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.
The bridge, situated at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, not far off Interstate 5, is the top photo-op spot in Redding. Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004, the stunning, 700-foot-long pedestrian span straddling the Sacramento River is an object of beauty and grace. Its 217-foot, angled steel pylon functions as a gnomon, making it in essence the world’s largest sundial. At night, with its 14 white suspension cables set off against a black sky, the assembly resembles a giant harp.
Shasta Dam is equally as impressive, but in a different kind of way. At 602 feet long and two-thirds of a mile long, it’s the second-largest concrete dam in the United States (Grand Coulee in Washington is the largest, Hoover in Nevada is third) and contains the largest reservoir in California.
Tours inside the dam have been curtailed during the pandemic, but as of May 20, you and your dog are once again welcome to enjoy a self-guided walk along the top. Find updates and read about the dam’s amazing history. And don’t forget a camera: the view of the dam with snow-capped Mount Shasta in the background (and maybe your pup in the foreground) is a sure social-media share.
Fetch image courtesy of Laurinda Willard