Discovering Northern California
Shasta County

Shasta County: The Boundaries Change

Shasta County is one of the original California counties, having been established in 1850 when statehood was ratified. That doesn't mean it's stayed the same for all this time, though.

Naturally enough - or so it would seem - Mount Shasta was originally in the county of Shasta but alas, when Siskiyou County was created from parts of Shasta and Klamath Counties just two years later, Mount Shasta had found a new home.

But Shasta County is still home to Lake Shasta, which holds the title, Houseboat Capitol of the World.

Shasta also contains part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Lassen Peak (also called Mount Lassen), and part of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Shasta: Land of Contrasts

As part of the Shasta-Cascade region, Shasta County is a land of contrasts.

From the underground depths of Lake Shasta Caverns to the snow-covered heights of Mount Lassen; from the flat and fertile grasslands surrounding Redding California to the jagged spires of Castle Crags; from agricultural lands to forested and mountainous wildernesses.

Shasta is a land of history, with no fewer than thirteen Historic Districts listed with the National Register of Historic Places.

It's also a place of outdoor recreation with its state and national parks, wilderness areas, rivers and lakes, and national forest and recreation areas.

In fact, one of the major draws to Shasta is Lake Shasta (also called Shasta Lake), which was created when the Shasta Dam was built across the Sacramento River in 1945.

At 30,000 acres of surface area, Lake Shasta is a popular destination for boating, fishing, water skiing, and house boating activities.

People also come for the hunting, hiking, camping, rock climbing, biking, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and winter sports.

Shasta Attractions

There are many well-kept Insider Secrets within Shasta, known to the few-and-far-betweeners who either live in the area or have a tradition of regular and frequent visits.

One such is Lake Shasta Caverns, which is a labyrinth of caves near the shores of Lake Shasta that contains the ubiquitous stalactites and stalagmites. The fact that the adventure starts with a catamaran ride across the McCloud Arm of the lake, makes this cave-exploring venture just that much more extra special!

And while we're in the area of Lake Shasta, we simply must visit Shasta Dam! Built to help control the combination of alternating floods and droughts that plagued California's Central Valley, the story of its construction is a fascinating one.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is a popular destination for those in the know. The main attraction is Burney Falls, a beautiful example of a waterfall formed by undercutting horizontal strata. (The link takes you to a video that Hubby Wolf shot of the falls, so be sure to check it out!)

Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park to discover Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world! It's also one of the few places you can find all four types of volcanoes in one area (plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and strato).

In the city of Redding - county seat of Shasta County -
you'll want to explore Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the Sundial Bridge! You'll find gardens, a natural history and science museum, Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp, and rotating exhibits.

North of Redding is Castle Crags State Park, which encompasses a dramatic and fascinating 6000 foot glacier-polished rock formation, and contains 28 miles of hiking trails.

And West of Redding, discover the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, with its waterfalls, old-growth forests, and historic landscapes. It also offers a plethora of water recreation opportunities, as well as wildflowers in the Spring, Fall colors in the Autumn months, and an abundance of wildlife in its natural habitat.

We'll have more to share with you about Shasta in the coming weeks; things like:

  • Shasta Attractions
    More in-depth, from East to West!
  • Shasta Beaches
    With all those lakes - of course it's got beaches!
  • Shasta Communities
    From the biggest to the smallest!
  • Shasta County Parks and Preserves
    State Parks, Nature Preserves, Marshes and Bogs!

Be sure to check out our Lake Shasta Caverns Photo Gallery, too!

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