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Lake Shasta Caverns

Lake Shasta Caverns
Plan to visit these amazing caves, only accessible by boat

A remarkable find on the north end of Shasta Lake, this series of natural limestone caves reveals an underground world some 250 million years in the making. And to make them even cooler, the caverns are only accessible via guided tours that include a boat ride across the sparkling lake—the only way the public can reach the site.

Though the local Wintu Native Americans likely knew of the caves long before Shasta Dam created the lake in 1945, it was local fish hatchery employee J.A. Richardson who got the honours of “officially” discovering the caverns in 1878. Inside, there’s plenty of cave-ish eye candy, including bulbous stalagmites and spindly stalactites, glistening limestone curtains with bacon-like bands of colour, and helictites, delicately twisted straw-like cave formations.

Opened in 1964 as a local attraction, Lake Shasta Caverns offers tours year round. It’s a moderately strenuous 45- to 60-minute visit inside, with some 600 stairs accessing different parts of the labyrinth, but it’s well worth the effort. 

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Kodiak Greenwood

Northern California

Discover Shasta Cascade

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7
December
Average (°C)
Dec - Feb
15°
High
2°
Low
Mar - May
26°
High
6°
Low
June - Aug
36°
High
16°
Low
Sept - Nov
32°
High
5°
Low

California’s north east 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 river front trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

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