Take easy detours the next time you head north on I-5 to explore appealing towns, parks, and eateries that dot the route from south of Red Bluff to Yreka.
Length: 2 days
Day 1: Vina to Mt. Shasta City
Directions: Start on State 99 in Vina, just south of Red Bluff. Head west to join I-5 and drive north to Anderson and then Redding. From Redding, continue north to Castle Crags and Dunsmuir, then follow signs to downtown Mt. Shasta.
Vina. At New Clairvaux , sample vintages including Barbera and Petite Sirah, and learn how resident Trappist monks are rebuilding an 800-year-old Spanish monastery on-site, with materials shipped to the U.S. in crates by William Randolph Hearst in the 1930s.
Red Bluff. Learn about local ecology at the Sacramento River Discovery Center , and about the region’s colorful past at the Victorian-era Kelly-Griggs House Museum (311 Washington St.).
Anderson. Load up on great travel tips at the California Welcome Center , where friendly travel experts help you with maps, information, and insights.
Redding. Have lunch at delightful Moonstone Bistro —think pasta with local cremini mushrooms and homemade lemon pound cake with a warm pudding center.
Castle Crags State Park. Work off your meal with a hike to the heart of this surprisingly rugged but accessible park , where soaring stone spires provide a spectacular backdrop along a network of forested trails.
Dunsmuir. Try your hand at fishing the Upper Sacramento, one of the state’s premier trout rivers; ask about local guides and get gear at Dunsmuir Hardware , here since 1894 and the oldest business in town.
Spend the night in Dunsmuir.
Day 2: Mt. Shasta to Yreka
Directions: From Dunsmuir, head north on I-5 and follow signs to the town of Mt. Shasta. Return to I-5 and continue north on roads accessing Black Butte, then return to I-5 to reach Weed. Complete your I-5 trip in Yreka.
Mt Shasta. Think tie-dye and yoga books in the shop windows of this charmingly alternative town. Dine at Vivify for extraordinary organic Japanese dishes or at Piemont (1200 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd.) for huge portions of homestyle Italian fare.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Join a short stretch of this remarkable route , a 500-mile drive that passes numerous volcanoes in the Cascade Range.
Black Butte. A 2.5-mile trail leads to the summit of this almost-treeless cinder cone for incredible vistas. The trailhead is accessible by dirt roads within Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Weed. Imagine bygone days in the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum (closed in winter), then take a tour of Mt. Shasta Brewing Company , as its beers are handcrafted using local spring water.
Lake Shastina. View Mt. Shasta’s splendor between swings at this community’s 18-hole course , designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr.
Yreka. Check out the Native American Heritage Park , including a replica of a traditional sweat house. Try homey favorites like chicken-fried steak at Grandma’s House (123 E. Center St.), though the pancakes are so good you might have to stay over to get ’em for breakfast.