Falling for Redding: Your Ultimate Guide to Autumn Activities in Shasta County

Brought to you by Visit Redding

Photo: Visit Redding

It’s autumn in Northern California, with the foliage that grew all spring and summer long have turned to fantastic bright colors as the temperatures lower and Holiday season approaches. As with any season change, this makes for new opportunities to explore the wonderful areas of NorCal, and there’s no better place to accomplish that than in Redding, California.

The diverse wildlife of Redding is something of beauty to watch during autumn, as the wild animals begin a new routine, the salmon runs move wonderfully through the tributaries and you get those final months of outdoor adventures before the winter hits. The fall colors in Redding are nothing short of spectacular and there is so much to do while basking in those autumn vibes.

Here are 8 activities to do around Redding that will give you the ultimate autumn experience:

The Sacramento River Trail

Flickr/Sergio Ruiz

The Sacramento River Trail, one of the most underrated features of our North State for lovers of stunning scenery, learning about the area and staying active. Used by a wide variety of people from casual hikers to hard-core runners, bikers, birdwatchers and even anglers, the trail connects with several other trail systems and offers one of the quintessential North State experiences.

The tree lined trail, which follows the Sacramento River all the way up from the Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam, is a completely different experience in the fall than in other seasons. The colors turn bright and fallen leaves surrounding the trail give an animated boost to any adventure your looking for on the trail.

Read more about exploring the Sacramento River Trail

A Fall Color Road Trip

Redding is the gateway to NorCal’s immense wilderness and it can be the best place to begin an epic road trip in search of fall colors. There are more than 225 miles of trails within 15 miles of the city, it’s almost hard to choose just one to explore. So it might be best to hop in the car and make a day out of it.

Check out this fall color driving tour compiled by the Shasta Cascade:

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Photo: Lassen NPS

Sitting right outside Redding, California is one of the most underrated National Parks in the United States, loaded with pristine wildlife, beautiful hikes, pristine waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes and an active volcano. It’s typically not one of the National Parks you’ll hear when listing America’s most popular parks, and that’s a good thing.

At Lassen Volcanic National Park , you can experience a top-notch outdoor experience without the crowds you see at Yosemite or Yellowstone. And even with it’s lack of tourists, for our money, you won’t find more outdoor beauty in one wilderness area than in Lassen.

The fall weather in Lassen may be a little bit colder, but the activity of the wildlife in the area is elevated, making a run-in with deer and other furry animals a high possibility. You can summit a volcano, visit a waterfall, discover a hydrothermal area or simply camp with your friends and family. It’s the perfect destination for everyone looking for an outdoor adventure!

Learn about the 8 best adventures in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Get Caffeinated

This may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but Redding has become something of a coffee mecca over the past few years. Brand-new coffee shops have popped up all over the place, and with temperatures cooling down, there’s no better way to warm up than with a hot cup of joe.

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❤ L O V E . I N . A . C U P❤ Did you know that we have a pay it forward program in the coffeehouse? This program that has been with us from the beginning allows you to add any amount($2.50, $5, $10, etc) to your order to pay for someone else's drink. We put that in our Love In A Cup jar for baristas to use as they see the need. What kind of needs are those? â–ª 💳 When our customers accidently leaving their wallet at home. 💱 When customers are short on change. 😢 When someone is having a bad or difficult day. 👫 When our friends are simply down on their luck. â–ª We love how much this program has blessed people in the past…seeing the way it totally shifts peoples day has encourages us to continue keeping it going! Want to give to Love in A Cup? Just let your Barista know! â–ª â–ª â–ª â–ª #loveinacup #reddingca #shastalakeca #payitforward #lovewhereyoulive #latteart #latte #thanksalatte

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In no particular order, here are some of the best coffee shops in Redding:

Because who wants a fall adventure without the caffeination needed to do it right!

Hike a Waterfall

Flickr/Susan Stienstra

When you come into Shasta County, you’re entering an area known to be loaded with beautiful waterfalls. These waterfalls are typically flowing most heavily during the springtime, but if you come back in the fall, you could encounter a completely different experience.

Whether your visiting the most popular waterfall of the area, Burney Falls, or driving an hour north to explore the three waterfalls of McCloud, Redding is the gateway to your waterfall experience. In fact, there are 17 breathtaking waterfalls just outside of Redding, all providing a different experience.

Learn about the 17 breathtaking waterfalls just outside of Redding

Turtle Bay/Sundial Bridge

Flickr/Dan Langford Photography

On the colder days of fall, it might be best to just plan an easy trip to a museum, with the world’s largest sundial sitting right outside.

The Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a great place for the whole family to find an educational adventure and learn about wildlife in the area. There are always new, exciting exhibits coming into the museum and all fall and winter long you can catch the Survival Indoor Animal Show on Saturdays:

Now you can’t visit Turtle Bay without stepping onto the world’s largest sundial to get a quick glimpse at the beautiful flows of the Sacramento River. The Sundial Bridge is surrounded with fall foliage during autumn, and you likely see some excited fishermen below looking to score big in one of the most exciting time for fishing in the North State. Any stop in Redding, no matter the season, should include a trip to the Sundial Bridge.

Catch a Fish

Autumn in Northern California is arguably the best time to catch a fish. The fall-run salmon spawn at unbelievable rates in many different tributaries and each river provides a unique opportunity to land that enormous fish you’ve been dreaming about.

When thinking of fishing near Redding, your first thought has to be the Sacramento River. There are many spots to fish the Lower Sacramento River all the way down the valley, but it seems like the hottest fishing area on the river lies right in the heart of Redding. Flowing under the Sundial Bridge, through the town of Redding and out to Red Bluff, you will find a ton of great Rainbow Trout on the Sacramento River.

You can also try to land the coveted steelhead of the Trinity River, find one of the world-famous trout on the McCloud River or go to the unique fishing opportunity just below Shasta Dam at Keswick Reservoir. There are just so many places to catch fish in NorCal and the fall weather brings great opportunities to land the fish of a lifetime.

Here are 9 fishing spots that prove Redding is California’s fishing mecca

Visit a Ghost Town

In the mid-1800’s, the town of Shasta sitting just 6 miles west of Redding, California was the largest town in Shasta County. The mining community was a bustling settlement of Forty-Niners looking for their shot at the millions of dollars in Gold Rush riches from the 1850’s to 1880’s. At its peak, 3,500 residents shared a blacksmith shop, general store and courthouse near what is now the beautiful waters of Whiskeytown Lake.

Today, the ruins of the once vibrant Gold Rush town remain in “Old Shasta,” with restorations allowing visitors to take a walk through Northern California history in what was once called the “Queen City” of California’s northern mining district.


The grounds of Shasta today are incorporated in the Shasta State Historic Park, which include a courthouse museum, 19th-century brick ruins, a post office, a church, a cemetery and the historic bakery. Walking through this site will give you a unique glimpse into the past of Northern California, and you can enjoy it during a brief afternoon or immerse yourself in its history for an entire day.

What’s your favorite fall activity in Shasta County? Let us know in the comments!

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