Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mt. Shasta Vacation

Want a trip that will please anyone in the family? Mt. Shasta, California certainly fits that bill, appealing to almost anyone, from golfers to skiers, and yes, to those seeking a more spiritual path.

Mt. Shasta is home to, well… Mt. Shasta, a 14,179-foot volcano, the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range. Yeah, it’s big. And beautiful. And,home to a vortex which attracts “New Age” types. A drive down Mt. Shasta Blvd. in Mt. Shasta City reveals a vast array of spiritual shops and assorted healers. You can buy singing bowls and tuning forks, divination tools, yoga supplies, vibrational sprays and magical jewelry. You find can all types of spiritual healers, such as those offering psychic hypnotherapy, reflexology, Reiki and energy work, vibrational healing and massage. If you’re into mineral baths, you can drive a few minutes north of Mt. Shasta City to Weed, where you’ll find therapeutic mineral baths at Stewart Mineral Springs (530-938-2222). (They also have some cabins and motel rooms. But, unless you want something truly rustic, you might want to stay elsewhere. The cabins, as of summer of 2006, could use some updating and sprucing up.)

Those of you wishing to take vortex tours are definitely in luck, as there are numerous guided tours to choose from, including Shasta Vortex Adventures, which offers Mt. Shasta Guided Tours all year round. You can choose from guided hikes, healing earth journeys, bus tours and winter outings, such as snowshoe, cross country or telemark ski outings. Call them at 530-926-4326 for more information.

For those seeking outdoor activities and adventure, Mt. Shasta does not disappoint, no matter what season in which you’re visiting. During the warmer months you can hike or visit the many lakes which dot the area, including, of course, Lake Shasta, 10 miles north of Redding, the second largest lake in California, after Lake Tahoe. Shasta Lake is a very popular destination for boating, water-skiing, camping, and fishing. They also claim to be the houseboating and wakeboarding Capital of the World. Lake Shasta is also home to the Lake Shasta Caverns, which is open all year round. In order to view the underground caverns, visitors are taken on a 15-minute catamaran cruise across Lake Shasta, where they then board a bus which carries them up a mountainside, more than 800 feet above the lake, where the caves are accessible. All this for only $20; $12 for those 3 to 15. Call 1-800-795-CAVE for more information.

If the size of Lake Shasta is too overwhelming for you, as it was for me during one visit, you might want to visit a smaller lake near Mt. Shasta City, Lake Siskiyou, a 430 acre recreational and sailing lake, which offers some of the best bass and trout fishing in Northern California. You can purchase a cheap day pass and swim, picnic or rent pedal boats, or you can rent RV or camping space, or a cabin at Lake Siskiyou Resort and Camp (1-888-926-2618). The resort is open April 1st - October 31st and is very family friendly, with a great swimming area, sandy beach, and nightly movies in an outdoor amphitheater. The lake is actually closer to Mt. Shasta than Lake Shasta, and you can swim with the beautiful snow-covered mountain looming in the backdrop.

Close to Lake Siskiyou you’ll find Mount Shasta Resort, home to a championship golf course, as well as luxurious cabins and a day spa.

Skiers will delight in skiing Mt. Shasta at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, where you’ll find 31 trails on 425 acres of skiable terrain. Night skiing is also provided on 14 trails and 3 lifts. The terrain level of difficulty is 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, and 25% advanced. There is also a cross country ski and snowshoe center for those wishing something other than downhill skiing. And for beginners, the ski park offers ski, snowboarding and telemark lessons.

If you want information on summer vacation spots, visit .

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