Falling for Siskiyou County: The Ultimate Autumn Bucket List for California’s True North

Brought to you by Discover Siskiyou

Flickr/D.O’Brien

The season’s changing in Northern California. The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning bright colors and the temperatures are beginning to cool down.

That’s right, it’s officially the Autumn season which means you can change out your swimsuits for sweaters and look for new adventures. In Siskiyou County, there’s no shortage of activities that are just perfect for the Fall weather.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

1) Hunter Orchards & Pumpkin Patch (Grenada) – wheelbarrows supplied for heavy harvesting and a hay maze for the kids. Open daily in October from 10-6pm. 14431 Old Westside Rd., Grenada, CA, 530-426-2532

2) Papa’s Pumpkin Patch (Weed) – pumpkin picking alongside pumpkin-themed standees for photos, a bean-bag toss and a small gift shop. Open daily in October from 10am until dark. 4916 Solus Dr., Weed, CA  (530) 925-5778

3) California Heritage Farms U-Pick Berry Patch, Pumpkin Patch & Pumpkin Wagon (Ft. Jones) – Pickers should bring their own harvest tools and gloves as both the Patch and the Wagon are entirely self-serve with an honor system of payment. The wagon and patch are located 3 miles apart from each other on Eastside Road.  A small farm-stand operates at the patch. Open daily in October from 8am-8pm.  7715 Eastside Rd. in Fort Jones, CA, 530-468-2328

Chase Waterfalls

There are no shortage of amazing waterfalls in Siskiyou County. Here are a few of our favorites:

McCloud Falls

The three tiers of McCloud Falls offers visitors three beautiful and unique waterfalls within a short hike. It’s the perfect place to bring the family to swim and enjoy the great outdoors.

Faery Falls

Just outside Mount Shasta, you can take a short hike through the 19th century ruins of Ney Springs to find the beautiful Faery Falls.

Hedge Creek Falls

Similar to hideout entrances seen in Batman movies and the Legend of Zorro, Hedge Creek Falls cascades in front of the passage to a 12-foot-high cave. The narrow waterfall hardly obscures the not-so-secret cave meaning that you won’t stumble upon any masked heroes on your trip to the feature. Still, the trip the Hedge Creek Falls is well worth the drive the Dunsmuir, CA. Along with the waterfall, visitors can take in incredible views of the Sacramento River and Mt. Shasta from the Hedge Creek Falls Trail.

Or you could just do all five waterfalls in one day…

Go Birdwatching

Of all the wetlands in the American West, none provide more feeding, nesting and resting habitat than the wetlands that make up the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, part of which is right here in Siskiyou. 

Visit the refuge this October and November and get a front row seat to one of nature’s greatest show!  The visitor’s center is also worth a stop with tons of information on regional flora and fauna.

Descend Into a Cave

Pluto’s Cave

Siskiyou County is home to two different awesome caves that are the perfect destination for any outdoor adventure.

The first is the Lava Beds National Monument, which has 20 developed lava tube caves that are open to the public. Many of the developed caves contain trails through the cave and stairways or ladders into the cave. Most of the developed caves are located along Cave Loop, a 2-mile road near the visitor center. Just a short walk from the visitor center, Mushpot Cave contains exhibits and is the only lighted cave at Lava Beds. Developed caves are divided into three groups based on their varying levels of difficulty in the hardest section of the cave: least, moderate, and most challenging.

The second is Pluto’s Cave just on the north side of Mount Shasta. Pluto’s Cave is actually comprised of several caves, due to the original lava tube collapsing in parts. It now resembles three smaller caves that are easily accessible. The first cave is dusty, and smells faintly musty, no doubt due to the water seeping through the cavern roof. The second tube has a collapse that forms a hole in the roof, allowing for light to pour into the relative darkness. This is a popular location for photographers, as it bathes a subject in a cone of light or can be used to shoot  photos of the night sky through.

Go For a Bike Ride

Siskiyou County is one of the most popular biking destinations in the world. From relaxed rides with stellar views, to rugged mountain biking adventures, there’s a bike ride for everyone in the area.

Filled with Mount Shasta views, small-town vibes, great local bike shops and high-alpine rides, the wide-open space in Siskiyou County can give any bike rider the outdoor experience they’re looking for.

Here are 11 great biking routes in Siskiyou County

Go On a Scenic Road Trip

There are so many gorgeous scenes spread throughout Siskiyou County that sometimes the best way to see them is from the open road.

Roughly a hundred miles of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (VLSB) stretches through NorCal’s Siskiyou County, celebrating our immensely beautiful volcanic surrounding.

Of course, the best way to enjoy this stretch of highway is a good ole’ fashioned road trip. This follows Highway 89 north to the I-5 corridor, then through Weed and up Highway 97 all the way up to the Oregon border.

Read about road trippin’ the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

Watch the Salmon Run

From approximately mid-October through mid-December, the salmon of the Klamath River make their annual return to the hatchery at Iron Gate north of Yreka. 

There visitors will delight in the naturally spawning fish, jumping to swim upstream and over the fish ladder. Nearby, you’ll also find the seven-mile-long Iron Gate Reservoir, offering boat rentals and boat launching facilities.

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