Whether you’re looking for an easy hike or a leisurely stroll through the natural beauty of Northern California, the Sacramento River Trail is an absolute must! The 11-mile trail has multiple access points in our area and winds along the beautiful Sacramento River. It’s a great excursion to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the wilderness, see iconic bridges, and spend quality time with your loved ones. Read on to discover more information about the Sacramento River Trail and some of the most interesting things you’ll see along the way.
If you’re planning a visit to Dunsmuir soon, then you won’t want to be without our complimentary Vacation Guide! This handy vacation planning tool is filled with all the best recommendations for things to see and do in Northern California, including other hikes and excursions like the Sacramento River Trail. It’s the only thing you’ll need to plan the ultimate getaway to our one-of-a-kind destination.
More About the Sacramento River Trail
Based in nearby Redding, CA, the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail is a multipurpose route along the Sacramento River. It is very popular among locals and visitors alike and is a great place to explore our region on foot or by bike. Since the trail winds through the wilderness, it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy an easy and scenic hike without wandering too far from civilization and other local attractions. The loop is relatively flat and mostly shaded on the south side of the river, so you can enjoy a peaceful stroll or exciting bike ride even on the hottest of days.
As if it couldn’t get any better, the trail is also dog-friendly and provides drinking water at stops along the way!
What You’ll See During Your Hike
While there are multiple access points to the Sacramento River Trail, most visitors start at the Benton Drive trailhead from Court Street in Redding. As you wander down the river, you’ll be exposed to incredible views of the Trinity Mountains. You should also be able to find interpretive signs that detail the river’s powdered mining history.
If you’re willing to stay on the trail a little longer, we promise it is well worth it! The Sacramento River Trail Bridge comes into view at the 3-mile mark. This is the only bridge of its kind in North America and is supported by 236 steel cables. The bridge’s unique design also allows it to have minimal impact on the natural rock lining the Sacramento River and avoids the need for piers.
At the six mile mark, you’ll come across another bridge known as Diestelhorst. This bridge was built in 1915 and is only accessible to pedestrians and bikers. However, back in its prime, it was the first bridge that allowed automobiles to cross the Sacramento River.
The highlight of the Sacramento River Trail is the Sundial Bridge, which was designed by master architect Santiago Calatrava in 2004. The surface of this bridge is made with translucent structural glass that illuminates from beneath and glows at night. The world’s largest functional sundial can also be found on the bicycle/pedestrian bridge.
More Fun Places to Hike in Northern California
The Sacramento River Trail is just the beginning! Here are even more local trails that are sure to awaken the explorer in you.
There are over 28 miles of hiking trails that wind through Castle Crags’ 6,000 feet tall granite spires and wilderness. The most popular of these trails is Crags Trail, a 6.5-mile journey that climbs over 2,500 feet and provides jaw-dropping views from the base of Castle Dome. If you’re looking for a more simple hike, the Root Creek Trail is perfect! The 4.5-mile loop is lightly trafficked and mostly used for walking and trail running all year-round.
Castle Lake Trail
The Castle Lake Trail is a two-mile expedition and one of our area’s most traversed trails! It’s relatively short length also make it ideal for beginners. As you climb up into the mountains, you’ll be exposed to incredible views of Castle Lake, Heart Lake, and Castle Peak.
Hedge Creek Falls
This trail remains relatively unknown to most visitors, but those who choose to make the trek have nothing but wonderful things to say about it! It’s filled with beautiful waterfalls, an observation deck that overlooks the Sacramento River, and a swimming hole that is perfect for the summertime. During your journey on the Hedge Creek Falls Trail, stay alert for poison ivy and slippery rocks! Being aware and safe will ensure everyone enjoys a fun and safe adventure.
The Adventure of a Lifetime Awaits at Railroad Park Resort
After exploring the Sacramento River Trail or other local hiking paths, come back and rest your feet with us at the Railroad Park Resort! During your stay with us, you’ll enjoy unique accommodations in vintage train cabooses or the peaceful campground and RV park. Our Dining Car Restaurant is also one of the most interesting eateries in Dunsmuir and provides diners with exquisite menu options in a setting that is reminiscent of railroading. It’s everything you need and more for an unforgettable escape to northern California.
Book your favorite accommodations at the Railroad Park Resort today! We look forward to welcoming you to Dunsmuir soon.