Drive the slopes of this 14,179 foot snowcapped, dormant volcano. Stop and take photos along several vista points that provide magnificent views of the Sacramento River canyon (southwest), the Eddy Mountains (west), and glimpses of Mt. Lassen (south). At the Everitt Vista Turnout, enjoy a short hike through pine forests to a lava rock ourcrop to view the broad McCloud valley. Adventurous drivers can turn onto Sand Flat Road, an unpaved road through rare red fir forests that loops back to the highway. Bunny Flat, 11 miles from town, is a major mountain access point for mountain climbers and hikers during the summer and is popular for cross country skiing, Snowmobiling and snow play during the winter months. About 14 miles from town the highway ends at Old Ski Bowl Vista and legendary Panther Meadow. You will be surrounded by impressive scenery of Mt. Shasta’s peak, spires of Castle Crags, and the rugged Trinity Mountains. Hiking trails begin nearby. Water is available at Horse Camp and McBride Springs Campground. Public restrooms at McBride Springs campground, Everitt Vista Turnout and Bunny Flat. To reach Everitt Memorial Highway (A-10) drive east on Lake Street in Mount Shasta City and continue past the high school. Proceed uphill on paved, two-lane road. For more information contact the U.S. Forest Service, Mt. Shasta Ranger Station at (530) 926-4511.
The Headwaters of the Sacramento River
At the north end of town, in the Mount Shasta City Park, Big Spring gushes icy clear water from a lava tube originating deep within Mt. Shasta. The water flows into Cold Creek which is the northern most feeder stream of the Sacramento River, traveling from here down through the Golden Gate in San Francisco, a 270+ mile trip. Hiking trails through protected areas in the park feature native plants. Picnic tables, barbecues, play fields, playgrounds, gazebo and public rest rooms, all available for free. From Lake Street drive north on N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. to Nixon Rd. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right into the Mt. Shasta City Park. For more information, contact Mt. Shasta Parks & Recreation Dept. (530) 926-2494.
Box Canyon Dam
Enjoy a stunning view of the rugged 200 foot deep Sacramento River Canyon and pristine Lake Siskiyou. Park on either side of the dam and walk with caution near the roadway to enjoy the view. Look carefully to see eagles and osprey fly over the sheer, rocky cliffs. Lake Siskiyou is a man-made lake created for recreational activities. From Mount Shasta’s central exit on I-5, drive west to Old Stage Rd. Turn left and proceed on W.A. Barr Road to the dam. park off the road on either side of dam and use caution near roadway.
Just 12 miles southwest of Mount Shasta, this easily accessible clear alpine lake in a granite bowl is surrounded by pine forests. Castle Lake is located high in the Eddy Mountains west of Mt. Shasta. Fishing, swimming picnic table. Ice skating in the winter. Campground is 1/2 mile from the lake. No water, no fees. From W.A. Barr Rd. proceed across Box Canyon Dam turn left on paved Castle Lake Rd. for 7 miles to Castle Lake.
Mount Shasta Fish Hatchery
The oldest operating hatchery in the West. Large open ponds hold Rainbow and Brown trout raised to stock mountain streams, rivers and lakes for fishing. View spawning on selected Tuesdays during fall and winter months. For tours by reservation, free admission. Drive 1/2 mile west of Central I-5 exit to Old Stage Rd. Information (530) 926-2215.
McCloud River- Lower, Middle and Upper Falls
All three of these waterfalls are within about one mile of each other, yet each is uniquely beautiful, and has their own personality. At Upper Falls, the quiet river gathers itself into a massive rock chute, charging the water full of energy before it spills into a pool far below. Middle Falls spreads a sheet of falling water over a lava cliff, into a large pool. The water is icy cold, but in the summer you will find people frolicking in it. Lower Falls is a small chute spilling into a pool below. Access to all three falls has been greatly improved in recent years by the Forest Service. There is a trail connecting all three, which is partially wheelchair accessible. The trail is approximately 1 ½ miles long, one way. There are picnic tables and restrooms at the Lower Falls area. There is a parking area and restrooms at the Middle Falls. From the parking area you can choose to walk just a short distance to an overlook above the falls or travel down the trail to the pool.
Directions: From Mt. Shasta, go about a mile south of town to the beginning of Highway 89. The sign will say to McCloud, Susanville, or Reno. Travel over the hill about 10 miles to the town of McCloud. Continue traveling east on highway 89 five miles beyond McCloud, slow down when you see a McCloud River Access sign. Turn right at the Forest Service sign “Fowler’s Campground Lower Falls” Go straight past the entrance to the campground to reach the Lowers Falls area in about ½ mile. If you want to go to Middle Falls take the paved road to the east and travel about ½ mile. To reach Upper Falls by car, travel about another ½ mile past the Middle Falls parking area. This road is actually a loop and continues on to Lakin Dam and Cattle Camp, then back to Highway 89 in about 6 miles