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A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle

10 Redding Adventures to Enjoy in the Fall

By Redding CVB | 11/01/2019 | Biking, Family Friendly , Fishing, Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Kayaking, Lakes, Paddling, Parks & Gardens, Rivers, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Trails, Waterfalls

With temperatures hitting the 80s in October and the mid-60s through November, Redding, California, offers nonstop opportunities for water sports, biking, and backcountry adventures when the temperatures are dropping around the rest of the country. Known not only for its proximity to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park, Redding has easily accessible recreation opportunities that include a river running through the middle of town, a fierce devotion to kayaking, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and a thriving fly-fishing community. Whether you pack your bike, fly rod, kayak, hiking boots, or all of the above, here are our top picks for a fall getaway to Redding.

1. Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park


Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Acres of roiling thermal features, gurgling mud pots, and fuming geysers await visitors to the geothermal wonder of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Miles of hiking trails take you across fields of volcanic activity, past lush wildflowers, and within sight of numerous volcanoes. This park is open year-round, although once the snow comes, it’s much harder to access. The fall is a much less crowded time to take in the natural wonders before winter hits.

2. Ride on the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail


Biking in the fall on the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail

You can’t visit Redding without biking at least part of the 17.4-mile Sacramento River Trail. Wide, flat and paved, this trail parallels an abandoned railway and crosses the iconic Sundial Bridge. Bathrooms, picnic tables, and amenities are spaced out at convenient intervals along the length of the trail. Fall brings cooler weather for a longer ride, and the spectacular foliage is just another reason to take the bike out during autumn.

3. Hike to See Burney Falls

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The hike to 129-foot Burney Falls is a relatively easy 1.3-mile round-trip. Derell Licht

The gorgeous 129-foot Burney Falls is found in the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, just an hour from Redding. Burney Falls and its feeding stream come from massive springs associated with areas covered by recent lava flows, comprising the majority of the geological history of the park. Hike to Burney Falls on the family-friendly Falls Loop Trail, just 1.3 miles round trip and accessed right from the parking area. It’s not far to walk to enjoy the spectacular sight.

4. Tour the Lake Shasta Caverns


This jaw-dropping cave system is California's newest National Natural Landmark. Tours are offered three times per day throughout the fall and winter (10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.), and they take visitors through this system that was created by the same geological disruptions that created the Klamath Mountains. Tours include a boat ride on Shasta Lake, a bus ride to the tour, and an hour-long traverse of this 250-million-year-old cave system. Fall is a perfect time to beat the crowds and enjoy a quieter experience.

5. Fly Fishing on the Sacramento River



You’ll find some of the best fly fishing in the country on the Lower Sacramento River in Redding.

The Lower Sacramento River—specifically the tailwaters below Shasta Dam—houses some of the most trout-filled waters in the country. From urban stretches to designated wilderness areas, this river offers a variety of access points and levels of solitude. As the nights cool during the fall months, salmon spawn and trout move in to feed on the eggs. Since this is a warmer climate, anglers will still be able to take advantage of evening caddis hatches, as well as the arrival of steelhead as the temperatures continue to drop. Find information on guide services and other local fly-fishing knowledge here.

6. SUP or Kayak at Whiskeytown


Whiskeytown National Recreation Area encompasses nearly 40,000 acres of protected recreation land, including 70 miles of hiking trails, year-round ranger-led programs, and the highlight: a crystal clear lake with a multitude of opportunities for water recreation. Rent a SUP or kayak, take a sunset kayak tour, or increase your SUP skills with an introductory outing.

7. Hike at Castle Crags State Park


Hiking Castle Crags State Park and looking at Castle Dome.

Blue skies frame jagged rock formations at Castle Crags State Park, home to nearly 30 miles of hiking trails, including a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail. Enjoy one of the fishing access points on the Sacramento River, or go for a hike, taking advantage of the range of trails from family-friendly to challenging, steep ascents. No matter what you choose, you’ll be rewarded with memorable views of the surrounding region, including seeing the mighty Mt. Shasta.

8. Ride at the Chappie-Shasta OHV Area



You will have beautiful views while riding at the Chappie/Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area near Redding.

In the mood for a motorized adventure? The Chappie/Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area on BLM land is located just 10 miles from Redding and has more than 250 miles of motorized trail and road access. Options range from wide, buff, beginner-friendly riding to technical, narrow trails sure to get the heart rate up and test your riding skills. Plus you’re sight lines are hard to beat with views of Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, the Sacramento River, Mt. Shasta, Lassen Peak and the Trinity Alps.

9. Mountain Bike at the Swasey Recreation Area


Hit the trails at the BLM-operated Swasey Recreation Area for heart-pumping ascents and adrenaline-filled downhills. Options abound for riders of all skill levels, including sections of techy singletrack and rock drops, as well as more moderate climbs and descents. Extend your day by linking a loop with Whiskeytown, and be sure to look for Mt. Shasta in the distance from the top of the ridge. For other trails to explore, check out the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge routes, which are year-round trails but promoted in spring for the challenge.

10. Explore the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens


Located right off the Sacramento River Trail, this 200-acre Arboretum features a 25-acre botanical garden, peaceful pools and water features, and a walking trail around the park. Take the family to explore the children’s garden and learn about the healing power of plants in the medicinal garden. You can even take a piece of native California plant life home with you at the on-site nursery.

Written by Matcha for Redding CVB.

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