Ever since she was a kid, “exploring all over California was a dream of mine,” says lifestyle blogger Carrie Rad. The Nevada native launched her California dream after high school, when she moved to Los Angeles to study fashion. More recently, she took a road trip around an area of the Golden State that she’d never visited before—the Northern California Shasta Cascade region, lined with natural wonders. She shared some of her favorite spots from the trip, which started in Siskiyou County and ended in Redding. Check out the highlights of Rad's Northern California trip in this video.
1. What was the highlight of your trip?
Hard to choose but my top two activities were hiking the Bunny Flat Trail, with a stunning view of Mount Shasta, and the day we soaked in mineral water and got relaxing massages at Stewart Mineral Springs.
2. Did anything surprise you about this part of the state?
It’s naturally stunning. Truly a hidden gem. It surprised me how untouched this area of California really is. Everywhere you go you’re surrounded by beautiful landscapes. I really loved the small town vibes I felt wherever we explored in the Shasta Cascade area.
3. What was the most scenic destination on your trip?
It’s a hard choice between the Lava Beds National Monument and the drive up to the Bunny Flats trailhead. Both landscapes are so different. The Lava Beds is massive and unique with lava rocks everywhere you look. On the drive up to Bunny Flats you’re surrounded by pine trees—it’s a magical drive.
4. What did you explore at Lava Beds National Monument? Any tips?
I’ll never forget the Lava Beds National Monument. Exploring the caves was such an adventure. I am hoping to go back someday to explore them further. I recommend checking out the Skull Cave—I never knew a cave could be so beautiful. Try to arrive as the sun is setting; the sun plays on the walls of the cave and it’s truly a gorgeous sight to see.
5. What are a few other must-stops you encountered along the way?
A must-absolutely-see destination is Burney Falls. This waterfall left me speechless. It is a very easy trek in so I didn’t expect it to be so massive and captivating. I highly recommend making the stop on your way to or from the airport in Redding.
6. What were the best things you ate during your road trip?
For a bite to eat in the morning, I highly recommend The Wheelhouse in Dunsmuir. I am particular when it comes to my dirty chai lattes and they do it perfectly there. I also got their biscuits and gravy which were delicious and a perfect way to warm me up before exploring the area.
7. Is there a photo or social media post that best sums up your trip?
My jump of pure joy in this picture sums up the trip pretty well, I think.
8. What did you like most about the inns and hotels where you stayed?
The accommodations were easy to find and close to where you wanted to be. In an area with lots of beautiful natural attractions, it’s nice to find spots near what you’re interested in seeing and exploring.
The accommodation that stood out the most to me was the Bridgehouse Bed & Breakfast in Redding. It was such a cozy B&B. Janelle and her husband were so kind and made me the most delicious breakfast before I traveled home. I will definitely be staying there again next time I’m in Redding.