Discover Siskiyou

What to explore and eat in 2 days in the Shasta area, dog friendly edition!

Writing, photos and exploration by Elena Pressprich, Rio & Baya


Living in Central Oregon has so many perks. One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to get to other areas that are so different from Bend, one of them being the Shasta area. I honestly didn’t realize how close Shasta was until my recent trip down in May 2018, it’s only about a 4.5 hour drive, so easy!

From the moment we laid our eyes on Mt. Shasta, we knew we were in love with the area, and we were just getting started.


Where to stay:

We stayed in a historical little town known as Yreka. Walking up and down the streets of the downtown area, you can feel the history here. The shops have placards explaining what each building has been and gone through, many of which are still in the same operation today. This includes a toy store, an indoor merry-go-round, a candy shop and a museum filled to the brim with dolls. We stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites, they allow dogs!

We also spent some time exploring the town of Dunsmuir. An equally historical, and adorable town, Dunsmuir had a little more action and life than Yreka. We saw backpackers from the PCT stopping in Cornerstone Cafe for a well deserved meal.


Where to eat:

  • Dunsmuir -
    • Cornerstone Cafe - homemade hearty and healthy comfort food
    • Yaks Koffee Shop - voted one of the top 100 restaurants in America
  • Yreka -
    • Etna Brewing and Tap House - Local brewery
  • Weed -
    • Hi-Lo Cafe - old school diner
    • Mt. Shasta Brewing - home of Weed Ales 

What to do:

  • Hike Black Butte for a front and center view of Mt. Shasta - dogs allowed on leash
  • Hike to Heart Lake, soak your feet in after at Castle Lake - dogs allowed on leash (off least for swimming!)
  • Watch the sunrise on Shasta from any spot along the road Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, HWY 97. Non-stop views that just continually blew me away.
  • Sunset at Lake Siskiyou - we watched the sunset near the dam, there is a nice overlook that points straight onto Mt. Shasta
  • Have a picnic at the Botanical Gardens in Dunsmuir - dogs allowed on leash
  • Visit the McCloud Falls - we opted to visit the Middle Falls and was very happy with that choice. - dogs allowed on leash

Next time I visit:

Now that I have almost circumnavigated Mt. Shasta by car, I would love to see the view from the top. With some training, physical and with the gear, I am excited to say that I am adding this onto my list of must-do’s.  “Mount Shasta is usually climbed via the seven-mile-long John Muir Route (14 miles round-trip), also called the Avalanche Gulch Route, and gains 7,362 feet of elevation.” Source:

I would also like to spend more time up, above and beyond Heart Lake near Castle Lake. Take a couple days to pitch a tent and soak in some of the most beautiful views of Shasta we saw all weekend.


Fire lookout: Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout looks magical and like a place i’d like to rest my head after a day of adventures. Advance reservation only on

The best place for more information on any of these areas, and much more is at: