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11 Things to do in Shasta You Haven't Thought About
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11 Things to do in Shasta You Haven't Thought About

If you’re thinking of visiting and you’re looking up things to do in Shasta, the sheer amount of search results will make your head spin.

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5 min read

July 16, 2021

“When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. And I have not been weary since.” -John Muir

Did you know that John Muir—the Father of the National Parks—wrote this quote almost immediately after laying eyes on the great Mount Shasta? While we may not be as eloquent, we too share an obsession with the towering beauty and the whole Shasta region, for that matter. If you’re thinking of visiting (which you totally should) and you’re looking up things to do in Shasta, the sheer amount of search results is likely to get your head spinning. Well, we don’t want that, so we’ve narrowed down your best options. 

The Lake Shasta Caverns are made entirely of limestone and feature a wide variety of formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and soda straws.

1. Explore the Caverns by Boat

A rare find on the north end of Shasta Lake, a series of natural caves reveal an underground kingdom that’s been 250 years in the making—The Lake Shasta Caverns are a must-see. These alluring beauties are accessed exclusively via the Lake Shasta Cavern tours—boat rides glide you straight into your one-on-one time with limestone eye candy. Spend your time marveling at the glistening cave curtains and twisted rock formations; the photo ops are going to be out of this world.

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2. Stroll the Sacramento River Trail

Winding for almost six miles along the banks of the beautiful Sacramento River, this trail will have your inner outdoor enthusiast fangirling. Not only is the trail perfect for walking, running, hiking, cycling, and rollerblading, but it’s also an ideal way to spend time with your four-legged companion (kept on a leash). Begin your journey from Caldwell Park and make your way to the iconic Sundial Bridge—it’s not called the crown jewel of Redding’s trail system for nothing.

Designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004, the Sundial Bridge forms the gateway to the Sacramento River Trail.

3. Watch the Sunset Atop Sundial Bridge

Did you know that the world’s largest sundial is also a pedestrian bridge? That’s right, this infamous Shasta attraction is both a feat in human ingenuity and a treat for those who like to walk the walk. Visit this NorCal gem for free and let the steel, glass, and granite bestow upon you a sense of weightlessness. Not to mention, sunsets here are really extra-something—the cherry on top you can frame later.

4. Tour the Behrens-Eaton House 

This one’s for the fans of everything Victorian Era. The Behrens-Eaton House was built by the sheriff of Shasta County in 1895 in a turn-of-the-century home that now serves as a museum for the bygone-era-curious. The whole museum is filled with odd little antiques, period artifacts, and gothic revivalist furniture. A visitor-favorite exhibition called “Victorian Living” lets you travel back in time through elegant dresses, shiny silverware, and beautifully written letters—the whole thing feels like starring in Bridgerton.

Plenty of recreational activities are available at Whiskeytown Lake, including camping, swimming, boating, water skiing, and fishing.

5. Splash Around Whiskeytown Lake 

No list of things to do near Shasta is complete without a mountain-lake swim at Whiskeytown. This warm, crystal-clear showstopper boasts more than 36 miles of shoreline, with plenty of space for sunbathing, reading, and family picnics. Whiskeytown is also a much-talked-about destination when it comes to fishing—anglers enjoy catching an abundance of kokanee salmon, largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass that circle the waters.

6. Sip on World-Renowned Coffee at Evergreen

A one-of-a-kind boutique hotel and coffee shop hybrid, Evergreen is truly cool beans. With world-renowned handcrafted espressos and a vegan-friendly menu, this establishment cares about your health and your tastebuds—it really shows too. The 50-seater in Downtown Redding has been described as a “wonderland of good toast and yum coffee,” and honestly, we don’t think we can put it any better than that.

Hundreds of miles of groomed trails, thousands of acres of valleys, vistas, and volcanoes await you on a snowmobile tour.

7. Hop on a Snowmobile Tour

Fun Factory is an adventure company that offers both guided and self-guided tours of NorCal’s winter wonderland. The tours explore the best of the best—valleys, vistas, volcanoes like Klamath, Mount Shasta, as well as the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Book a ride solo or with an experienced guide and slink through the state’s most beautiful landscapes.

8. Dine at Jack’s Grill

A refined menu of seafood, prime steaks, fresh salads, and signature mocktails—that’s the perfect fix to a day spent in the great outdoors. And guess what? Jack’s Grill is just the right place to get a nice bellyful. Boasting 1930s decor and soft lighting, the restaurant is clad in old-timey booths and tables; everything feels straight out of a film noir. Opt for their signature Jack’s steak; every bite is just pure heaven.

At 602 feet, Shasta Dam is the eighth-tallest dam in the country and served an important role in World War II providing electricity to factories.

9. Go on a Tour of the Shasta Dam

Also referred to as the Kenneth Dam, the Shasta Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam located at the north end of the Sacramento Valley. As the eighth tallest in the country, the dam was constructed for hydroelectricity, flood control, and long-term water storage. Considering it was successful in carrying out all those things, it should come as no surprise that the dam was deemed a feat of engineering excellence. Today, you can tour both the Shasta Dam and the neighboring power plant on guided tours led by friendly and knowledgeable staff— you’ll learn about the history, purpose, and construction of this enormous project.

10. Try Indoor Climbing at Shasta Rock Club

If you’re looking for fun and active things to do in Shasta, skip the bouldering and opt for indoor rock climbing instead. The Shasta Rock Club is a climbing gym that offers both enthusiasts and professionals an opportunity to try their hand (and feet) at the sport. With a wealth of indoor climbing experiences ranging from beginner lessons to challenging expert routes, the 24/7 all-access facility has something for everyone.

Don’t have a lot of time but feel the need for speed, spins, and splash? Experience what makes jet boating so fun in the Shasta region.

11. Jet Boat along the Sacramento River

Fancy a cruise along the Sacramento River? Redding Jet Boat Tours is where you should resort to for exactly that. Departing from the Sundial Bridge, the rides are operated in a custom-built, 26-foot jet boat several times a day and cover nearly 20 miles of the river—just picture how incredible the vistas are. Considering that the river is the Golden State’s longest, expect to see a drastic change of scenery about halfway. Oh, and don't skip the majestic wildlife sightings either!

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