Error message

Lingotek profile ID 4 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 14,179-foot Mount Shasta and other snowcapped 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. Winters are especially enticing, considering Mount Shasta gets an average of 80 inches of snow each year. 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. The county boasts over 400 acres of skiable terrain on 32 trails, and offers night skiing, two terrain parks, snow tubing, and backcountry skiing. Unique to Mount Shasta, there are even guided snowshoe meditation tours, for those interested in exploring the mountain’s spiritual side.

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 six-mile 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 civilized 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 (say it "wy-ree-ka") is home to the West Miner Street Historic District, where buildings dating to the 1850s earned this neighborhood 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.

Agritourism is also becoming an increasingly popular industry, and Siskiyou is proud to offer a few unique travel opportunities. Belcampo Farms offers an amazing educational and culinary experience with “Meat Camps,” where visitors learn to cut, grill, serve, and sauce meat, mix up farm cocktails, and enjoy fireside chats in the company of fellow meat lovers. The camp is all-inclusive with lodging provided in luxury glamping tents on the Belcampo Farms grounds.

Similarly, at Five Marys Farms, visitors can “glamp” on the ranch in well-appointed tents and get their hands dirty while learning all about life on the livestock farm, including cast iron cooking and basic butchery skills.

Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_Hero_barn_KG_1280x642_sized
Kodiak Greenwood

Northern California

Discover Shasta Cascade

Siskiyou County vca_maps_shastacascade
Average (°F)
June - Aug
Sept - Nov
Dec - Feb
Mar - May

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.

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...

Butte County
Istock/Getty Images

Spotlight: Butte County

Map of Shasta Cascade
Discover the many sides of Northern California’s surprising Butte County

Butte County is a land of remarkable contrasts. North of Sacramento, between the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada, it’s a diverse agricultural...

Siskiyou County vc_otterbarlodge_supplied_flickr_oct815590375037_1280x640
Courtesy of Otter Bar Lodge

Otter Bar Lodge

Master whitewater kayaking at this immersive camp for paddlers of all levels

This off-the-grid wilderness lodge in California’s northwest corner is not your typical kayaking school. The family-owned ...

Siskiyou County vc_spotlight_lassenvolcanicnationalpark_st_rf_112719648_1280x640
Benedek/Getty Images

Spotlight: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Siskiyou County vca_maps_shastacascade
Explore out-of-this-world volcanic features in Northern California’s spectacular hydrothermal wonderland

Steaming sulphur vents, splattering mud pots, boiling springs—these feisty hydrothermal features prove that the earth is not sleeping in this...

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 VC_WhiskeytownLake_RachidDahnoun_ShastaCascade_Lake-15_1280x640
Rachid Dahnoun

Whiskeytown Lake

Paddle, fish, or just relax atop Gold Rush history

Summer isn’t complete without a mountain-lake swim, so drive west from Redding and dip your toes in the warm, crystal-clear waters of...

A California waterfall
Picture Lake/Alamy

California’s Epic Waterfalls

Record precipitation means water is flowing better than ever—go see these waterfalls while they’re still at their peak

Hundreds of waterfalls—from streamlined plunges to boisterous cascades—dot the California landscape, from the...

Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....

Siskiyou County VC_RiverRafting_Preview_Stock_RM_172652806_686x885
Groveb/Getty Images

Volcanoes to the Sea

Volcanoes to the Sea
Siskiyou County volcanoestothesea_stop1_sacramento_rf_495383577_0

California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-key city, with microbreweries, gastropubs, and trendy boutiques popping up to serve them. Award-winning chefs are gaining attention for their focus on hyper-local...

Siskiyou County volcanoestothesea_stop8_eureka_rf_160808903_0

Eureka is an inviting North Coast town—the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland. Start your visit along the waterfront, where a pretty esplanade provides nice views of the harbor and adjacent Humboldt Bay. Explore the...

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_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
Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T5_TehamaRanch_KG_1280x642_downsized
Kodiak Greenwood

Tehama Trail Farms & Ranches

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_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...

Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
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 meters 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

Fly Fishing

Cast a fly in blue-ribbon waters

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

The Golden State lays claim to more than 850 breweries—here’s your guide to some of the most noteworthy

America’s modern craft brewing movement began in California in 1965. A young man named Fritz Maytag was enjoying a pint of Anchor Steam at a local restaurant when the bartender...

Siskiyou County VC_Breweries_Preview_FirestoneWalkerBrewing_Supplied_TR2Pours1_686x885
Courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Company
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 T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_1280x642
Peter Alfred Hess/FlickrPlay at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Play at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is exactly that—a mostly outdoor institution built alongside the shady Sacramento River, with creative...

Siskiyou County redbluff_rodeo_funfact
The largest three-day rodeo in the U.S. is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff
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 its nearby destinations for outdoor recreation

With its long history and an array 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 rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

Siskiyou County T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_preview_686x885
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
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
Grant Montgomery/Flickr
Siskiyou County VCW_D_SC_T1_35a5189
Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.