Error message

  • Lingotek profile ID 4 not found.
  • Lingotek profile ID 3 not found.
Siskiyou County vc_siskiyou_st_rf_186940760_1280x640
Samson1976/Getty Images

Siskiyou County

Siskiyou County
Discover the four-season outdoor adventures in California’s northeast corner

While most people think of the Bay Area as Northern California, Siskiyou County is California’s true north. Five hours from San Francisco, it borders Oregon. And with 4321-metre Mount Shasta and other snow-capped peaks in the Cascade Range rising over historic small towns, this is where California merges with the Pacific Northwest.

For anyone who loves the outdoors, Siskiyou County is a four-season paradise. Easily accessible from Interstate 5 and the city of Mt. Shasta, the Mt. Shasta Nordic Center lets you cross-country ski through silent forests (and get a terrific workout) as you glide along a dozen groomed trails. There’s also a trail dedicated to snowshoeing.

By summer, the snow retreats to the higher elevations, and you can explore the slopes of Mount Shasta on such routes as the easy Panther Meadow Loop—a great spot for wildflowers. Or go caving up at Lava Beds National Monument, where the Cave Loop leads to an assortment of subterranean adventures, from easy walks to crawls through low, narrow lava tubes.

With its lakes and rivers, Siskiyou County is also a haven for water sports. Beneath the towering turrets of Castle Crags State Park, fish for rainbow and brook trout at Castle Lake, a short nine-kilometre drive from Dunsmuir. Head out on easy float trips in the western part of the county along the Klamath River, or get your heart pumping while rafting or kayaking the whitewater on the Trinity River.

Spring and fall are the times to witness the remarkable flocks of migrating waterfowl at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, where nearly two million birds pass through in some years. Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge is another birding hotspot. Come here between November and April to observe more than 500 bald eagles, or marvel at North America’s largest concentration of snow geese in spring.

As wild as much of Siskiyou County may be (this is California’s fifth largest county by area but has fewer than 45,000 residents), it has a more civilised side too. The city of Mt. Shasta makes a perfect base for your explorations. Native Americans considered the surrounding area to be sacred, and seekers from around the world come to town for guided outings to vortices and spiritual sites. You’ll also find inventive farm-to-table dining at Lily’s and more than 160 teas, including many rare varieties, at Sereni-Tea.

Originally a mining camp and now the county’s biggest town, Yreka is home to the West Miner Street Historic District, where buildings dating to the 1850s earned this neighbourhood prestigious designation as a national historic district. For more history, the Siskiyou County Museum tells the region’s story with exhibits about gold mining, trapping, and Native American cultures.

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_Hero_barn_KG_1280x642_sized
Kodiak Greenwood

Northern California

Discover Shasta Cascade

Siskiyou County vca_maps_shastacascade
Average (°C)
Sept - Nov
Sept - Nov
Mar - May
June - Aug

California’s northeast corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests, and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds, and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.

“When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.” – Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874

All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester, and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Explore the untamed wilderness of California's northern reaches, armed with only your camera, your appetite and your sense of adventure!

The northern-most stretches of California are some of the most beautiful, and under-rated parts of the state. On any road trip north from San Francisco, rolling green meadows give way to rugged...

Siskiyou County dsc07417_0
Siskiyou County vca-hero-option2
Sam Valtenbergs/Getty Images

Travel Updates

Check out the latest California Updates

Travel Updates: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that began in late 2019 has established itself across the...

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T1_35a5189_sized
Lassen Volcanic National Park is the only place on Earth where all four types of volcano can be seen.
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T2_BurneyFalls.jpg_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Burney Falls

Visit a booming cascade nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world”

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the state—if not the continent—this 129-foot-tall, fern-draped cascade seems to come out of nowhere....

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T3_ShastaLake_Kids.jpg_KG-1280x642
Kodiak Greenwood

Shasta Lake

Rent a houseboat to explore the state’s largest reservoir

There’s plenty of room to move on this 30,000-acre/12,140-hectare reservoir, the largest in California. A typical summer day finds the crystal...

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T3_ShastaLake_Kids.jpg_KG
Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T4-Sundial Bridge_i-8p9WWv_R-L.jpg_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Sundial Bridge

Stroll a futuristic bridge across the Sacramento River

A functional work of art, the remarkable bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled...

Siskiyou County FF_VCW_D_SC_T4-Sundial Bridge_i-8p9WWv_R-L.jpg_KG
Redding's Sundial Bridge is the largest sundial in the world.
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T5_TehamaRanch_KG_1280x642_downsized
Kodiak Greenwood

Tehama Trail

Visit farms and farm stands along the Sacramento River

Established by local farmers, the Tehama Trail meanders through rural communities, linking together nearly two dozen vineyards, orchards, and...

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T6_Mt Shasta_Kodiak__35a2159_1280x642
Kodiak Greenwood

Mount Shasta

Experience wildflower meadows, year-round snowfields, and a New-Age-y vibe

Soaring to 14,179 feet/4,322 metres high, this magnificent volcano scrapes the turquoise-blue sky, north of Redding, a totem from almost anywhere...

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T7_flyfish_hooks_Manley_sized
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing


Cast a fly in blue-ribbon waters

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s most celebrated flyfishing rivers. Blue-ribbon waters lace the...

Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

Siskiyou County VCW_SI_T5_John_preview_686x885
John/ Flickr
Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
Siskiyou County vc_spotlightbuttecounty_module_oroville_st_rf_151932329_1280x640_0
Alessandra RC/Getty Images


Spend time in this historic Butte County town and discover the outdoor-recreation destinations nearby

With its long history and a range of nearby natural escapes, the county seat of ...

Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rainforest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

Siskiyou County T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_preview_686x885
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
Lava Beds National Monument
Cyril Fluck/Flickr

Lava Beds National Monument

Descend into eerie and historic lava tube caves

A surreal landscape sculpted by molten earth, Lava Beds National Monument contains volcanic tablelands punctuated by cinder cones, pit craters,...

Lava, geysers & naturally heated hot springs

From the snow-capped heights of Mount Shasta in California’s far north to Amboy Crater in the Mojave Desert, signs of California’s volcanic past—and present—dot the landscape. Explore these...

Siskiyou County Lassen_SF_GrantMontgomery_preview_686x885
Lassen Peak by Grant Montgomery/Flickr
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T1_35a5189
Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.