Redding Itinerary: Natural Wonders in Northern California

Turtle Bay Animal Show

The Itinerary at a Glance

Home to gorgeous mountain ranges, sparkling lakes and 300 days of sunshine a year, the Shasta Cascade Region is the heart of Northern California. Redding is the central hub for this heavily-forested region the size of Ireland, and its welcoming people can assist your student group in exploring the area’s natural wonders. This sample itinerary will lead you through the region’s volcanoes, caves and nature trails as well as highlight the city’s man-made wonders.

4 Unique Experiences on This Trip

  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park
  • Shasta Dam
  • Lake Shasta Caverns
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park

Duration: 3 Days

Available: Year-round

This Itinerary is Ideal For: All

Itinerary Details

Day 1

Turtle Bay

Your Redding adventure will begin at the city’s most iconic structure: the Sundial Bridge. This architectural marvel uses cutting-edge cantilever spar cable-stayed design and boasts a 217-foot mast that creates the largest working sundial in the world. Your group can follow the bridge’s moving shadow and admire the Sacramento River it crosses en route to Turtle Bay Exploration Park. A 300-acre aquarium, arboretum and botanical complex, Turtle Bay includes gardens with Pacific Rim, Mediterranean and California landscapes. Groups can also stroll through the North American butterfly exhibit and a lorikeet aviary. Live animals star in Turtle Bay’s educational wildlife show, a summertime favorite.

Day 2 – The Shasta Experience

Redding California Lake Shasta Caverns_1280x800

Today sees your students journey north to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, where you can admire the sprawling inlets of Shasta Lake. A scenic catamaran cruise across the lake and a short bus ride through the woods will bring your group to the entrance of Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark. This massive limestone cave system is one of the most beautiful in California, and your group can spend hours admiring the enormous stalagmites and sparkling reflecting pools. A trained guide will supervise your journey through the caverns’ many chambers and discuss their geology and microclimates.

Your tour will continue to Shasta Dam—one of the tallest hydroelectric power plants in the country. A 428-foot elevator ride to the dam’s base will reward students with a visit to the powerhouse and galleries highlighting energy in Northern California. If your group has time, consider an afternoon visit to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The crystal-clear waters of Whiskeytown Lake, 70 miles of hiking trails and California Gold Rush landmarks all await you.

Day 3

Lassen Park

Your group’s third day will be spent in one of the most active hydrothermal areas in the nation: Lassen Volcanic National Park. A vast lava plateau formed from friction between the Northern California and Gorda plates, the area is home to boiling mud pots, steaming fumaroles (outlets where subterranean sulfur is emitted) and the largest plug dome volcano on Earth. Your tour can include an expedition to Lassen Peak (the highest road in the Cascade Range), hikes through wildflower meadows and a journey through a hot springs plain.

Next is a visit to the picture-perfect waterfalls of McArthur-Burney Falls State Memorial Park. Considered “the Eighth Wonder of the World” by Theodore Roosevelt, the 129-foot Burney Falls cycles through 100 million gallons a day from an underground spring and can be viewed from several surrounding trails.

The awe-inspiring experiences available to you when you make Redding your base camp will offer endless learning and exploring options in the Shasta Cascade Region.