Mount Shasta is an incredible place. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, it also is one of the seven earth chakras of the world. The spiritual energy is everywhere. But no matter what you believe, you can't deny the beautiful landscape and spectacular views. My first trip here, we took a half day on Friday, but a weekend trip from San Francisco is also totally do-able. Here are my top recs for an epic trip!
Moderate hike with epic views that begins & ends at lakes you can swim in. 🙌🏽 You can spend a full half day out here swimming, floating, rock climbing, and hiking. It's incredibly beautiful & tranquil - we went out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we barely saw any people. It was shockingly quiet and serene throughout the hike that all I wanted to do at times was sit and meditate on the rocks. 🙃 Plus, there are gorgeous views of Mt. Shasta as you hike up.
On the drive in to Castle Lake (starting point for the hike above) you'll pass Lake Siskiyou. It's a small but beautiful lake in Shasta where you can kayak / paddleboard / etc with Mount Shasta in the background. You can rent supplies in downtown Mount Shasta and pop over to Siskiyou Lake which is right next to the town. It's not intuitive, but Shasta Lake is actually around an hour away from Mount Shasta (town) and an hour and a half away from Mount Shasta (volcano). Going to Shasta Lake is another trip in itself! Siskiyou is your spot if you're looking for some lake time. Plus you get the benefit of all the incredible Shasta town energy!
If you're a hot spring addict like I am, you must go here! Natural hot springs about 15 mins north of Mount Shasta in the town of Weed (lol). They do mineral bath day passes for $35 (cheaper on weekdays). The mineral bath consists of sitting in a mineral hot spring for a few mins, sweating it out in the dry wood sauna, and then jumping into the creek for a cold plunge before repeating all 3 parts over and over again. It's supposed to be incredibly healing and is the only one of it's kind up there.
Collect natural spring water straight from the ground! This was a first for me, and it was an awesome mini adventure! Shasta boasts some of the best drinking water around, and yes, you can taste the difference. 😛 It can be a little tough to find so here are the best directions: map to the campground, park on the highway shoulder (there's a little turn in) across from the entrance to the campsite (the parking inside is just for the campers), walk in to the campsite, veer right and walk straight back - you'll cross a little stream and walk for about 5 mins. You can't miss it! Bonus: there's wild raspberry bushes all around the campsite!
For being such a spiritual and hippie town, we were pretty surprised by the lack of health food / natural food / organic stores. Pretty much the only spot in town you can find decent options is Berryvale Natural Foods. You're basically SOL when it comes to eating out, so if you're intentional of what you put into your body, your best bet is to stock up on healthy snacks and eat on the go. (Plus, this will give you more time outside / in nature!) Berryvale has a little cafe and seating area in the back of the store where you can order sandwiches, wraps, and breakfast. Needless to say, we were here no less than 3x per day! 😀
Ok, so this is obvious, but there's so much to do in the area you can easily miss actually going to the mountain / volcano. The drive is actually a bit long - around 45 mins from the city - but it's beautiful. In the winter the mountain is a full on ski resort, but during summer you can hike the bottom and meditate on the trails. Check out good trails here.
On our last day, we spontaneously drove up to the Oregon border to the town of Ashland, and it was AWESOME! It's totally do-able and I highly, highly recommend stopping over! Ashland is only a little over an hour from Shasta, and is such a cute and HEALTHY town! In true Oregon fashion, the first place we posted up, Growler Guys, had kombucha on tap, an espresso bar, and served pizza! (A spot straight out of my dreams...) We also discovered one of the coolest juice bars I've ever been to (and I've been to A LOT of juice bars), NW Raw. They have all kinds of juices, smoothies, elixirs, and raw food. The Pear-A-Glide (pear, cashew, coconut mylk) was my fav and unlike anything I've had before. The town also has a ton of cute shops and parks - an awesome place to just hang out and walk around. Plus, there are wild blackberries everywhere!
7. Shasta Lake
Last, but not least, Shasta Lake. As I mentioned, Shasta Lake is around an hour away, but you can easily stop for a bit on your way in or out (if you're coming from the Bay Area). If nothing else, to take some pretty Instagram pics :) ...the lake is gorgeous, particularly late in the evening before sunset. 🙌🏽☀️