Shasta Dam
Redding, California
38 miles | 1,600 ft elevation | 34% gravel​​
This loop from Redding, California to the Shasta Dam is the perfect combination of pavement and dirt, and makes for a scenic day on the bike as you ride along the water, through a tunnel, over a dam and under trees. And with the majority of the pavement being multi-use trails and converted rail trails, the route is almost entirely car-free!
Starting from the Sundial Bridge, the first 16 miles are along the Sacramento River Trail, a beautiful and scenic paved path that doesn’t feel like your typical trail. It starts off easy as you leave downtown Redding, but soon takes you up some steep grades and through the hills surrounding the Keswick Reservoir. After passing through an old railroad tunnel, the path flattens out and parallels the river once again.
Once the path ends, it’s about a mile and a half up Coram Road (shared with cars) to the top of the Shasta Dam. The views are stunning and peering over the edge will take your breath away.
After crossing the dam to the other side of the river, it’s time for some dirt - about 13 miles of singletrack. The first part (about 9 miles) on the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail is fun and beautiful. Once you’re on the Hornbeck Trail (about 4 miles) you’ll run into a few technical spots and some rocky sections.
The gravel riding is over once you reach Quartz Hill Road, and the next 3 miles are shared with cars as you make your way to the Stanford Hills Trail. Once on the paved trail, enjoy a short, fast descent that takes you back to the Sacramento River Trail. Cruise along the river for the last 3 miles until you reach the Sundial Bridge and the end of the ride.
At the end of the Sacramento River Trail, near the Chappie-Shasta ORV Staging Area (before you start the climb up to the dam) you will find a water spigot on the right hand side of the road.
Summer temperatures can be very hot, so plan hydration and kit choice accordingly.
There is a Visitors Center once you cross over the dam. Check their website for operating hours. aims to provide content that is true and accurate as of the date of writing; however, the accuracy and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. and its associates are in no way liable for personal injury, loss or damage to personal property, or any other such situation that should occur to individuals following the guides, routes and recommendations. Please review the full Terms & Disclaimer.
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