Unmasking the Small Town Charm of Lake Shasta and Sundial Bridge in Northern California

“Give me a word for the boundary between the world you went to see and the small one you call your own. I want a word for the moment you know you’re almost home.- n.m.h. (via anoraborealis)

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words the exact feeling a place ignites in me. I’ve always been in love with small towns and how different it is from living in a city where traffic is part of everyday life. The moment I found myself in Shasta-Trinity National Forest I was captivated with its quiet charm. There is so much to explore and since I only had the day to spare I tried my best to make the most out of it. I visited Lake Shasta and Shasta Dam. Pictures provided below.

Lake Shasta is a reservoir and also California’s largest man-made lake.
Shasta Dam 

The best thing about visiting the Shasta Dam/Reservoir are free tours. The times may have changed so please call the visitor center before heading to the area.

There are different trails in the area but I was only able to explore Fishermans Point trail.

The Fishermans Point Trail provides access to fishing in Shasta Lake with great views along the way.
Tired? There’s a bench to sit on to catch your breath or simply admire the view.
I think the term for this is “surf fishing” which is something I definitely want to try in the future.

My next stop was the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay Exploration Park located in Redding, California. This is the world’s largest working sundial designed by Santiago Calatrava. It only takes a few minutes to cross the bridge unless you plan to use the trails for hiking, running, walking, and cycling.

Sundial Bridge
View of Sacramento River from Sundial Bridge

View of the Sundial Bridge at night

Tips for this trip:
1. There are no parking or entrance fees for both places mentioned here.
2. Bring water and food.
3. Bring your fishing gear to Shasta Lake.
4. Make sure you have a full tank of gas when exploring these areas.
5. Always bring a camera.

I hope you enjoyed my post. Feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Disclosure: Please be aware I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you. Please read Amazon Affiliate Disclosure and Affiliate Disclosure.
By the way, I now have an official Amazon Page. Please check it out.

https://www.amazon.com/shop/roadsbeltravelled

#AmazonInfluencer

Add me on Instagram @roadsbeltravelled and twitter @belcharm

Advertisements

116 Comments Add yours

  1. Connotare says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Youโ€™re welcome. Glad you liked it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  2. Your photo of the sundial bridge at night! I gasped out loud it’s so beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, it was pretty cool at night! Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  3. aruna3 says:

    Beautiful information about the lovely California.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

      1. aruna3 says:

        Most welcome๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Visited this area years ago and had forgotten how beautiful it is. Your photography reminded me. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Youโ€™re welcome. Glad you liked it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  5. That’s so charming. I love small towns too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  6. sklcolorado says:

    And yet, I don’t see any kayaks or canoes on the lake. Is that not allowed?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi! This is the website that shows where you can launch your kayaks. I didnโ€™t really check when I was there but this link should answer your question https://www.visitredding.com/kayaking

      Like

  7. YBP says:

    Such majestic wonders Bel! Thanks for sharing so abundantly. I have a sweet penchant for small towns ….. I appreciate being โ€œaway from it allโ€ at times …. for a beautiful breather! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes it has a relaxing and calming effect. Being away really helps the soul and this is the perfect place. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YBP says:

        Ohhhh would love to bask in the lovely serenity of that place…….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Itโ€™s hard to leave places like this because you end up leaving a part of yourself with it…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. YBP says:

        I can deeply relate …… ahhhh we take these place with us in our hearts and memories โค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bel says:

        Always ๐Ÿ˜Œ

        Liked by 1 person

      5. YBP says:

        โค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  8. tivamoo says:

    Really nice pictures!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  9. cindy knoke says:

    Haven’t been there since I was 16, but it still looks beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Still beautiful. Never changes ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

      Like

  10. What a beautiful place!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š It really is stunning!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I’ve never been to Lake Shasta, but driving past Mt. Shasta on highway 5 is awe-inspiring.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Itโ€™s a very scenic drive ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  12. This looks amazing Bel, I am never happier than when there is a mountain in the view

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, the mountains are lovely and relaxing. It makes me happy too. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

  13. Gina Renee says:

    Great post Bel ! That Sundial Bridge is now on my travel bucket list. I also like your tips section – really helpful. I hope you don’t mind if I try that as well!?

    Happy travels!
    -Gina Renee
    https://nosmalladventures.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you Gina. The Sundial Bridge is pretty cool.๐Ÿ˜Š And no, I donโ€™t mind if you add tips section on your blog ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  14. mymindlessdrivel says:

    I’ve only seen the Shasta area by driving through it on the I-5, though that much was beautifully scenic. Never took time to explore the lake or dam – could be worth a stop!

    Usually I use the 101 for North-South travel as it is a more scenic drive and frequently goes through smaller towns, but I do use the I-5 when I need to cover distance quickly. The 101 is more for ambling. If you ever do take the 101 route, stop at The Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo and get some apple cider. They freeze quart jugs of it. I take a cooler with me and keep it in there, drinking it as it begins to melt. You can add a bag of ice if your trip is going to be too long to keep it cold. Yum!

    Your posts keep giving me wanderlust, all the more so for being ‘close to home’!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Oh wow the apple cider from the Apple Farm sound great. I will try to make a stop there next time. Shasta is definitely worth a stop. The area is amazingly gorgeous and youโ€™d love it just as much as I did. Thanks for the tip. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  15. Discover and Explore says:

    Great capture…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  16. aruna3 says:

    Most beautiful place of Northern California๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      There are so many beautiful places ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

      Like

      1. aruna3 says:

        I know the beautiful and some mystic places in USA.i want to see all but USA is situated far ahead from my country-INDIA.โค

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Iโ€™m sure there are equally beautiful places in India. I want to visit your country in the future too ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Like

      3. aruna3 says:

        Welcome in my colourful and magical INDIA with love,dear!!๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•,

        Liked by 1 person

  17. cigarman501 says:

    I am surrounded by small lakes and large ponds here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge…Love them and your post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! You’re lucky to be surrounded by such beauty. I would never want to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jon says:

    I love the photo’s. It’s great to see countryside from a different part of the world. Some of the landscape reminds of places I’ve visited in Australia.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Yes they are similar in landscape. I havenโ€™t been to Australia but Iโ€™ve seen a lot of beautiful sceneries from pictures and movies. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  19. mandy says:

    Oh, Bel, I love your blog! It inspires me to find ways to see things on a budget. Gorgeous photos!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Yes, I prefer traveling on a budget…๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Captivating and charming, for sure! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      It truly is a great place. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  21. eponine3 says:

    Wonderful photos, especially the one of the Sundial Bridge at night. And I love the quote at the beginning! Nice work!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  22. Robert says:

    Amazing pictures of the lake. I would love to visit/ tour a dam also.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yeah, itโ€™s pretty awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. findprasanna says:

    Hey have you visited Europe or Asia. Waiting to see a blogpost on any of these places. Like the way you write!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes I have ๐Ÿ˜Š But I only started this blog a few years ago and would like to focus on the US for now but I will definitely write about it in the future. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I used to go to Shasta years ago for a yoga retreat. Loved it there. Hope to go again sometime.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yoga in Shasta sounds awesome. I hope you get to visit again ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  25. Philip Ogley says:

    Nice post. Never visited California but it looks great. Always thought it was just desert??? Being an Englishman.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      California has the best of both worlds – mountains and oceans โค๏ธ

      Like

  26. JanBeek says:

    Itโ€™s been years since I visited there – and it was during a drought when the water was so low. Nice to see it looking its beautiful self again. You captured it magnificently. Iโ€™ve never seen it at night before. Loved the shot with the lights on the bridge! And the comment about the bridge/bench. Wonderful!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes the lights on the bridge was pretty cool at night. It was really quite scenic. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Beautiful blog! I’m impressed by the wonderful layout!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  28. Miki Leckie says:

    A Shasta Dam tour sounds like so much fun! Iโ€™ve never heard of surf fishing either…what exactly is it?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      You just stand on the shoreline and use a fishing rod while catching a fish. No boats or anything ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Terese says:

    Beautiful pics, thank you for sharing your adventures!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Youโ€™re welcome. Glad you liked it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  30. That lake is so beautifully blue, Bel. Summer is a little late this year and I’m anxious for those blue skies. The sundial bridge is fascinating and the night photo is cool. Thanks for sharing your visit. I hope you have a wonderful season of adventures. โค

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you Diana. Redding was pretty awesome and I feel I havenโ€™t even scratched the surface. I need more time and funds ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I hope you have an amazing summer with tons of blue skies ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  31. robyne says:

    Your pics and the emotions of your writing are evocative and I always enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I really appreciate the kind words and support ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  32. kewtiebird says:

    We stoped at the dam on a road trip back in 2012 and, strangely, there was a turkey hen hanging out on a low wall near the visitorโ€™s center. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      That is strange! Iโ€™m sure it was a great road trip for you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Beautiful scenery and photos!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It was really a beautiful place ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  34. Bumba says:

    When I visited the lake was lower. But itโ€™s beautiful up there. Redding ainโ€™t a bad town to stay in. And those mountains run north south for a few hundred miles. Thanks for reminding me to get up there again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Definitely a lovely town to stay in! I love the drive all the way to Oregon. It was scenic and unforgettable. Itโ€™s worth another visit for sure ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

      1. Bumba says:

        Thatโ€™s exactly what Iโ€™d like to do too. Larsen and then further north. Crater Lake has to be on the list too. Cheers and bon voyage!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Yeah I loved that drive and I was glad I got to experience it. Crater Lake was amazing! Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll love it as much as I did. ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Like

      3. Bel says:

        Crater Lake is gorgeous. Just be wary of the bugs – theyโ€™re huge! Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll love the drive as much as I did when I went there. ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bumba says:

        Thanks. Hope to get there soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Bel says:

        Iโ€™m sure you will ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Like

  35. I enjoy visiting small towns. They are like hidden gems just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, thereโ€™s a certain charm about it that draws me in every single time ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Bob Taylor says:

    What a beautiful place to spend the day! I love going into nature and exploring. Do you think youโ€™ll go back and explore some more?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, I probably will. Thereโ€™s a lot to explore in the area ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  37. tsepotheview says:

    Nice pics…have a nice day!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Br. Jonas says:

    I lived in Redding in 2007-2010. Those pictures brought back memories. I appreciate that you discovered the charm of the north state. Hopefully, you’ll explore Whiskeytown Lake and Lassen Peak next time.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lassen Peak has an area that is closed for the entire year – but I will definitely be back when itโ€™s fully opened. I wanted to go to Whiskeytown but there was an entrance fee and I was on a tight budget. Hopefully, I get to visit next time. Thanks so much ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  39. I visited Mt. Shasta 30 years ago, but barely remember anything except how the mountain stood out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Itโ€™s a great area and I barely scratched the surface. Time is always an issue ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds like you had a nice sampling! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        I try my best ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

  40. For me, that boundary is the LA county line. I count my vacation as officially over when I cross it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Bel says:

      True! Itโ€™s definitely back to the grind for us…๐Ÿ˜•

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Great post! The scenery is beautiful. The west coast is on my bucket list. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Bel says:

      There is camping in the area too! You would totally love it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Steeny Lou says:

    I will be pondering this to come up with a word. For now, I would say “relief”. I feel tense in the city, but the tension diminishes incrementally the further I get from it, building into joy as I near home.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, I get exactly what you are saying. I am so stressed in the city but at peace when I am in the mountains ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Steve says:

    Bridges and benches are a great combination – bridges to connect and collect and benches to reflect. Nice shots!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Bel says:

      Oh wow! I never even thought about it that way. Thanks for the insight ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Steve says:

        Thanks for the inspiration!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Youโ€™re welcome. Thank you as well ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

  44. buddy71 says:

    love the night shot of the bridge

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks! I love the lights ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. buddy71 says:

        ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  45. What a mountain range! How much fun did you have?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Way too much ๐Ÿ˜Š Iโ€™m missing it already โค๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.