Scenic USA - California

Shasta Valley

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Shasta Valley Vista Point - Yerbez, California

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Mount Shasta photo by Alastair Allan
McCloud River Falls photo by Ken Reece

     Corralled by the Cascade Range to the east Mount Shasta and Coastal Mountains to the west, Interstate 5 travelers find the broad Shasta Valley spreading out from both sides of the Shasta River. Here in northern California the state's scenic wonders begin, even from the interstate. This preview from the Shasta Valley Vista Point on I-5 points its sightseers toward the three Shastas, i.e., Shasta Lake, Shasta Dam and Mount Shasta. Depending on the weather, those eager to see these northern California marvels may have to drive a little further for clearer views.
     Other nearby sights also deserve a closer look. From the heights of Castle Crags State Park, visitors may catch a different viewpoint of the Lower McCloud Falls 14,000 foot Mount Shasta. To the west lies the Trinity Alps Wilderness, with California’s Route 3 skirting Trinity Lake, one of the state’s largest. A short distance southward is the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. Heading back toward the interstate, Shasta Lake, the dam and Lake Shasta Caverns offer more of northern California's remarkable views and natural wonders.
     Off to the east, Route 89 passes through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and mirrors the McCloud River. The waterfalls at McArthur Burney Park and the falls (inset photo) nearby the town of McCloud can be coupled up with a stop at Lassen Volcanic National Park, capping off a marvelous introduction to north-central California.

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