Mt. Shasta/Lake Siskiyou is located approximately 3.5 hours North of Sacramento and about 90 minutes South of Medford, Oregon. It is also the home of an annual, extended-family camping trip. Since we visit in July each year, our blog posts are limited to summer activities but Mt. Shasta is also a popular winter destination, which includes the area's ski resort. As this is a long-standing family tradition, this area holds a special place in our heart. Even without our bias, we could not recommend the area more for families and adventure seekers alike. There are endless opportunities for hiking trails, mountain biking, trail running, road cycling, fishing, open water swimming, and of course, roasting marshmallows on an open fire. We stay on Lake Siskiyou each year but there are also other lodging opportunities for those that want a less rustic experience. The Lake itself is great for families as it is stocked by the local fish hatchery and has a speed limit of 10 mph so no water-skiing or other similar high-speed activities are allowed.
Hiking: The Mt. Shasta area is a hiker's dream come true. Running by and through the Pacific Coast Trail, there are endless miles to choose from, ranging from strenuous and remote to flat and accessible. See our blog posts for our favorite area hikes.
Fishing, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Swimming in Lake Siskiyou: Lake Siskiyou is located just outside the town of Mt. Shasta. This quiet lake is stocked with trout from the nearby hatchery making it the perfect spot to teach kids to fish. No water skiing is allowed and the max speed is 10 mph. Kayaks, fishing boats, and paddle boards are available for rent at Lake Siskiyou Camp & Resort.
Lake Siskiyou Trail (mountain biking/trail running): This 7-mile loop is our favorite daily trek while staying on the Lake. The trail follows the perimeter of the lake where in the early morning hours you can spot wildlife like bald eagles and deer. It is perfect for a morning trail run or walk. It is also great for kids to ride their mountain bikes on. Dogs on leash are allowed.
Road Cycling: The Mt. Shasta area is also known for great cycling. The roads are well-kept and cars are infrequent. The climb up Mt. Shasta on Everitt Memorial Highway has an epic descent, as do those in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Day Trip to Medford, Oregon: Just 90 minutes from Mt. Shasta is the Rogue River. We've twice used the Indigo Creek Outfitters, which we found to be fun, attentive, and safe. The River itself is not too rough, making it great for most older kids and teens.
Where We Stayed
Lake Siskiyou Camp & Resort: We have stayed here every year for 15 years (!). Camp sites are often available but cabins and RV sites book up a year or two in advance. This is a rustic experience so don't expect luxury. The trade-off is easy access to the Lake, safe trails for the kids to roam free, and the best soft serve ice cream.
Town of Mt. Shasta. Other lodging is available at the Lake and in the town itself. The town has a hatchery and eclectic shops like multiple crystal shops.