Mt. Shasta City, California, is an inviting little town at the base of beautiful snow-covered Mt. Shasta, just off the I-5 highway. The town has served tourists for nearly a century and has wonderful shops, restaurants and places to stay. Since our favorite method of travel is in our RV, and KOA Kampgrounds are always reliably wel- located and offer pleasant stays, we stopped at Mt. Shasta KOA, one of the prettiest KOA’s we have ever found. Just as the brochure promises, the view of the majestic mountain as you enter the kampground is magnificent.
Open year round, this KOA has 58 sites with hook-ups for RV’s and campers, and it has 27 large, gorgeous tent sites and four Kabins beneath huge, old-growth redwoods and cedars towering several hundred feet high. The incredible scent of evergreens and campfires makes you want to stay in that beautiful forest forever! Mt. Shasta KOA is well managed by Jeff and Carrie Ogden. We found the grounds and all the facilities very clean, and the small swimming pool is wonderful at the end of a hot summer day. Restrooms are very clean, as is the laundry facility, although there are only three washers and dryers. Teens love the large game room with lots of things to do
Mt. Shasta is beautiful all seasons of the year for winter snow activities and for hiking in summer. The trails are varied and many are above the tree line with great views of the Cascade Mountain Range. Mt. Shasta has the southern most glaciers of the Cascade chain and is next to the largest of these giant mountains, standing at 14,162 feet. In summer you can drive to about 9,000 feet, where we found a huge Labyrinth that someone had spent days making from rocks they picked up. What a perfect place to spend meditative hours walking this labyrinth.
Most hiking trails start at about 7,000 feet at Bunny Meadows. The dirt trails are lined with rocks on each side and wind through the giant evergreen forests, with wild flowers all along the way. We Texans were thrilled to find our state flower, the blue bonnet, throughout these high meadows. The heather on these mountainsides has taken 400 years to reach its low bush height. We were warned that one foot print on it, if we ventured off the trail, would set it back 200 years, since the struggle for survival at these heights is arduous.
There are many things to do in the town of Mt. Shasta if you prefer to shop and relax instead of doing the more strenuous outdoor activities. But we recommend an entire day or more at McLoud Falls, just a twenty minute drive away. Start at Lower Falls parking lot and spend the day, with a picnic and plenty of water, hiking the trail to Middle Falls and then on to Upper Falls. Each of the three falls on this lovely little river gets progressively larger with magnificent photo-ops. For over a thousand years Indians, who named it “River Where Salmon Turn Back,” used this campground site for some of their favorite fishing. One claimed to have speared over 500 salmon in one day here! Bring your fishing poles and enjoy your day or week of fishing, wading, swimming, sun-bathing on the large lava rocks, and just having a glorious day.
At any time of year you’ll find a wonderful family vacation spot with plenty to do in Mt. Shasta area. We plan to return soon and often.