Brought to you by Visit Redding
It’s springtime in Northern California, with the water melting off the mountains and flowing down into the rivers and lakes below. It’s truly a magical time, with flowers blooming and the summer heat still a couple months away.
One of the best places to experience spring in NorCal is in Redding. It’s the beginning of the outdoor season for visitors and locals alike, and there’s so much to do in the area. Whether you want to visit the great wilderness destinations surrounding Redding, or if you’re simply looking for something fun to do in town, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 10 spring activities in Redding, California:
Hike a Peak
“Doubly happy,” said John Muir, “is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.”
Mountains, whether large or small, have always been terrific metaphors for life. If you’re looking for a good workout with a truly unique psychological boost at the end, it’s hard to beat climbing mountains for pure inspiration. There are seven summits worth exploring within easy striking distance of Redding, each offering different degrees of difficulty and breathtaking vistas.
Before climbing even the smallest hill, it’s good to do a little research to get a handle on what you will be asking your body to do. Smaller hills may require as little as a good pair of hiking shoes, snacks, sunscreen and water. Larger ventures may require technical equipment like mountaineering boots, crampons and an ice ax. It’s good to learn all you can before bagging even the smallest summit, and Active NorCal is here to help.
Find a Kayak Adventure
In 2014, Time Magazine created a list of American cities and their weird obsession. While San Francisco was obsessed with brunch and Sacramento with costume play, Redding came in with a much cooler obsession – kayaking.
There’s no secret why Redding is the “unofficial capitol” of kayaking. The area is packed with small streams, massive rivers and pristine lakes. There’s an adventure for kayakers of all skill levels. Not only is it a fun, healthy activity, but there’s also an abundance of places to hit the water and go for a paddle.
Catch a Fish
There are plenty of spots to catch big fish throughout Northern California. From the streams of the North Coast to the fast-moving rivers of the Sierra Nevada, there’s no shortage of opportunities to land the catch of a lifetime in the northernmost sections of California.
But when it comes to dense fisheries all located in a small area, there’s no better place to catch fish in California than Redding. That’s why it’s no surprise that Field and Stream rated it as one of the Best Fishing Towns in America.
Visit a Brewery
Springtime is our favorite time of year to find an outdoor patio and drink some delicious craft beer. Recent years have seen a craft beer explosion in Northern California. Redding is no exception. Craft breweries and tap houses have become a great place for the whole family. Many provide games like cornhole, and you’ll find most of them hosting fun events every weekend.
There are four awesome breweries that have taken the charge in Redding. The favorites in town are Woody’s Brewing Co., Final Draft Brewing Co., Cedar Crest Brewing and Fall River Brewing Co. They all provide a unique approach brewing beer and their tap houses are an awesome place to hang out at.
Go on a Road Trip
Road tripping is a time-honored tradition for outdoor adventurers. There’s nothing like feeling the excitement of your upcoming trip while zoning out on the open road.
The best place to find that epic road trip on the West Coast is Redding, the unofficial gateway to the Northern California wilderness. With rivers, lakes, waterfalls and volcanos surrounding the area, there’s no shortage of destinations just a short jaunt away.
Listen to Active NorCal’s Zach O’Brien discuss Shasta Cascade Road trips on the California Now podcast:
Or you can read about some Redding road trips with our 6 Legendary Road Trips for Outdoor Adventurers Near Redding, California
As the mountain snow begins to melt in the mountains of the Shasta Cascade, waterfall season is officially at its peak for outdoor adventurers. Finding great waterfalls is no easy task, but Redding is the perfect gateway to some of the most beautiful waterfalls on the planet.
There’s a waterfall of seemingly every shape and size in the region. There’s waterfalls that reach to 129-feet high and others that spread 100-feet across. There are some you can literally hike under and other that you can’t get close to. From waterfalls big to small, Redding has a smorgasbord of amazing waterfalls, all within about an hour drive of the city limits.
Visit a National or State Park
It’s been said that Redding, California is the “Gateway to the Northern California Wilderness.” Since NorCal is loaded with awesome wilderness destinations, it’s probably easy to be skeptical of that moniker. But a simple review of the National and State Parks surrounding Redding will surely put the skeptics to bed.
Just outside of Redding is 11 awesome National and State Parks with varying features and scenes. From the sprawling wilderness of the large National Parks to the educational opportunities of the historical landmarks, there are so many ways to experience the areas surrounding Redding.
Go on a Foodie Tour
Much to the chagrin of locals, Redding has seen something of a culinary renaissance in recent years. Over the past decade, unique restaurants have been popping up all over Redding, competing with the mainstays that have been around for decades. The combination of old restaurants with the new culinary players in town has helped Redding become an extremely underrated town for foodies across NorCal.
Of course, everyone has their own individual palette when it comes to food, but there are some foodie destinations that mostly have the unanimous approval from locals. Everything from healthy bowls to historic burgers and reality-tv desserts, you’re bound to find a delicious treat in Redding.
Visit a Historical Site
When Gold Rush settlers arrived in Northern California in the 1800’s, they found a region of America where the Native American tribes were flourishing. The dense wilderness, lush waterways and volcanic wonders were a welcomed sight to the settlers, although the impending battles for resources in the area became a tragic story in our country’s history.
There are so many historical lessons you can gather from the areas surrounding Redding. There are geologic marvels which date back millions of years in the past. There are the stories of the Native tribes, who have called the area home for thousands of years and still hold the outdoor destinations sacred. There are the white settlers who transformed the area into what we see today.
Take a Bike Ride
There are more than 225 miles of trails in Redding, most of them primed for an awesome bike ride. Whether your a road biker or prefer the adrenaline pumping mountain bike trails, there’s no shortages of places to get out on two wheels.
From a road bike perspective, the Sacramento River Trail is second to none. In fact, it’s one of the best rides you’ll find in California. Stretching from the Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam, the round-trip ride runs for nearly 40 miles with stellar views of the Sacramento River, Keswick Reservoir and Shasta Dam. See our ride:
From a mountain biking perspective, the areas of Swasey Recreation Area and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area are some of the best in NorCal. In fact, the city of Redding is routinely called California’s secret mountain biking utopia.
What are your plans for springtime in Northern California?