21554
Redding
Volcanic California: Mt. Shasta and Lassen National Park
Explore the unique landscapes of Shasta and Lassen Peak, learning about limestone caverns, volcanic terrain and the unique history of northeastern California.
Rating (4.71)
Program No. 21554RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation, Lecture
Redding
D
Red Lion Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner with iced tea, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. In addition to our Group Leader, we’ll also have a Study Leader who will serve as our primary instructor throughout the program and who will lead field trips that will often include local experts. Free time is reserved for your independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. At the end of orientation, our Study Leader will provide a glimpse of the remarkable geology that will be our stage this week as we discuss Mount Lassen, Lake Shasta, and many more features unique to this Californian landscape.

DAY
2
Lava Tube, Loomis Museum, Sulphur Works
Redding
B,L,D
Red Lion Hotel

Activity note: Driving up to 180 miles; approximately 3.5 hours. Sitting 25-90 minutes as a time. Hiking up to 1.5 miles over the course of two hikes; starting elevation approximately 6,500 feet; uneven terrain. Subway Cave is a consistent 46°F year round; rough and uneven floor, low ceiling in places; flashlights will be provided for light.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a breakfast buffet with a variety of choices.

Morning: Get ready for a fascinating, beautiful and geologically packed day on Mt. Lassen. With our Study Leader, we’ll board a motorcoach and head first to the Subway Cave Lava Tube for a short underground hike and exploration. Nearly 20,000 years ago, the Hat Creek Valley was covered in lava flows discharged from a series of cracks in the Earth. As the top cooled and crusted, the lava beneath continued to flow until the last of it drained, leaving hollow, underground tubes. Next, we’ll ride to the Loomis Museum for an introduction to Lassen Volcanic National Park. This museum at the northwest entrance to the park is named for B.F. Loomis, one of the first people to photograph the most recent Lassen Peak’s eruption cycle (1914-17) and who advocated for the park’s creation. Among the museum’s artifacts are some of Loomis’s original equipment and photos from the 1914 eruption.

Lunch: At a scenic spot near Loomis Museum, we’ll have sandwiches with chips and a drink.

Afternoon: We’ll ride to explore Lassen’s most easily accessed hydrothermal area, the Sulphur Works. A ranger will tell us about the NASA research done in the park where Lassen’s hissing fumaroles and boiling mud pots still shape and change the land, evidence of a long and active fiery past.

Dinner: Plated meal at the hotel.

Evening: Free time. Take this opportunity for independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
3
Fish Hatchery, Sacramento Headwaters, McArthur-Burney Falls
Redding
B,L,D
Red Lion Hotel

Activity note: Driving up to 180 miles; approximately 3.5 hours. Sitting up to 60 minutes at a time. Walking up to 2.5 miles over the course of the day with no walk more than 1 mile; partially paved trail, some steep terrain with stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll ride to the Shasta Fish Hatchery, the oldest operating hatchery west of the Mississippi, where staff will lead our exploration. Large, open ponds hold rainbow and brown trout raised to stock mountain fishing streams, rivers and lakes. Following the fish hatchery, we'll head next door to the Mount Shasta Sisson Museum to learn about the history of the area as you explore the museum at your own pace. Before lunch we will visit the headwaters of the Sacramento River where the river springs forth at the base of Spring Hill in the Mount Shasta City Park. Locals bring jugs to collect the pure water. Try a refreshing taste yourself!

Lunch: At the Mt. Shasta Senior Center, we'll stop for a plated meal, plus coffee, tea and water.

Afternoon: After lunch we will set out on a walk through McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park to see the 129-foot falls, so beautiful that Teddy Roosevelt once described this place as the “eighth wonder of the world.” The land was privately purchased and handed over to the state in the 1920’s to prevent the waterfall and surrounding land from development. Cheryl Strayed, author of the widely acclaimed book, "Wild," famously walked through the park and even stopped off here to resupply during her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Dinner: Plated meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Shasta Dam, Weaverville, J.J. Jackson Museum, Joss House
Redding
B,L
Red Lion Hotel

Activity note: Driving up to 115 miles; approximately 2.5 hours throughout the day. Sitting up to 60 minutes at a time. Walking up to 1.3 miles throughout the day; paved paths and sidewalks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our exploration of Shasta Dam begins with an elevator ride down inside the dam, where local experts will discuss the history, purpose and construction of this huge project. After the short walk through the dam, the field trip heads over to the powerhouse for a chance to view the state’s largest hydroelectric generating station. We’ll continue to the Old Shasta Courthouse Museum in Shasta City for a history of the area. Referred to as “Queen City of the Northern Mines” during the Gold Rush, the restored building served as the courthouse for three decades in the late 19th century.

Lunch: We'll have boxed lunches at a comfortable spot near the Courthouse Museum.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to Weaverville, an historic California gold rush town that was home to approximately 2,000 Chinese miners and had its own Chinatown. We’ll walk through the historic downtown, once a tent city, where many of the original buildings still stand, repurposed as shops and restaurants. We’ll have some time for personal independent exploration. Our next stop is the J.J. Jackson Memorial Museum, a project of the Trinity County Historical Society. A staff member will provide an overview of the facility that recalls Gold Rush days, followed by time to explore the museum on our own and learn about the area’s history and experiences of its people. Next, we'll visit another fascinating highlight of local history and culture, the Joss House, the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California. A State Historic Park, the Taoist Temple — also called The Temple of the Forest Beneath the Clouds — appears the same as when it was first built in 1874. The displays inside the temple include temple equipment, Chinese art, mining tools, and weapons from the 1854 Tong War. We’ll then return to Redding.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Turtle Bay, Lake Shasta Caverns, Dinner Cruise
Redding
B,L,D
Red Lion Hotel

Activity note: Walking up/down several hundred stairs in the caverns; the most at one time is 80. (There is an option to visit only a small portion of the caverns.) The inside temperature of the caverns is about 57°F year round; wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket. As we depart the caverns there are about 100 narrow stairs down to the visitor's center. Downhill trail to boat for dinner cruise is a steep and uneven surface. Driving up to 50 miles throughout the day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our first learning adventure today will be at Turtle Bay Exploration Park where we’ll explore the park’s gardens and arboretum. Turtle Bay Exploration Park educates visitors with exhibitions and programs that interpret the complex relationships between people and their environments. The Botanical Gardens is the newest addition to Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The gardens comprise 20 acres of Mediterranean-climate display gardens, a children’s garden, a medicinal garden, and two beautiful and unique water features.

Lunch: At the park, we’ll have sandwiches with side dishes and a drink.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we’ll head to the Shasta Caverns, where we will explore the spectacular limestone formations with a local expert. Learn the history of the caverns, its discovery, and how limestone caverns are formed. The Shasta Caverns are dated at least 200 million years, and were formed by flowing water. Over the years this water drained, leaving the caverns we see today. At the conclusion of our field trip, we’ll walk down from the caverns to a dock on the lake.

Dinner: Enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Shasta, featuring a tasty buffet including lemonade, soda, coffee, tea, water; participants are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages on the dinner cruise. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends and say farewell to our group.

Evening: At leisure back at the hotel. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Redding
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: The program concludes after breakfast. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!