Shasta County is located at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, equal distance between Los Angeles and Seattle on Interstate 5. There are three incorporated cities in Shasta County – Redding, Anderson, and the City of Shasta Lake. With a population of 179,950 spread over 3,785 square miles, Shasta County’s population is growing every day. One of Shasta County’s many assets is the quality of life. The area is known as the Gateway to the Shasta-Trinity Recreation Area, offers unmatched recreational opportunities. The outdoor lifestyle, air quality and safe schools have attracted many people from larger urban areas.
The county is the hub for northern California, hosting many businesses, modern hospitals, regional government headquarters and tourist attractions. Many residents find employment in the health and social service sector. Today, with the ever-changing landscape, retail trade, manufacturing, construction and transportation are at an all-time high.
Before the gold rush, American Indians inhabited the north states wild lands. The Indians speared salmon in the Sacramento River, bartered for goods from the neighbors and lived a relatively good life. Russian explorers were the first men to arrive, followed by Spanish soldiers. The first non-native settler in the area was Pierson B. Reading, an early California pioneer. Reading was an admirer of John Sutter, and in 1844, Reading received a Mexican land grant for the area occupied by today’s Redding and Cottonwood, California. At the time, it was (by over 100 miles) the northernmost non-native settlement in California.
After the gold rush, many miners started farming and ranching. The railroad arrived on its northward journey in 1872, stopping in Redding for 10 years before continuing north into Oregon. Redding got its name from railroad land agent B.B. Redding. Redding incorporated in 1887 with 600 people. Copper miners dug into the mountainsides and loggers turned to the countys vast forests for timber. When mining slumped in the 1920s, the areas population declined.
Shasta County continued to grow with the expansion of the lumber industry, the building of Whiskeytown and Keswick Dams and the completion of Interstate 5 in the late 1960’s.
Today, Shasta County is blessed with a smattering of small towns, from McArthur to the east and French Gulch in the west. To the south is Shasta Countys second-largest community, Anderson, as well as cattle-rich Cottonwood. Beyond the young city of Shasta Lake, much of the county is untamed. Several communities line the banks of the upper Sacramento River, known for its fly-fishing.
Things To Do
In May 1914 Lassen Peak burst into eruption, beginning a 7-year cycle of sporadic volcanic outbursts. The reawakening of this volcano, profoundly altered the surrounding landscape. The area was made a national park in 1916 because of its significance as an active volcanic landscape. The park is a compact laboratory of volcanic phenomena and associated thermal features except true geysers.
The peak is the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range, which extends from here into Canada. The western part of the park features great lava pinnacles, huge mountains created by lava flows, jagged craters, and steaming sulphur vents. It is cut by spectacular glaciated canyons and is dotted and threaded by lakes and rushing clear streams. Snowbanks persist year-round and beautiful meadows are spread with wildflowers in spring. The eastern part of the park is a vast lava plateau more than 1 mile above sea level. Here are found small cinder cones–Fairfield Peak, Hat Mountain, and Crater Butte. Forested with pine and fir, this area is studded with small lakes, but it boasts few streams. Warner Valley, features hot spring areas–Boiling Springs Lake, Devils Kitchen, and Terminal Geyser. This forested, steep valley also has gorgeous large meadows.
Lassen geothermal area–Sulphur Works, Bumpass Hell (largest), Little Hot Springs Valley, Boiling Springs Lake, Devils Kitchen, and Terminal Geyser–offer bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and boiling water. Some of these thermal features are getting hotter. Scientists think that Lassen Park and Mount Shasta are the most likely candidates in the Cascades to join Mount Saint Helens as active volcanoes.
- Auto Tour and Road Guide: The main park road loops around three sides of Lassen Peak. It offers access to trails, lakes, and volcanic and geothermal features. Ask about the Road Guide to Lassen National Park (fee) at information centers. Roadside markers are keyed to the Road Guide.
- Hiking: The park’s 150 miles of trails include a 17-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail. The Lassen Trails booklet describes popular hikes. Self-guiding trails make good introductions to hiking and the park.
- Fishing and Boating: Fishing requires a valid California fishing license and knowledge of park regulations and catch and possession limits.
- Boating: Rowboats, canoes, and no-power boats can be used on park lakes except Reflection, Emerald, Helen, and Boiling Springs. Power boats–including electric motors–are prohibited.
- Backcountry Use: A wilderness permit (free) is required for any overnight backcountry stay. Permits are issued for one trip at a time at park headquarters or contact stations. They can be requested two weeks before your trip by writing or calling the superintendent.
- Fires: Only self-contained stoves are permitted. No wood fires allowed.
- Stock Use: Pack and saddle stock may stay overnight only in corrals provided at Butte Lake, Summit Lake, and Juniper Lake. Reservations required. There is a small corral near the northern park boundary for Pacific Crest Trail users.
The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay is a beautiful, unique pedestrian bridge that crosses the Sacramento River and connects the Nationally-designated trail system in Redding, California, with the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and McConnell Arboretum.
The bridge is beautiful because of its aqua green, opaque glass deck; strips of granite; and smooth, white imported Spanish tile. The bridge is unique because of its design. The 217-foot pylon acts as a sundial, telling time on a tile covered garden border on the north side of the bridge. The designer of the bridge, world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, has said that, to him, the bridge resembles a bird in flight, and symbolizes the overcoming of adversity. The bridge is also environmentally sensitive to its river setting. The tall pylon and cable stays allow this unique suspension bridge to avoid the nearby salmon-spawning habitat. Several fly fishing publications and professional guides have rated this area of the Sacramento River as being in the top 10 tail water fisheries in the world!
Cost: There is NO CHARGE to visit or walk across the Sundial Bridge.