Winter is officially in full swing, and now’s the time to take advantage of the natural beauty of the Northern California landscape. Whether you prefer a quiet cabin getaway, elk hunting, or skiing, read on for some ideas to get you started on your next Northern California winter adventure!
1. Calaveras Big Trees State Park
For those looking for a winter adventure easy on the wallet, Big Tree is a beautiful option to consider. During the winter season, snow play at the park is ideal for families, with gentle short slope areas for a day of sledding with the kids. If you’d like to explore the snowy backdrop of the state park, you can rent snowshoes in Arnold, though oftentimes good hiking boots will do the trick. Depending on the weather, Saturdays in Big Trees offer guided snowshoe hikes, even going so far as to provide snowshoes at no charge for those without. To round out your visit to Big Trees, grab some complimentary hot chocolate, cider, or coffee from the Warming Hut, and warm up around the toasty open fire pit. For the spur-of-the-moment snow day, Big Trees should be on your list!
2. Mount Shasta
While perhaps not the most iconic of winter destinations, Mount Shasta is located a scant 63 miles north on the Interstate-5 of Redding, California, and is blessed with an abundance of outdoor recreation in the winter months. With a variety of cabin and camping options available, this lesser-known travel destination is waiting for you! For the winter adventurers, visit Yellow Butte, with breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountain Range’s second-highest volcano in Mount Shasta’s high desert. If hiking is your goal, a visit to Shasta’s Burstarse Falls Hike is a great option, offering an amazing snowy hike with a heart-stopping view of the waterfalls in winter. For the fishermen in your life, a trip to Castle Lake is practically mandatory. After a short mile snowshoe hike, you’ll arrive at one of the best ice fishing spots in California without having to beat the crowds! And for the avid hunter, Shasta offers prime Rocky Mountain Elk hunting grounds to help you bag your next big bull. If you’re looking for a less-crowded option for your winter adventures, Mount Shasta may be your best bet.
3. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is known as one Northern California’s top vacation destination all year long, but spending the winter at this gorgeous destination is an experience in itself. For those who prefer to be active in the winter, Tahoe can offer a one-of-a-kind snow experience. Tahoe’s skiing and snowboarding slopes are iconic, and a major draw in the winter season. Sledding, tubing, and snowshoeing are all celebrated throughout Tahoe, and for those with winter rec vehicles, snowmobiling is welcomed with open arms! Even those without their own rec vehicles can still partake in the fun with guided ultra terrain vehicle tours, or a ride down the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster for the most exciting view of Lake Tahoe there is. With a plethora of resorts, lodges, and cabins available, you’ll want to book your stay far in advance to get the best prices and beat the crowds on your way to snowy Lake Tahoe.
4. Lassen Volcanic National Park
While many may not have heard of this often-overlooked Northern California gem, Lassen National Park is a popular vacation destination year-round, particularly in the winter and spring. Located roughly 88 miles east of Redding, California, Lassen provides countless winter activities to partake in. The park receives a large snowpack throughout the winter, but access to the winter recreation area is available through the north and southwest entrances of the park. With an affordable walk-in campground, Lassen boasts a snowy escape for winter travelers looking to ski, or snowboard the day away. If you prefer a more playful type of snow day, you’ll find Lassen is the perfect landscape for snowball fights, building snowmen, or sledding. The park even offers marked snowshoe trails for you and your family to explore or sign up for a ranger-guided snowshoe walk on the weekends. Whatever snowy desire you have, Lass National Park delivers time and again.
5. Yosemite National Park
No list of Northern California winter getaways would be complete without including Yosemite National Park! Known for its gorgeous waterfalls and majestic forests in the summer, once the winter’s first snowfall covers its meadows and mountains, Yosemite is transformed into a winter wonderland bursting with exciting winter activities. Once the snow falls, Yosemite’s mountains offer perfect conditions for a variety of winter sports. Ski the slopes of the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, spend the day playing and sledding in the snow, or trek through the beautiful snowshoe trails. If ice-skating sounds more your style, Yosemite offers theirs with beautiful Half Dome as a backdrop. While you may have visited Yosemite in the summer, make time this winter to get to know Yosemite in the colder months for a truly magical winter experience your family will never forget!
Before taking your family on your next winter adventure at any of these lovely Northern California destinations, be sure your vehicle is prepared for any weather or terrain!
If your personal vehicle, fleet vehicle, or work truck requires maintenance service this January, we invite you to schedule an appointment at All Wheel Auto, Truck & RV Repair. From wheel alignments and brake repair to tires and oil changes, our team of auto mechanics can handle all your automotive repair needs. Our address is 18730 Old Oasis
Road, Redding, California 96003. We look forward to seeing you and hearing all about your future winter adventures!