Woman at Castle Crags State Park
Bikers on the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California
Woman at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Park Food Truck Hub in Redding, California
Woman at Castle Crags State Park
Bikers on the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California
Woman at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Park Food Truck Hub in Redding, California
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300 Days of Sunshine: How to Embrace a Winter Escape in Redding

By Choose Redding | 12/13/2019

Redding, California, is statistically one of the sunniest cities in the United States (second to be exact and the sunniest in California says the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) and that translates to plenty of bluebird skies for fabulous outdoor recreation all winter long. From the rugged and richly forested Klamaths to the magnificent southern end of the Cascades, Redding’s gloriously scenic backyard has much to offer in the snowsports department—and beyond. Here are some of the highlights of what you can do on a winter escape to this scenic section of Northern California.

Just a stone’s throw from the gargantuan summit of its namesake peak, Mt. Shasta Board & Ski Park offers some of the best downhill action in California. The resort offers 1,435 feet of vertical, more than 30 trails, a trio of terrain parks, and extensive snowmaking capabilities reinforcing a very respectable 23 feet or so of annual snowfall. The Learning Center provides skiing and snowboarding lessons if you’re a newbie or want to brush up on your skill, and you can enjoy some spectacular twilight skiing on Saturday evenings.

One of the absolute natural treasures of around Redding is the 100,000-plus-acre Lassen Volcanic National Park, which protects one of the most recently active Cascade volcanoes and the most spectacular geothermal features in the Lower 48 outside of Yellowstone. Less than an hour from Redding, the park features generous snow in the winter and jaw-dropping volcanic vistas. This is the region’s premier place for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

The Southwest and Manzanita Lake areas of the national park are open year-round and provide the most accessible winter recreation, though snowshoers and skiers on the generally more challenging Manzanita Lake trails need to be aware of avalanche risk in the steep terrain. The seasonally closed Lassen Volcanic Highway offers fantastic winter-trekking opportunities, while experienced backcountry skiers and snowboarders will find far-flung slopes to explore.

Lassen rangers lead guided snowshoe treks (for just a $1 donation) on Saturdays from January through March out of the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. The two-mile adventures provide an unparalleled introduction to the drifted-over winter glories of the park. Kohm Yah-mah-nee is also notable on account of the awesome sledding opportunities on the nearby hills. Among the joys of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the Lassen wilds? The chance to spot the tracks of some of the park’s elusive mammals, from Sierra Nevada red foxes and bobcats to coyotes, pumas, and mule deer. Keep those eyes peeled when you’re out in the snow.

Encompassing the better part of 2,000 square miles, the Lassen National Forest has its own rich share of winter-recreational hubs. Those include one of the top sledding hotspots in the vicinity, Eskimo Hill, a free fun zone open to sleds, toboggans, and tubes. The McGowan Cross-Country Ski Area features 10 miles of trails, half of which are groomed. The Fredonyer Parking Area Snowpark also serves as a great starting point for snowshoers and cross-country skiers—plus it’s a popular spot for snowmobilers to head off into the wilderness.

Redding’s winter pleasures aren’t restricted to the area’s abundant wild lands. At the Siskiyou Ice Rink in Mount Shasta’s Shastice Park, you can slice and weave your way on the biggest outdoor skating rink on the West Coast between Portland and Sacramento. Besides the open public skating, the rink offers various lessons as well as a hockey program for both youngsters and grownups.

The clear, cold night skies of Redding’s winter countryside offer unparalleled opportunities to look to the heavens. Take advantage of the optical hardware and interpretive savvy of the Shasta Astronomy Club by attending one of its Star Parties, offered through December. Whether viewing Orion’s belt and the tight cluster of the Pleiades or the blazing traces of our fellow planets, you’ll find the celestial stargazing an amazing experience.

Whether it’s snowshoeing the flanks of the snow-draped volcanoes of Lassen or looping happily around the Mount Shasta’s Siskiyou Ice Rink, you’ll find many ways to enjoy the blazing sunshine and the plentiful white stuff of Redding’s spectacular geography. With its charming downtown, great restaurants, and ample places to stay, Redding serves as the perfect base camp for winter fun. So don’t let another winter pass you by without seeing for yourself everything that this area has to offer.

Written by Ethan Shaw for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

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