I’ve never spent much time in the more northern parts of California, save for a flop of a summit attempt and a few days in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It’s only 4.5-5 hours away, nearly the same amount to drive to Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows or Mammoth. Over the Martin Luther King weekend, I tried to rectify this with a trip to Mount Shasta, both a city and a breathtaking, mystical mountain.
Day 1 – Heart Lake at Sunset
We got a late start driving up to Mount Shasta. We checked in at the Best Western Hotel and skedaddled to the Castle Lake trailhead, about 15 minutes out of town.
Hiking to Heart Lake was a treat at sunset! We had magnificent views of Mount Shasta and slid all over a frozen lake. There was no snow when we went, and with how unseasonably warm it’s been, most likely no snow now.
Day 2 – Lazy Climbing at 8 Mile Boulders
We are never ones to turn down climbing in new destinations. Bouldering at Castle Lake ended up being a bust, so we drove up to Throne of the Mountain Gods, or 8 Mile Boulders at the base of Mount Shasta.
It was a pretty cold day so we mostly hiked around looking at some big and chossy rocks.
Josh put down this V2 high ball. It was V scary for me.
Afterwards, we went to Stewart Mineral Springs, which was quite the experience. You sit in a mineral bath, no longer than 10 minutes. You hang out in a dry wood–one of the last in Northern California!–sauna for as long as you want. And then you jump in a cold stream. Repeat.
Day 3 – Chasing Waterfalls
Our last day in town! We decided to stop by as many waterfalls as we could on the way back.
We started with all three tiers of McCloud Falls! Very family friendly and absolutely stunning.
Then we drove south to Dunsmuir for Hedge Creek Falls and Mossbrae Falls.
We wanted to fit in Burney Falls (about an hour away) but had dinner plans we couldn’t be late for. That will have to wait for another day.
Climb Mount Shasta
If climbing Mount Shasta is on your agenda, SWS Mountain Guides are the jam. I learned to ice climb with them and it was awesome. Very knowledgeable folks.
Hungry? Eat here.
Dunsmuir Brewery Works – the elk burger is a crowd favorite
Mount Shasta Pastry – grab a pastry or 5 for your day
Lily’s – single dishes large enough to feed an army, and the truffle fries have triple the truffle!
Cafe Maddalena – they were closed for winter break when we went, but the menu looks divine
Not outdoorsy things to do in Siskiyou County
The Crystal Room – you guessed it, a shop dedicated to every crystal imaginable
The Fifth Season – a real, knowledgable mountain shop in downtown Mount Shasta
Stewart Mineral Springs – a relaxing healing and bathing experience
If you have more time in the area, head to Lassen Volcanic National Park! It’s my personal favorite.
This post was created in partnership with Discover Siskiyou. Thank you for hosting us in Siskiyou County over the long weekend.
Last updated on March 26, 2019.