Mt.Shasta is the perfect road trip location for hikers and adventure seekers looking to explore one of California's most beautiful mountain ranges.
So I get a text on a Tuesday from my husband that says "...I thought I could surprise you with a cool little over-nighter to somewhere super scenic this weekend." Initial thoughts were hmm a weekend just vegging out on the couch sounded nice, but if you are the planner in a relationship you know that lightning doesn't always strike twice, so I was ALL GAME for this.
Usually I am pretty good at guessing what is on my husbands mind, like scarily good HA! This time though he did have me stumped for the most part! These were the clues he gave me...
Cold Mornings. but Warm Afternoons
Bring your Hiking Shoes and get Ready for some Good Hiking
Be Prepared to get up Early since it's a Drive
...and well that's pretty much it! He did mention something about Fall which threw me off my game. My initial thoughts were Mammoth, which now looking back on it, would have been a crazy day trip to do. My other thought was Lassen because ever since his Geology field camps in college he's been ranting and raving about Bumpass Hell and Cinder Cone, which we still need to do together.
So we get in the car and.leave Sacramento at Sunrise and start to make our way up 1-5 North towards Redding. He had everything planned out, and our first stop was THE CUTEST lil coffee shop/breakfast spot in Shasta Lake.
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I HIGHLY highly highly recommend Heritage Coffehouse in Shasta Lake if you love a hearty breakfast bagel, good coffee and genuine customer service! We typically make a pit-stop in Redding when passing through the Northern part of the state, and I had no idea this historic and cute little town existed just North of Redding. The building had an old historic charm to it, but the inside was modern, cozy and filled with charm. This is now our go-to spot when heading North!
I opted for the "Halie Awesome" bagel, and it hit the spot!
Alright so after breakfast, I still am not 100% positive of where we are going but I do know that it has to be either Lassen or Shasta. Brian, grinning ear to ear, knowing he finally stumped me! Eventually it was pretty obvious Mt.Shasta was the destination :) We love this area, and even got engaged at Castle Lake in February 2019!
We embarked on a trail we had never done before, and despite being out of shape from quarantine, this 7 mile loop was a great way to kick my ass and get me back in the hiking spirit. It challenged me, but lit a fire inside of me at the same time.
Starting out at Bunny Flat and looping around to Panther Meadows is a 7 mile out-and- back dog friendly trail with a 1,354 elevation gain.
I highly recommend bringing a little lunch and stopping at Old Ski Bowl to take a snack break and enjoy the view. You will get the scenic views of layering mountains, curvy winding road, and a sea of trees....oh and right behind you the Majestic Mt Shasta. After taking a drone break at Old Ski Bowl we wandered over to Panther Meadows and then we took the road pictured below to walk back to the car.
We sent the drone up to take some photos and got a nice peek at "Mt.Shasta's Ugly Cousin" Black Butte. Okay, I don't think she's actually UGLY LOL, its just a silly saying around here ;) Black Butte has more of the classic volcano look compared to Shasta, well because yes it's a volcano!
Compared to Mt..Shasta
If you are interested in flying drones I have listed my camera gear below.
Drone Filters: https://amzn.to/36Bei2m
We started using these drone camera filters for when we film during sunny bright days and it's made our images so much more clear and sharp! Honestly, a game changer, and I'm going to invest in some more of the filters soon for other lighting and camera situations!
Sunset Views in Mount Shasta
There are plenty of great places to catch the sunset in Mount Shasta, a lot of them require hiking if you want to get an epic view. Brian originally had it in the plans to hike Heart Lake for sunset, but let's just say we were worn out from our hiking excursion. I guess if we wanted to be super go-getters we could have done so, but we had dinner on our brains so going the chill route was an easy decision for us.
We headed over to Siskiyou Lake, and drove into the Siskiyou Beach Parking Area since it's position towards Mt.Shasta is incredible. Although note you do need $2 to park....which is why we turned our car around and found some free parking on the side of the road lol! If we go back, we will definitely be paying the $2 to take advantage of the beach.
We ended up pulling off at Box Canyon Dam to take in the sunset but it was very rocky and not much area to sit and enjoy comfortably. Although we did send up the drone so we could see the sunset in all its glory! WOWOWOW, I just love the shape of the lake and how it bleeds right into the center of this gorgeous cascade mountain. The pink skies casted on the tip of Mt.Shasta and it was all kinds of magical.
I suggest purchasing the "Photo Print" and framing yourself to save costs. That's what I do :)
Hotel + Dinner In Mount Shasta
We stayed at the Best Western Tree House and it was a pretty good hotel! I wasn't expecting anything fancy but it had a nice cabin vibe, and a bar on site which we definitely enjoyed for a nice little nice cap, plus its dog friendly which is a huge plus! We had a great view of Mt.Shasta from our bedroom which is all I could ask for. We opted for the Best Western since my husband collects points through his work so we were able to pay with points. I'd love to check out some Air Bnb's next time!
We got dinner at Hari Om Shri Ram Indian Cuisine, which was highly rated on Yelp and Google. To be honest our experience was OKAY, the food itself was good and we enjoyed their Indian beers, but the hospitality and set up was less than satisfactory to say the least. I don't like dissing on family owned businesses especially during a pandemic, but it was VERY disorganized and although I'd love to go back and try it again, I don't think we would. The "hand written" receipt was the cherry on top, as we questioned ourselves how the bill was $80 for what we ordered but at that point we just payed, tipped and left feeling ripped off and kinda icky about the service.
When we go to Shasta, we have stopped at the amazing Yaks on the 5, and we LOVE their food and hospitality so I highly recommend if you drive past. They also have a breakfast spot in the town of Mount Shasta I would love to try!
I hope you enjoyed this blog of Mt.Shasta, and I'd love to know your experiences in Mt.Shasta.