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When you think about traveling to California, what do you picture? For most people, there is a specific list of locations that first spring to mind when California vacations are discussed. Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco, San Diego, Napa Valley, Yosemite, Death Valley, Monterey, Big Sur, and the Redwoods are just some of the popular attractions located across this large state. While each of those is a worthy destination in its own right, there is another area that deserves consideration – the Shasta region in northern California.
Both Mount Shasta and Shasta Lake offer stunning scenery just a short drive north from Redding. There are a variety of recreational activities available in the Shasta region, from hiking and climbing to fishing, boating, and more. Those who love the outdoors come from all around California and beyond to enjoy everything that the region has to offer.
Shasta Lake is actually a reservoir formed behind the Shasta Dam. The dam is the ninth tallest in the United States, and it provides both electricity and irrigation water for the Central Valley. It is actually the water of the Sacramento River that creates the lake, which is the third-largest body of water in California when it is at full capacity. It is common to see houseboats on the lake, along with boaters enjoying water skiing, fishing, and more.
Even if you have traveled extensively around the western half of the United States, Mount Shasta is still likely to be one of the most impressive sights you have seen in person. It is the second-tallest peak in the Cascade Mountains (behind Mount Rainier in Washington), as it stands more than 14,000 feet tall. However, unlike many other tall peaks, there is very little around Shasta in the way of other peaks, making it look even taller as it stands guard over the surrounding lowlands. Whether you are driving along I-5 from the north or south, you will be struck with an incredible view of Shasta on a sunny day – which there are plenty of in this part of California.
A Rural Experience
While you can expect stunning scenery at just about every turn when you visit the Shasta region, don’t expect to find a plethora of amenities or urban surroundings. This part of California is decidedly rural in nature. Once you get past Redding if you are coming from the south, or Yreka if you are coming from the north, you will get to experience a truly natural vacation. The town of Weed sits near the foot of Mount Shasta, but it has a population of under 3,000 people. Despite the rural setting, however, there are plenty of RV parks and campgrounds throughout this region. With a little bit of planning prior to your departure, you should be able to have a great time traveling in your RV exploring Shasta Lake, Mount Shasta, and beyond.