7 Underrated Northern California Wonders for Less Than $50: In Photos

by Katie Hammel

7 Underrated Northern California Wonders for Less Than $50: In Photos

by Katie Hammel

Covering 3,500 square miles, and surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides, Northern California’s Shasta County is arguably one of the most beautiful regions in the state. Here are six incredible adventures and beautiful nature spots to visit for less than $50.

Covering 3,500 square miles, and surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides, Northern California’s Shasta County is arguably one of the most beautiful regions in the state. Here are six incredible adventures and beautiful nature spots to visit for less than $50.

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Lake Shasta Caverns

The Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark is an underground wonderland of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, and other rock formations that have formed over the last 25 million years ($28 per person).

The Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark is an underground wonderland of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, and other rock formations that have formed over the last 25 million years ($28 per person).

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Lake Shasta & Shasta Dam

The 602-foot-tall Shasta Dam across the Sacramento River is the eighth-tallest dam and the second-largest concrete dam in the U.S. Free tours are held daily and start at the top of the dam overlooking the sapphire waters of beautiful Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoir, and the Sacramento river.

The 602-foot-tall Shasta Dam across the Sacramento River is the eighth-tallest dam and the second-largest concrete dam in the U.S. Free tours are held daily and start at the top of the dam overlooking the sapphire waters of beautiful Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoir, and the Sacramento river.

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Whiskeytown Lake

Whiskeytown Lake National Recreation Area is the preferred lake among locals for its quieter beauty. Personal watercraft like Jet Skis are not allowed, making it ideal for fishing, swimming, pontoon boating, and kayaking. Its 36 miles of shoreline and 39,000 surrounding acres are home to bald eagles, black bears, deer, and other wildlife ($20 for 7-day vehicle pass).

Whiskeytown Lake National Recreation Area is the preferred lake among locals for its quieter beauty. Personal watercraft like Jet Skis are not allowed, making it ideal for fishing, swimming, pontoon boating, and kayaking. Its 36 miles of shoreline and 39,000 surrounding acres are home to bald eagles, black bears, deer, and other wildlife ($20 for 7-day vehicle pass).

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McArthur-Burney Falls

The second-oldest state park in California, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park boasts 901 acres of forest and five miles of river and lake shoreline, but its main claim to fame is the 129-foot Burney Falls. Dubbed by President Teddy Roosevelt as “the eighth wonder of the world,” the falls carry 100 million gallons of water each day ($8 daily pass fee per vehicle).

The second-oldest state park in California, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park boasts 901 acres of forest and five miles of river and lake shoreline, but its main claim to fame is the 129-foot Burney Falls. Dubbed by President Teddy Roosevelt as “the eighth wonder of the world,” the falls carry 100 million gallons of water each day ($8 daily pass fee per vehicle).

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Wild Horse Sanctuary

For more than 30 years, the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, about 30 miles east of Redding, has been rescuing and sheltering wild horses. Today, the sanctuary is home to more than 300 horses living on 5,000 acres, and guests are invited to come view them Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (free).

For more than 30 years, the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, about 30 miles east of Redding, has been rescuing and sheltering wild horses. Today, the sanctuary is home to more than 300 horses living on 5,000 acres, and guests are invited to come view them Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (free).

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Devil’s Kitchen

The 100,000-acre Lassen Volcanic National Park is a must for geology enthusiasts. The park contains three of the world’s four geothermal features—fumaroles (steam vents), boiling hot springs, and boiling mudpots. A highlight is Devil’s Kitchen, the park’s second-largest geothermal area ($25 for a 7-day vehicle pass).

The 100,000-acre Lassen Volcanic National Park is a must for geology enthusiasts. The park contains three of the world’s four geothermal features—fumaroles (steam vents), boiling hot springs, and boiling mudpots. A highlight is Devil’s Kitchen, the park’s second-largest geothermal area ($25 for a 7-day vehicle pass).

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Lake Manzanita

The tranquil Lake Manzanita comprises 26 acres near the entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park and is ringed by an easy, flat trail shaded with pine trees. With beautiful views of Lassen Peak, the lake is also a great spot for picnicking, birdwatching, and fishing ($25 for a 7-day vehicle pass).

The tranquil Lake Manzanita comprises 26 acres near the entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park and is ringed by an easy, flat trail shaded with pine trees. With beautiful views of Lassen Peak, the lake is also a great spot for picnicking, birdwatching, and fishing ($25 for a 7-day vehicle pass).

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