An hour south of the California-Oregon border, Mount Shasta has the visual grandeur of Yosemite with the unassuming vibe of a small town. Climbing enthusiasts might summit the iconic volcanic mountain as the weather gets warm, and summer brings plenty of outdoor enjoyment for the rest of us. Whether you spend all day lakeside or chasing breathtaking waterfalls, you’ll find many ways to indulge with a charming dining scene and cozy accommodations.
At Mount Shasta Resort, you can book a private, Craftsman-style chalet on the banks of Lake Siskiyou with a kitchen, dining room, and living room ($249 and up). Unwind by the log fireplace and take in views of the 430-acre lake from a private deck. Practice your backswing at the property’s 18-hole alpine golf course, then pamper yourself with a rejuvenating hot stone massage ($110 for 60 minutes) or organic facial ($90 for 60 minutes) at the on-site Sacred Mountain Spa. The resort clubhouse has a full-service restaurant, cocktail lounge, and outdoor patio.
Naturalist John Muir was captivated by the Shasta region, making the ascent many times and writing about his observations at length. After hiking the meandering trail through pines and wildflowers to Heart Lake, you’ll discover why he was so enamored. The heart-shaped lake boasts a panoramic vista of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, Castle Lake, and the surrounding Shasta-Trinity National Forest in all its glory. Time your hike with the sunset for a truly mesmerizing experience.
The pet-friendly, laid-back Dunsmuir Brewery Works is a popular hangout with locals. Relax on the patio while sipping one of the signature rotating brews. Pair your glass with dishes such as a smoked salmon BLT ($15), pesto cream Pacific black mussels ($15), or a bratwurst ($13). Take a growler to go to enjoy by the lake or river.
Garden by the River
Wander the meadow of native species—including white dogwood, Shasta lilies, and azalea—that grow by the Sacramento River at Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens. The forested hillside has walking trails, a playground, and a collection of plants well-suited to the area, such as the Japanese maple. While there, grab a sweet treat or freshly baked loaves of sourdough and focaccia bread ($4 to $7) from The Dough Hook, an artisan bakery.
Book a table and head south to downtown Dunsmuir for dinner at Cafe Maddalena, an upscale Mediterranean-French bistro with a chef-driven menu that changes with the seasons. The owners take pride in sourcing ingredients from local farms, and the servers are knowledgeable and attentive. Take note of the daily chalkboard specials, such as Dungeness crab salad ($15) or Languedoc pork ribs ($21), and superb wine list. Sit inside the quaint, wood-paneled dining room with a view of the open kitchen or dine alfresco beneath a grape arbor and fairy lights.
Delectable pastries from fruit tarts to orange currant scones line the display case at Mount Shasta Pastry. Order a croissant sandwich to go or dine in for brunch favorites such as the California egg scramble ($13) or huevos rancheros ($13). Don’t miss the original location of the kitschy Black Bear Diner, which opened in 1995.
There are many stunning waterfalls to explore, including the easily accessible Hedge Creek Falls and Faery Falls. To visit three in one trip, take the McCloud River Trail, which follows the river for about 4 miles, passing a trio of cascades. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon swimming at the base of the lower and middle falls. You can also bypass the trail and drive to designated viewing points instead.
Start summer with a visit to Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort. Purchase a day pass ($2) for access to kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, boating, fishing, swimming, or simply sunbathing at the beach. Kayak, paddleboard, and boat rentals are available, and kids will delight in the Splash Zone, an inflatable water park on the lake. The Lake Sis Grille & Brew is sure to satisfy with comfort classics from pulled pork sandwiches to specialty pizzas.
Mark Your Calendar
At the annual Mount Shasta 4th of July Walk/Run, run 5 miles or walk a 2-mile route lined with entertainment and culinary tastings. Get to the Mount Shasta Resort at night for a fireworks display launched from Lake Siskiyou.