This article was produced in partnership with Visit California.

Looking for more winter vacation ideas in the Golden State? See the whole Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure guide here.

Mt. Shasta is oftentimes referred to as California’s hidden gem, and rightfully so. The odds of getting stuck in traffic or waiting in a lift line here are slim to none. So what’s holding you back from enjoying Mt. Shasta’s unique, local atmosphere this winter?

What to Do

The best part about Mt. Shasta is that it gets overlooked by more popular California snow destinations like Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes. So if you’re looking for some awesome (and empty) skiing and snowboarding, Mt. Shasta’s only ski resort, Mt. Shasta Ski Park has you covered.

With snow this fluffy, you’d be silly not to visit Mt. Shasta at least once. Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Shasta Ski Park

But getting your laps in isn’t the only way to enjoy the snow. Rent a dogsled through Dogsled Express and watch Mt. Shasta’s beautiful white scenery pass you by as you get pulled by well-practiced huskies. If you happen to be in Mt. Shasta when the Siskiyou Sled Dog Races are happening, it’s a can’t-miss community event. Just be sure to check the Sled Dog Central Website for event dates as they are always based on weather and snow conditions.

If dogsledding doesn’t entice you, rent a snowmobile instead. Just head into Fun Factory Snowmobile Rentals to grab a snowmobile at an hourly rate. Be sure to ask the experts in the shop where the best trails are.

A preferred method to exploring the Sierra Nevadas. Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Shasta Resort

Another great way to explore Mt. Shasta (at a slower pace) is by snowshoeing through the trails. There are plenty of easy trails – such as Bunny Flats and Castle Lake – that offer great views throughout the trek. There are a handful of places to rent snowshoes in town but one of the best places is Mt. Shasta Base Camp. While there, be sure to check out their boulder walls.

Where to Stay

Again, one of the coolest things about Mt. Shasta is its local atmosphere. No matter where you stay, it’s going to feel like a mom and pop, bed and breakfast. Here’s a list of Mt. Shasta’s best resorts, bed and breakfasts and more.

Mt. Shasta Resort’s charming location under the sky and beneath the main attraction. Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Shasta Resort

If you’re looking to stay in a hotel resort, Mt. Shasta Resort is a great option, as it’s stationed at the base of Mt. Shasta and provides an awesome view. If you prefer staying in a bed and breakfast with an authentic local vibe, look no for further than McCloud Hotel in the town of McCloud.

Where to Eat

Mt. Shasta is filled with delicious, locally owned restaurants that complement the town’s vibe, like the Heritage Roasting Company. Centered around kindness, the community, art, music and more, Heritage Roasting runs a program called “Love in a Cup,” which encourages people to buy drinks for others, who are then surprised with the gift at a later date.

Later in the day, you should indulge at Woody’s Brewing Co., an award-winning brewery founded in 1984 with the mission to “deliver good beer in a good atmosphere.” Family-owned and operated, it’s located in North Redding, which makes it only a 15-minute drive from downtown Mt. Shasta.

For dinner, try the family-owned-and-operated Old Mill Eatery & Smokehouse downtown, and don’t let the name scare you away – they serve plenty of great vegetarian (and even vegan) meals, as well.

Because downtown Mt. Shasta is so small, local cafes and diners are easy to spot while driving down Mt. Shasta Dam Boulevard. For any recommendations while there, don’t hesitate to ask the locals.

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