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Gary Pearl/Courtesy of O.A.R.S.

Lower Klamath River

Lower Klamath River
Kid-friendly paddling with swimming holes, wildlife, and waterfalls

Turn your landlocked toddler into a happy river rat on this three-day, two-night camping and rafting trip on the warm waters of the Lower Klamath. The mellow Class II rapids are just splashy enough to be exciting for kids, yet not too nerve-wracking for Mum and Dad. Parents can kick back while river guides do all the work: set up camp, fix meals, explain the region’s fascinating mining history, and teach the kids how to look for Bigfoot. Children as young as four are welcome, and they don’t need to know how to swim; personal floatation devices keep everyone safe. The whimsical name of the trip’s toughest rapid—Dragon’s Tooth—says it all.

The days are so warm during the June to August rafting season that no one gets boat fever on this trip. You’re out of the boat more than you’re in it, enjoying the Klamath’s sandy beaches and warm water for splashing around. Don’t miss the hike through the rainforest of Ukonom Creek, where two side-by-side waterfalls cascade into a deep swimming hole. In the evening, paddle up to camp and savour the sunset while you dine, then sleep like the righteous under starry skies.

Wildlife watching is a big highlight on the Lower Klamath. Bald eagles and ospreys soar above the alder- and fir-lined canyon, and beavers and river otters glide through the water. Trips start in Happy Camp, an hour and a half drive west of Yreka, so it’s easy to combine this watery adventure with a visit to Redwood National and State Parks. Several companies, including O.A.R.S. and Tributary Whitewater Tours, offer guided overnight trips.

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Kodiak Greenwood

Northern California

Discover Shasta Cascade

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19
May
Average (°C)
Mar - May
26°
High
6°
Low
June - Aug
36°
High
16°
Low
Sept - Nov
32°
High
5°
Low
Dec - Feb
15°
High
2°
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.

Joshua Tree National Park
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Travel Alerts

Check out the latest California Wildfire & Travel Conditions

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

Trip 4 - 6 days 10 stops

Volcanoes to the Sea

Booming Waterfalls, Craft Breweries
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Begin your trip in the centre of the state, home to the capital city of Sacramento. Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low key city, with micro breweries, gastropubs and trendy boutiques...

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After so much wildness for so much of your trip, Eureka is an inviting and lively switch. This once rough and tumble seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has a split personality charm: a sense of history in the handsomely restored, Victorian...

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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....

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Shasta Lake

Hire a houseboat to explore the state’s largest reservoir

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

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Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
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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...

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Redding's Sundial Bridge is the largest sundial in the world.
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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, grass-...

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Mount Shasta

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

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

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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...

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John/ Flickr
Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
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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 ...

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Alessandra RC/Getty Images

Oroville

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 ...

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

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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,...

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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...

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Lassen Peak by Grant Montgomery/Flickr
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Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.
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Courtesy of Otter Bar Lodge

Otter Bar Lodge

Master white-water kayaking at this immersive camp for paddlers of all levels

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