Brought to you by Choose Redding
When summer arrives in Northern California, the night sky comes alive with the best viewing opportunities for astro-enthusiasts. With Redding as your gateway to the NorCal wilderness, there are plenty of awesome places to escape light pollution and stargaze in the great outdoors.
If you’re visiting Redding, you can book your room with Choose Redding and pick from any of their passes and coupons, including a free pass to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (on this list), and discounts on rentals, food, and breweries. Learn more about their Deals and Discounts here.
Here are the 5 best places to go stargazing near Redding, California:
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
As you head up the hill west of Redding, the city lights dim behind you and brighten the stars in a magnificent way. This separation between Whiskeytown and the towns surrounding it make it a wonderful destination for stargazers, with many people opting to visit the park during full moons and events like the Perseid Meteor Shower.
There aren’t many places that won’t give you a celestial show at night. You can gaze upon the stars at Brandy Creek or Oak Bottom. You can also hop on a kayak or boat and see the night sky illuminate the water. There are also Star Parties hosted by the Shasta Astronomy Club that include full telescopes to see the stars up close.
There are just so many ways to experience the night sky at Whiskeytown.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the best locations in California to get away from streetlights and see some amazing astronomy. With the heightened elevation and location far away from modern lights, Lassen is like a real-life planetarium.
The best way to stargaze at Lassen is probably the annual Dark Sky Festival where you can learn from park rangers and NASA employees. With your own equipment and some research, you can see meteor showers or full moons. You can even hike to the top of Lassen Peak during the full moon!
Sitting between Redding and Mount Shasta, Castle Crags State Park is far away from light pollution and is highlighted by fantastic rock formations. It’s close enough to Redding for an easy day trip, and you can come back late after taking in the stunning night sky.
To get the best nighttime experience, you can hike the Castle Dome Trail, which will end right under the granite spires of Castle Crags. If you’re hoping for a more relaxed experience, try checking out the vista point that will give you views of Castle Crags, the Trinity Alps, and the mighty Mount Shasta.
There’s nothing better than sitting along the water of a beautiful lake and looking up and the starry night above you. That’s what you can find at California’s largest reservoir, one that is jam-packed full of recreational opportunities like boating, fishing, and kayaking.
The places to go stargazing on Shasta Lake are endless. The lake has four major arms, including the Sacramento River Arm, Pit River Arm, McCloud River Arm, and Squaw Creek Arm. All of these areas can be accessed from a boat or car. Throughout the lake are plenty of lookouts, all of which are great to see the stars. You can also see a beautiful starry night from the Shasta Dam Overlook, just a 10-minute drive north of Redding.
The most remote area near Redding is the Trinity Alps Wilderness, a 525,627-acre designated wilderness area known for its high-alpine lakes and rock formations. While you’re there, it’s also seemingly lightyears away from civilization, making the night sky shine bright.
For day hikes in the Trinity Alps, we recommend the Boulder Lakes Trail (3.9 miles roundtrip), Tangle Blue Lake Trail (6.1 miles roundtrip), or the Canyon Creek Lakes Trail (14.5 miles roundtrip). Remember to bring lots of water and, when you’re sitting under the night sky, follow all fire restrictions.