Redding's Hidden Gems: A Traveler’s Guide to Mt. Shasta, Shasta Lake, and the Sundial Bridge

Redding | Introduction

In California, we have arranged countless long-distance road trips starting from California. Redding, located in Northern California, often serves as an ideal stopover on our journey because it is on the essential route connecting the Bay Area with the grand national parks in Oregon and Washington to the north. For instance, we have stopped in Redding several times when heading to Crater Lake National Park.

Find a stay at Redding:

However, Redding is not just a city to pass through. It can also serve as a starting point for exploring the surrounding natural scenery, from the magnificent Mt. Shasta to the tranquil Shasta Lake, and to the famous Sundial Bridge. Even for a simple weekend trip, there are several itineraries that can be arranged.

Attractions | Mt Shasta

Mt Shasta This spectacular 14,179-foot volcano is one of Northern California's landmarks, a dormant volcano that wears a snow-capped hat at all times if you're traveling from north to south on I-5. As the seasons change, so does Mt Shasta's appearance, and each season offers a different beauty, from the snow-covered mountains of winter to the lush green forests of summer. Whether you are an avid hiker or just want to have a picnic at the foot of the mountain and enjoy the serenity of nature, Mt Shasta is a great destination.

The easiest way to drive around Mt Shasta is to make a complete loop on Everitt memorial highway, which is the scenic highway around Mt Shasta. If you want to climb the mountain, late spring and early fall are the best times to do it, when the weather is more pleasant and there is less snow. Just passing through, there is a great roadside viewpoint on I-5 that provides a clear and comfortable view of Mt Shasta, and it's not hard to feel the magnificence of the mountain from here.

Attractions | Shasta Lake

Continuing south along I-5, you will soon cross Shasta Lake. This lake covers a large area, second only to the Salton Sea and Lake Tahoe in California, and is also one of the largest reservoirs in the state, offering spectacular views. Surrounded by mountains, this lake provides a perfect backdrop for relaxing in nature and enjoying various water-based leisure activities.

We usually stop near Bridge Bay Marina, the largest harbor in the Shasta Lake area. It's quite lively around there, with many restaurants, and you can rent boats right by the lake. Many people enjoy boating and water skiing here.

Attractions | Sundial Bridge

The Sundial Bridge is located near downtown Redding, at the heart of Redding. On the map, it is sometimes referred to as Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The Sundial Bridge was designed by the world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The design of the bridge is such that it never touches the water, in order to avoid affecting the salmon spawning below. The bridge deck is made of reinforced glass, and its unique glass pathway and cable-stayed structure are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly innovative in engineering.

Additionally, the mast of the bridge incorporates the design of a sundial. This 217-foot tall mast functions as the sundial, with a circle of time markers around it. Every year on the summer solstice, at noon, the shadow falls precisely on a specific spot.

Walking on the Sundial Bridge, you can enjoy the gentle, cool breeze of the Sacramento River. There is a small museum nearby that you can visit, and cultural and music events are sometimes held in the vicinity of the bridge.

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