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Gabriella Viola blog
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Exploring Mount Shasta in Northern California: The Ultimate 3-Day Road Trip!

Updated: May 4

Planning a visit to Mount Shasta? Here are some of the top things to do!

Mt Shasta California Road Trip Itinerary

There's nothing quite like a summer road trip to Mt Shasta! Here is a three-day itinerary that includes some of the best things to do when visiting this California bucket list destination.

*Help keep Mt. Shasta Beautiful by practicing the seven principles of LEAVE NO TRACE.



Day 1

HWY 89 in mt shasta

The first stop on my Mt Shasta road trip was Burney Falls. Burney Falls is right off HWY 89 and about an hour south of Mt Shasta. It's one of the most jaw-dropping waterfalls in California and is not to be missed when visiting the Shasta area. The hike to Burney Falls is super easy, just a short 0.3 miles from the parking lot.

Burney Falls in mt shasta

Burney Falls california

HWY 89 towards Mt Shasta

After taking in Burney Falls, we headed north on HWY 89 to Mccloud Falls. McCloud Falls is an hour's drive from Burney, so it is perfectly doable to visit both in one day.

Mccloud Falls has three waterfall tiers; Upper, Middle, and Lower Mcloud Falls. We decided to just visit Middle Mccloud Falls because it’s my favorite out of the three tiers. But, if it's your first time visiting Mccloud Falls, I recommend checking out all three waterfall tiers. For more on McCloud Falls check out this post: McCloud Falls: Visiting Northern California's Gorgeous Three-Tiered Waterfall.

We finished out the day, with dinner and drinks at Mt Shasta Brewing Co. in Weed California.


Day 2

Mossbrae falls in mt shasta

After grabbing some breakfast in Mt Shasta, we headed to Mossbrae Falls in Dunsmuir, California. Getting to this waterfall involves walking along train tracks for about a mile. Once you reach the bridge (don't cross the bridge), make a right towards the forest (you'll see a dirt trail that goes into the woods), and Mossbrae Falls is right there.

*Note: These are active train tracks, so do this hike at your own risk.

Honestly, I was nervous walking along the tracks. Not to mention it was scorching hot the day we went. But beautiful Mossbrae Falls made it all worth it. Also, there was a wooden swing hung right in front of the falls, making for an awesome photo op!

Later that evening, we went on a sunset hike to Heart Lake. The hike to Heart Lake is roughly 3-miles out and back. We did this hike in mid-July, and there were tons of wildflowers around the lake!

 Heart Lake framed by Mt Shasta
Heart Lake framed by Mt Shasta

Wildflowers in mt shasta
Wildflowers around Heart Lake

After taking in views of Heart Lake, we checked the numerous overlooks with gorgeous views of Castle Lake below and Mount Shasta in the distance.

Castle Lake in Mt Shasta
Castle Lake in Mt Shasta

Day 3

Middle McCloud Falls in Mt Shasta
Middle McCloud Falls

On our last in Mt Shasta, we decided to head back to Middle Mccloud Falls for a day of swimming. I highly recommend jumping in the water and swimming right up to the falls. It's so fun and refreshing, especially on a hot summer day!

On this particular day, a few adventurous people were cliff-jumping from the top of the falls. I wasn’t feeling quite as courageous, but maybe next time.

After spending the afternoon swimming at Mccloud Falls, we grabbed lunch in Mt Shasta at Sparky’s Landing before ending the trip and heading back home.


I hope you enjoyed my Mt Shasta 3-day itinerary! Let me know what some of your favorite things to do in Mt Shasta are in the comments! Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the latest blog posts, videos, and announcements!

And of course, you can check out more adventures on Instagram and YouTube!


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gabriella viola lake tahoe

Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

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Tahoe Blues is a curated collection of  9 pieces that showcase part of what makes Lake Tahoe so incredibly special- that crystal clear, brilliantly turquoise-colored water.  The selected images capture unique conditions and perspectives of Lake Tahoe during the day and represent calmness, joy, and awe.

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