Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A 149 B Y J O H N F L I N N T hrusting 14,179 feet into the Northern California sky, Mount Shasta is such an imposing presence that it creates its own weather—most notably the eerie-looking lenticular clouds that form on its summit. Some people see in them a jaunty beret, others a UFO mother ship. It's no wonder the snow-capped volcano has long held a mysterious attraction for poets, artists, adventurers and New Age mystics. At least two religions have been founded on the flanks of the mountain, which some believe to be a vortex for spiritual activity, and a race of psychically advanced people named the Lemurians is rumored to live inside. Mount Shasta is the focal point of one of California's least-pop- ulated regions, a land of high-desert tumbleweeds, majestic rivers and craggy volcanoes. This is where the West Coast's two major mountain ranges—the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades—run head- long into each other. Just to the south of Shasta, Mount Lassen, the southernmost of the Cascade peaks, erupted less than a century ago, spewing ash as far as 200 miles away. Today, pots of boiling mud and steam vents smelling of rotten eggs attest that this volcano is far from dormant. To the west rise the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains, relatively unvisited gems that are popular venues for fly fishing and horseback MARK BALDWIN/SHUTTERSTOCK SHASTA CASCADE TOP CITIES Redding, Mount Shasta City, Weaverville, Weed, Chico, Oroville GATEWAY Redding Municipal Airport (RDD) has flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is 9 miles (14 km) from the Redding city center TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 274,000 SHASTA CASCADE Explore the great outdoors with a mystical mountain, mud pots and more

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