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Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park

8 Fun Winter Activities for the Whole Family in Redding, CA

By Redding CVB | 12/12/2018 | Family Friendly , Great Outdoors, Skiing/Snowboarding, Snow Play, Snowmobiling, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Trails, Waterfalls, Winter Activities, X-Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing

Redding, California, sits in the backyard of some of Northern California’s best outdoor recreation and wilderness, from majestic Mt. Shasta to lesser-known gems amid the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. Redding makes for a great home base for outdoor adventure in winter, offering temperate weather even during the colder months and fewer crowds than larger cities. Here are eight ways to enjoy a family getaway in this incredibly scenic section of the state.

1. Skiing at Mt. Shasta

Easily accessed from Redding (it’s just north up I-5), Mt. Shasta Ski Park offers uncrowded lift lines, affordable tickets, and plenty of moderate terrain for beginners and families. You’ll find a cozy lodge plus a hometown, family atmosphere. The locals are always happy to show you their mountain. The town of Mt. Shasta delights as well, with pub-like eateries and watering holes for some après-ski fun.

2. Exploring Winter in Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you haven’t experienced a national park in winter, you’re missing out. Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park without the crowds and dusted in white. There’s plenty to explore here when the snow falls, from sledding to backcountry skiing to snowshoeing and more.

Note that some trails and road access will be closed in winter, so double-check the website before your visit, but much of the park remains open year round, including the well-designed visitor’s center.

3. Backcountry Ski Adventures on Lassen Peak
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Take to the backcountry in Lassen, which features about 30 feet of snow a year. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Seasoned backcountry skiers or snowboarders will love to hear that the snowpack at Lassen can reach a whopping 30 feet per year. You’ll find plenty of bowl skiing above the treeline, without any technical climbing experience necessary, but you will need backcountry gear and expertise (or hire a guide). Many Lassen Peak ski routes are readily accessible from Lassen Loop Road, skiable in the winter. Ambitious families with older kids can also hire guides for ice climbing or winter trekking in the area.

4. Sledding on Eskimo Hill

Less than an hour’s drive from Redding on Highway 44, Eskimo Hill is the best sledding location in the area, with multiple lanes ready for toboggans, tubes, and sleds. Inside Lassen National Forest, Eskimo Hill is a great way to introduce kids to the beauty of the outdoors in winter. Plan to bring a picnic to enjoy by the hill (bring a waterproof blanket or camp chairs to sit on).

5. Ice Skating at the Siskiyou Ice Rink

There’s just something about an outdoor ice rink that is fun for all ages. The Siskiyou Ice Rink in Mt. Shasta is located in Shastice Park, not far from the area’s downhill skiing so you can make a long day or weekend out of the trip. The large rink has great views of the mountains and is usually open from November to mid-February, as conditions allow. Be sure to bring plenty of layers and extra, dry clothing so you can enjoy some hot chocolate amid the ambiance of the ice rink while you’re not skating.

6. Touring the Lake Shasta Caverns
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Exploring the Shasta Lake Caverns can be done year-round. heheman

A journey of a geological nature in all seasons, Lake Shasta Caverns can be especially magical in the winter, when the lake area is quieter. Three tours per day are offered from October to March, and they include a scenic boat ride across Shasta Lake to access the deep caves. The caverns take about two hours to tour with your guide, from start to finish.

7. See a Winter Waterfall at Burney Falls

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is a lesser-known gem located on Highway 89 just up into the scenic foothills over Redding. In the summer, it offers cooler temperatures and a short waterfall hike to cooling waters ready for wading. In the winter, it’s possible to enjoy solitude while watching the water crash from 129-foot Burney Falls upon the pool below. For winter visits, shoes or boots with insulation and solid traction are recommended The Pacific Crest Trail (which runs through the park) offers excellent hiking opportunities as well.

8. Snowshoe to see Castle Dome

Located north of Mt. Shasta on I-5, Castle Crags State Park is breathtaking in any season. In winter, the snowshoe hike to Castle Dome shines, offering stunning views of Mt. Shasta and the surrounding Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Families who are properly geared up with snowshoes and trekking poles can make the trek, which can sometimes even be done in snow boots (when the snowpack is thin). The higher you go, the more strenuous the hike becomes, but it’s possible to set your own destination and turn back whenever ready. The entire 2.8-mile trail gains nearly 2,200 feet in elevation.

Plan Your Trip

Ready to plan your trip? Winter hotel specials abound in Redding during this prime off-season period. Enjoy discounted rates and cozy accommodations all winter.

Written by Amy Whitley for RootsRated Media in partnership with Redding CVB.

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