Obi on the Sundial Bridge. Photo: James Navarro
What a difference a bridge makes! It’s been 10 years since Redding’s Sundial Bridge, designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, opened to international acclaim. To mark its first decade as an iconic symbol of the region, the city is preparing to celebrate in a big way.
Celebrate10, June 20 - July 4, features a packed agenda of activities, with leashed dogs welcome at most outdoor events. A must-see is at least one of two evening performances (June 20 and 21) by Bandaloop, a troupe of “vertical dancers” who will perform suspended by ropes from the bridge’s 217-foot pylon to the choreographed accompaniment of the North State Symphony. Free concerts with food-truck catering and a beer garden are on tap from 6-9 p.m. June 22 - 25 and June 29 - July 2. Another good bet (providing your pup isn’t noise-shy) is the July 4 fireworks extravaganza scheduled to close out the celebration.
Never visited the Sundial Bridge? Hang onto your leash: you'll need it to steady yourself when you get your first close-up look at this stunning pedestrian/bike structure, in essence, the world’s biggest sundial, leading to dog-friendly trails on both sides of the Sacramento River. Start off with a stroll over the glass-decked span and let Rover splash at the water access points on the far side. Your buddy can sniff the roses as you pick up some plant identification skills while strolling a 1.4-mile paved loop trail through the adjacent McConnell Arboretum.
Next, cross back over the bridge and soak up some scenery along the Sacramento River Trail, the crown jewel of Shasta County's extensive trail system. This 19-mile (round-trip) multiuse path is now paved all the way to 600-foot-high Shasta Dam, another major attraction you won't want to miss.
You and Rover can view the country's second-largest concrete dam from the vista point on scenic Highway 151 (Shasta Dam Boulevard). Walk the .66-mile distance over the top, marvel at the gigantic spillway and take a break at the shady picnic grounds across from the visitor center.