Redding Trails

Redding Trails

With 100 miles of trails within 10 miles of Redding’s city center, and many more beyond, it’s easy to understand why Redding is considered by many to be the Trail Capital of California. Redding has plenty of trails for you and your dog where you will see wildlife, wildflowers and spectacular scenery, including Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen and other Cascade peaks. 

Just released is a colorful guide to Redding area trails with informative descriptions, difficulty ratings, distances and recommendations of what to bring along. For a copy,  go to VisitRedding.com. Here are just a few of the many trails in and near Redding:

Sacramento River Trail:
The most famous of Redding’s trails is the Sacramento River Trail.  Twenty years in the making, this national recreation trail is fully paved and open to bikes and hikes, from Shasta Dam to Turtle Bay Exploration Park in central Redding. It even passes over Sundial Bridge along its gentle, 19-mile route.

Distance: 19 miles
Surface: Paved
Difficulty: Easy
Drinking Water: Yes
Restrooms: Yes

Paws

Mule Mountain Pass Trail:
Whether you start at the Meiners Loop or Wintu Loop parking areas, expect to see abundant features from the earliest days of California gold mining along with occasional remains of encampments predating the Gold Rush era.  Challenge yourself on the ascent to Mule Mountain Pass or just skunk around on the flatter, eastern section of the trail. Either way, it'll be a good time.

Distance: 4.3 miles
Surface: Natural Dirt
Difficulty: Moderate
Drinking Water: No
Restrooms: No 
Paws
Blue Gravel Trail
This trail travels through a canyon near a seasonal creek and the old Blue Gravel Mine. Much of the trail is graced with trees and shade.  It's especially beautiful in springtime, when wildflowers and butterflies abound. The trail connects to the Holiday Market shopping center with restaurants and other services.

Distance: 1.75 miles one way
Surface: Dirt
Difficulty: Slight Hill
Drinking Water: Yes
Restrooms: No
paws

Fisherman's Trail
Take this short trail to explore some of the shoreline of Keswick Reservoir or as means to connect to the Sacramento River Rail Trail. Great for fishing wildlife viewing.

Distance: 1 mile
Surface: Dirt
Difficulty: Easy
Drinking Water: Yes
Restrooms: No
Paws

Hornbeck Trail
Traverse the many cuts through bedrock where a steam engine once ran, and span in your imagination the spots where trestles once crossed steep ravines. Look for signs of crumbled residences that housed workers employed in mining. Along the way, enjoy the many vistas of Keswick Reservoir and seasonal wildflower displays.

Distance: 2.8 - 9 miles one way
Surface: Dirt
Difficulty: Varies
Drinking Water: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Paws

Mary Lake
A pleasant, easy walk that's mostly shaded. Look for beavers, ducks and geese.  Walks can be extended through a quiet neighborhood to the Westside hiking trail off Kilkee Drive.

Distance: .75 mile loop
Surface: Dirt and grass
Difficulty: Flat
Drinking Water: Yes
Restrooms: No
 
paws
Escalator Trail & Meiner's Loop
As means to maintain an easy grade, the Escalator winds so tight that you might be able to see behind you as easily as ahead of you! The vegetation mix along the way reflects nearly constant changes of aspect, elevation, soil and moisture. Take a break at Mule Mountain Pass and decide what route to next pursue: Mule Mountain Trail, Salt Creek/Buckhollow Trails (into Whiskeytown National Recreation Area) or return on the Escalator.

Distance: 3.4 miles
Surface: Dirt 
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Drinking Water: No
Restrooms: No
Paws

Middle Creek Trail
The upper portion of this paved trail lies atop the old River Road built in 1883 to connect a withering Shasta City to the Central Pacific Railroad in nearby Redding. The lower portion of the trail sits atop the grade of a railroad that was used to bring ore from the Iron Mountain mines to refineries in the Bay area. Now this gentle grade brings users to and from the Sacramento River Trail. 

Distance: 3 miles
Surface: Dirt and pavement
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Drinking Water: No
Restrooms: No
paws

Wintu Loop
A nice loop trail in a Swasey area. From the picnic area high on the ridge you have great views of Lassen Peak and Mount Shasta. On a clear day you might also see the ragged silhouette of Sutter Buttes.

Distance: 2.8 miles
Surface: Dirt 
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Drinking Water: No
Restrooms: Yes
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Best Dog Hikes in Redding

Kayla at Turtle Bay
Kayla at Turtle Bay

Like to hike? You’re in luck in the Trail Capital of California, as Redding has so aptly branded itself. The city boasts about 80 miles of trails within its city limits and hundreds more within a 20-mile radius of its core.

Trails are free to all, and most are dog-friendly, which means the whole family can explore together. Remember to pack your camera, a few snacks and plenty of water. Before you put paws to path, request a free trails brochure or check out the virtual guides online. And as always, pack it in, pack it out, and Leave Only Paw Prints™!

See below for the stories. more »

Get Gushy With Your Puppy - Redding Hikes

Hedge Creek Falls - courtesy Visit Redding
Hedge Creek Falls - courtesy Visit Redding

OK, so it hasn’t been a wet year. Nevertheless, waterfalls near Redding are still flowing, delectable swimming holes await, and you and your dog are in for some scenic treats whether you make a waterfall pit-stop or take a hike. Start, perhaps, at Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir. It’s right off Interstate 5 via a short path, has a generous parking lot, a viewing platform and a cave beneath the cascade for sensory thrill (your dog may or may not want to follow you behind the water curtain). more »

Just Ditch It With Your Dog - Redding Hikes

Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail - courtesy of Bureau of Land Mgmt.
Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail - courtesy of Bureau of Land Mgmt.

The upper and lower ditch trails once brought water to 19th-century gold miners. There are lots of relics of the era to see if you know how and where to look! While the Upper Trail is a hefty 9 miles, the Lower section is only 2.8. Both are rated easy to moderate.
 
The Upper trail, starting near the Shasta Dam visitor parking lot, stretches to the trailhead at the end of Walker Mine Road. more »

Around Keswick Reservoir with Your Pup - Redding Hikes

Otis at Keswick - ©Randal Fleischmann/Dreamstime.com
Otis at Keswick - ©Randal Fleischmann/Dreamstime.com

For a dog-friendly, close-to-town hike offering some unusual scenery, check out the trails around Keswick Dam, which creates an after-bay (Keswick Reservoir) for Shasta Lake. The water, released from the lower reaches of the lake, is very cold and turquoise-blue in color. Anglers and kayakers love it, but it’s not safe for a casual dip. The Sacramento River Rail Trail, which hugs the reservoir, is paved for 11 miles and is an ideal path to hike with your dog while taking in some scenery. more »

River, Bridge, Dam and Your Dog - Redding Hikes

Fetch at the Sundial Bridge
Fetch at the Sundial Bridge

Yes, it’s the best known and most popular of Redding trails, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail extending almost 19 miles from the iconic Sundial Bridge to massive Shasta Dam. There are many points of entry. You can hike on the north side of the river (the south portion under repair after fire damage) and maybe take a dip along the way. more »

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