

SFO – San Francisco

Electrical Outlets: 120V supply voltage and 60Hz

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – We stayed in Dunsmuir, which is about 9 miles south of Mount Shasta proper. Dunsmuir has a lot of cute lodging options, despite it being a tiny tiny town. We stayed one night at Railroad Park Resort, a resort that has converted real cabooses into individual hotel rooms, and a dining car into a beautiful restaurant. It is such a fun and unique experience to spend a night in these historic cars.

 

We spent the rest of our stay at an Airbnb that exceeded all expectations. This cute and cozy home was perfect for a relaxing getaway, from a fireplace to a clawfoot tub, to a gifted bottle of wine to the perfect coffee bar setup, this Airbnb was the perfect stay.

Getting Around – You need a car to access this area. From San Jose we took I-5 N through Redding. It is a pretty easy drive and you definitely need a car to get around the Mount Shasta area. I did check one time and did not see any lyfts or Ubers available.

Dunsmuir Railroad park resort
Mount Shasta Coffee shop
Dunsmuir Mount Shasta Airbnb Andrea Abroad

Things to See and Do in Mount Shasta

Crags Trail to Castle Dome Hike: Nestled within Castle Crags State Park, this is a 5.2 mile out-and-back moderate hike to incredible vistas of Mount Shasta and the surrounding area. The first couple miles is a gentle incline in forested area, to then open up to a rocky and steeper climb for the remainder.

The parking is hard to find so make sure you read this if you’re planning to go! You’ll have to pay the state park entry fee, then wind through the campgrounds. All the way through the campgrounds you will find a loop/turnaround road that leads you up a one lane road that starts to wind up the mountain. About a mile up, you’ll come to a parking lot that is the trailhead for this hike. It is not clearly marked so you might feel like you’re in the wrong spot, but trust the directions! 

Heart Lake from Castle Lake Hike: This was my favorite hike of the trip! A popular 2.4 mile out and back to a picturesque lake the rises above the landscape and frames Mount Shasta. We visited in late November and the trail was starting to get icy so make sure you have good hiking shoes.

We also saw a California black bear on this hike which was pretty incredible. We didn’t feel unsafe since it was heavily trafficked so the bear kept its distance in the tree. The view at the trailhead of Castle Lake is also lovely if you don’t want to hike, I recommend just coming to hang out here. 

McCloud Falls: Located about 20 minutes outside Mount Shasta (and 30 minutes outside Dunsmuir), this is an incredible trio of falls. You can park at a lot just outside the viewpoint of each falls, or hike between them if you’re looking to do more hiking.

McCloud Middle Falls is the main event, being the biggest and tallest falls. You can hike down to the base and climb the slippery rocks to get up close and personal with the falls. This is the only one you could hypothetically swim in (not in Nov though…). Upper and Lower falls are also beautiful and there are nice viewpoints of each, but not as extraordinary as Middle Falls. Parking and entrance is free, but please bring $5-$10 to donate to the park if you’re able. 

McArthur-Burney Falls: Located about one hour outside Mount Shasta, this 114 foot tall waterfall is a bucket list worthy sight. Burney Falls is a state park so you will need to pay a $10 fee to enter. There is a overlook just steps from the parking lot where you can have a great view of the falls. I highly recommend hiking down to the base for the best perspective of the falls. Then you can follow the loop trail for an easy 1 mile hike around the park. 

Castle Crags State Park Andrea Abroad
McCloud Falls Middle Andrea Abroad
Burney Falls Andrea Abroad
Hedge Creek Falls: This is an easy hike right off I-5 to a lovely little falls. This trickling falls runs off an overhanging rock, so you can walk behind it and stick your hands in the falls. This is a great little stop.

Lake Siskiyou Trail: This is a “choose your own adventure” hike because it is 7.3 miles all the way around the lake, but you can choose to do any length of the hike. We parked by the restroom at the Lake Siskiyou Dam Parking and hiked towards the Wagon Creek Pedestrian Bridge. This is a beautiful bridge to walk across and then enjoy the best view of the lake from Lake Siskiyou Spini Meadows Trailhead. This is such a beautiful and leisurely hike, I would highly recommend checking it out!

Sunset at Cable Beach: Our favorite sunset of the trip was relaxing at Cable Beach and taking in the views of the sunset over the lake with Mount Shasta in the distance. There is a short walk from the parking lot out to the beach.

Other Waterfalls in the Area: 

1) Mossbrae Falls – We wanted to hike this one but were scared off by all the “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs. Turns out that his falls is on private property but every local and tourist alike goes to see it anyways. Here’s a good blog on how to hike it if you would like to check it out!

2) Faery Falls – We tried to hike this one too but never found the trailhead. Google maps takes you to the wrong spot, then when we found the right location, the road was all washed out and I didn’t want to risk it with my little Prius. Check out AllTrails for some tips on how to hike Faery Falls. 

lake siskiyou trail Andrea Abroad
Cable Beach Sunset lake siskiyou trail Andrea Abroad
Mount Shasta Cable Beach

Favorite Restaurants Near Mount Shasta

1
Dunsmuir Brewery Works This is a quaint little casual spot for great brews and surprisingly good food. My boyfriend was obsessed with his spicy chicken sandwich, and I had an elk burger on a gluten-free bun.
2
Railroad Park Resort Dining Car Such a fun setting for great drinks and lovely food. We sat by the fire and enjoyed a nightcap here. We also loved their fries!
3
Café Maddalena The most upscale restaurant in the area, this farm to table cafe offers delicious food and a cozy atmosphere.
4
Yaks Shack Outdoor burger joint that did not disappoint! This spot offers tons of burger options (including gluten free buns) and tons of outdoor seating with heaters in the winter.
5
Pipeline Craft Taps and Kitchen Upscale sports bar with tons of drink options. We stopped in for some local craft brews and an appetizer.
Dunsmuir Brewery
Railroad Park Resort Dining Car
Cafe Maddalena

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