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Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway - California

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway - California
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Quick Facts
Average Time: Full Day
Length: 360 Miles (600.0 Kilometers)

General Information

Description - California's Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway stretches from Mount Lassen in Northern California to the California-Oregon border. From the border, the byway continues North to Oregon's Crater Lake, making this byway America's Volcano to Volcano highway. The volcanic activity of the past has created unique geological formations such as wavy lava flows and lava tube caves. Surrounding this volcanic landscape is a wide diversity of scenery. The byway travels through or near dense forests, broad wetlands and habitat areas, pastoral grasslands, farms and ranches, and well-managed timber resource lands.

Attractions - The Volcanic Legacy Byway offers even more benefits than just the fascinating volcanic geology and scenery. Each season offers a different array of outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone. The beautiful green forests and mountains along the byway are home to hiking trails, including the nationally recognized Pacific Crest Trail, ski slopes, and great fishing and kayaking in clear, cool mountain streams and lakes. Travelers of the byway can also enjoy viewing the hundreds of species of wildlife along the byway.

The Volcanic Legacy corridor provides important accommodations for visitors. Services such as campgrounds, motels, bed and breakfast facilities, lodges, resorts, marinas, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, auto repair and service facilities, fuel stations, medical and emergency facilities, grocery stores, retail shopping areas, pharmacies, and other important necessities exist throughout the main cities and towns along the corridor.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are typically permitted along the corridor route segments with the exception of Interstate 5. On the remainder of the corridor, bicycles are permitted. Pedestrians are discouraged from using some portions of the roadway, particularly in Lassen National Park, due to the lack of sufficient shoulder area along the existing roadways. In several areas, particularly the National Park Service and Forest Service lands, existing trails within the corridor are used by bicyclists and pedestrians for recreation, as well as travel to points of interest.

Cities along Volcanic Legacy Byway include:
City of Mt. Shasta - Offers many amenities such as food, gas, and lodging. Sisson Museum in Mt. Shasta has a collection of historical climbs ascending Mount Shasta and other historical artifacts.

Hat Creek and surrounding area - Offers a wide variety of activities including world-class hang gliding, hiking and camping.

Town of Dorris - Historical town with America's tallest flag pole and several amenities.

Town of Macdoel - Home to Chariot Club Races.

Town of McCloud - A registered historic district, which offers many amenities. Some sites include the Heritage Junction museum and the functioning McCloud Railroad. The town is also home to the Dance Country square and round dancing festival.

Tulelake - A small, quaint, historic town, located in the horseradish growing capital of the world. The town hosts many cultural activities including Butte Valley Fair, held the weekend before Labor Day.

Weed - Made famous in John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN, Weed offers many visitors amenities such as food, lodging, and fuel. It is also host to several cultural events such as fairs, carnivals, and performing arts at the College of the Siskiyous.

Westwood - A historic timber town. The town hosts an annual festival that celebrates the history of Westwood with logging shows and crafts. Westwood also is home to a 22-foot statue of Paul Buyan and his ox, Babe.

Points of Interest:
Biz Johnson Trail - 25.4 miles of trails on the old Southern Pacific Railroad line.

Black Butte Trail - A hiking trail to the summit of Black Butte volcano.

Butte Valley National Grasslands - The only National Grassland in California. The wetlands, marshes, and grasslands provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

Butte Valley Wildlife Area, Juanita Lake and Meiss Lake - Features bird watching including sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, and prairie falcons. Juanita Lake and Meiss Lake offer abundant water recreation activities, camping and wildlife viewing.

Deer Mountain - An abundant amount of recreational activities including snowmobiling along part of more than 250 miles of snowmobile trails.

Emigrant Trail Monument - Commemorates the historic Applegate and California Emigrant Trails.

Klamath National Forest - Contains an abundance of forested land and water, providing habitat for over 400 species of wildlife. Hiking, biking, camping, and fishing are all available within the forest.

Lake Almanor - Popular for fishing, swimming and other water sports. It also features resorts, boat launches, picnic areas, and camping sites.

Lake Shastina - Beautiful lake offers boating, waterskiing, canoeing, and swimming.

Lassen National Forest - Home to Lassen National Volcanic Park and hundreds of miles of trails, hiking, wildlife, and camping.

Lassen Volcanic National Park - Offers a wide variety of geothermal features. Lassen Peak is the larges plug dome volcano in the world. The park offers a wide variety of geothermal features, meadows, forests, hiking and camping.

Lava Beds National Monument - Site of the largest concentration of lava tube caves in the world. The Monument is also significant as the historical setting for the Modoc War.

Living Memorial Sculpture Garden - An extraordinary outdoor sculpture garden honoring the lives and service of America's veterans. The beautiful and serene garden contains 10 stylized metal sculptures.

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge - Consists of 46,900 acres of shallow freshwater marshes, open water, and grassy uplands. A 10-mile auto tour runs through the refuge and offers superb wildlife viewing opportunities.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park and Lake Britton - The park offers a 129-foot waterfall, trails and a campground. The lake is a prime destination for fishing, boating and swimming.

McCloud Lake, River, and Water Falls - This area is a world-famous fly fishing destination, also offering wildlife watching and three scenic waterfalls.

Mt. Shasta Ski Park - Mount Shasta is a 14,162-foot volcano that, in the wintertime, offers skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Mt. Shasta Wilderness - Offers a variety of recreational activities including Mount Shasta, a 14,162-foot volcano with over 150 miles of trails, camping and backpacking.

Old Station Visitor's Center - Offers information about recreational and scenic opportunities in the Old Station, Hat Creek and Lassen areas.

Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge - Home to the largest annual concentration of waterfowl in North America. Over 200 species of birds can be found on and near the 13,000-acre lake taking up part of the 39,116 acres of mostly open water and croplands.

Yreka and Applegate Emigrant Trails - This is the convergence of two historical trails in California. The Applegate Trail was blazed in 1846. Both trails were popular southern routes of the Oregon Trail. The trail offers scenic views from its walking trail.

Recreation - The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway is known for it's archeology, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic attractions.

Climate - As throughout California, most of the precipitation comes between November and April. This comes in the form of rain at the lower elevations and some wet, heavy snow in the higher elevations. April through October is normally dry, with warm temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures in the higher elevations.

Location - The California Volcanic Legacy corridor is an extension of the Oregon Volcanic Legacy All-American Road, which reaches the Oregon / California border via Highway 97, three miles north of the town of Dorris. From this point, you can choose to go east toward the Modoc section of the byway, or south on the Shasta section, continuing to the Lassen section.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
ICON Viewing Scenery Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.


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