Golf & Tennis
Golfers should head for the 27-hole Robert Trent Jones, Jr., golf course at Lake Shastina Golf Resort, 5925 Country Club Dr., Weed (tel. 800/358-4653 or 530/938-3201; www.lakeshastinagolf.com); or the 18-hole course at Mount Shasta Resort, 1000 Siskiyou Lake Blvd., Mount Shasta (tel. 800/958-3363 or 530/926-3030; www.mountshastaresort.com). The Mount Shasta resort also has tennis courts.
Mount Shasta attracts thousands of hikers from around the world each year, from timid first-timers to serious mountaineers who search for the most difficult paths up. The hike isn't technically difficult, but it's a demanding ascent that takes about 8 hours of continuous exertion, particularly when the snow softens up. (Tip: Start early, while the snow is still firm.) Before setting out, hikers must secure a permit by signing in at the trail head or at the Mount Shasta Ranger District office, which also gives out plenty of good advice for amateur climbers. The office is at 204 W. Alma St., off North Mount Shasta Boulevard in Mount Shasta (tel. 530/926-4511). Be sure to wear good hiking shoes and carry crampons and an ice ax, a first-aid kit, a quart of water per person, and a flashlight, in case it takes longer than anticipated. Sunblock is an absolute necessity. All the requisite equipment can be rented at the Fifth Season, 300 N. Mount Shasta Blvd. (tel. 530/926-3606; www.thefifthseason.com). Mere mortals who don't feel compelled to summit can merely hike on the various low-elevation trails.
Weather can be extremely unpredictable, and every year hikers die on this dormant volcano, usually from making stupid mistakes. For weather and climbing conditions, call tel. 530/926-5555 for recorded information. Traditionally, climbers make the ascent from the Sierra Lodge at Horse Camp, accessible from the town of Mount Shasta via Alma Street and the Everitt Memorial Highway, or from Bunny Flat.
For more information, as well as supervised trips, contact Shasta Mountain Guides, 1938 Hill Rd. (tel. 530/926-3117; www.shastaguides.com). This outfitter offers a 2-day climb along the traditional John Muir route for $450. It also offers a glacier climb and rock climbing in Castle Crags State Park, backpacking trips, plus cross-country and telemark skiing. The basic rock-climbing course is $150, the mountaineering course is $125, and each of the 3-day ski and snowboard descents is $550.
Also nearby is Castle Crags State Park (tel. 530/235-2684; www.parks.ca.gov), a 4,300-acre park with 64 campsites and 28 miles of hiking trails. Here granite crags formed 225 million years ago tower more than 6,500 feet above the Sacramento River. The park is filled with dogwood, oak, cedar, and pine, as well as tiger lilies, azaleas, and orchids in summer. You can walk the 1-mile Indian Creek nature trail or take the easy 1-mile Root Creek Trail. The entrance fee is $6 per vehicle per day. Castle Crags is off I-5, about 50 miles north of Redding.
Other Warm-Weather Activities
Mount Shasta offers some excellent mountain biking. In the summer, ride the chairlifts to the top of Mount Shasta Ski Park and bike down the trails. An all-day chairlift pass is about $25 (tel. 530/926-8600; www.skipark.com).
For fishing information or guided trips, call Jack Trout Fly Fishing Guide (tel. 530/926-4540; www.jacktrout.com). Two other recommended sources are Mount Shasta Fly Fishing (tel. 530/926-6648) and Hart's Guide Service (tel. 530/926-2431).
In winter, visitors can ski at Mount Shasta Board & Ski Park, 104 Siskiyou Ave., Mount Shasta (tel. 800/SKI-SHASTA [754-7427] or 530/926-8610; www.skipark.com), which has 31 runs with 80% snowmaking, three triple chairlifts, and a surface lift. Lift tickets are $39. The Nordic ski center has 16 miles of groomed trails, and Terrain Park is geared toward snowboarders. The Learning Center offers instruction for adults and children. In summer you can ride the chairlifts to scenic views, mountain-bike down the trails (an all-day pass is about $15), or practice on the two-story climbing wall. Access to the park is 10 miles east of Mount Shasta (the town) on Hwy. 89.
The source of the headwaters of the Sacramento River accumulates in Lake Siskiyou, a popular spot for boating, swimming, and fishing -- and a great vantage point for photographs of Mount Shasta and its reflection. Water-skiing and jet-skiing are not allowed, but windsurfing is, and boat rentals are available at Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort, 4239 W. A. Barr Rd., Mount Shasta (tel. 888/926-2618 or 530/926-2618; www.lakesis.com).