Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Dunsmuir, CA

  • Published 2022/06/24

Visit Dunsmuir, and you’ll understand why it is the tourism hub of Northern California.

This quaint city lies in Siskiyou County, in northern California.

It’s in the Trinity Mountains, on the banks of the upper Sacramento River.

This little town is the “home of the greatest water on Earth,” whose enticing waterfalls and outdoor activity draw guests from everywhere.

Fishing, skiing, climbing, and sightseeing are popular pastimes.

The city was a significant Central Pacific (and subsequently Southern Pacific) railroad yard during the age of steam locomotives.

Its history has made it one of California’s most important rail hubs.

In addition, several stores and activities keep you occupied for several days.

Here are the best things to do in Dunsmuir, CA:

Stroll around the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens

Welcome sign of Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gardens at Dunsmuir City Park in far northern California is home to numerous gardens.

It’s a park with steep, forested terrain and an open meadow.

There are several playgrounds and picnic areas along the banks of the Upper Sacramento River.

The park where Babe Ruth used to play and the Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain are just a few blocks away.

Plants and trees of Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Next to the Community Building on Dunsmuir Avenue is a locomotive engine.

Take a moment to see the fountain as you drive up.

To reach the parking lot, walk around the tennis court and down the steps.

Take a walk up one of its many trails to get a good view of the meadow.

A bench overlooking Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens' water

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grab Some Knickknacks at the Sacred Well

This tiny and attractive boutique, located at the foot of Mount Shasta, sells a wide range of unusual goods.

You’ll discover a wide variety of handcrafted jewelry, candles, and stones at this shop.

Of course, there are also more unusual things like power powders, witch wash, and goddess oils.

Join their Mayan astrological readings, lectures, and reading sessions.

Additionally, they provide a wide variety of hot beverages, including chai, latte, and iced tea.

Admire the Grandeur of Mossbrae Falls

Scenic view of Mossbrae Falls

Sveta Imnadze /

This 52-foot-tall waterfall, part of the Shasta Cascades, cascades majestically into the Sacramento River.

The waterfall known as Mossbrae Falls is one of the most beautiful in the state of California.

This cascading waterfall produces numerous layers of water.

The base of Mossbrae Falls

Zhuo Wen Chen /

Because of its breathtaking views and relaxed atmosphere, this waterfall is sure to enthrall you.

You may reach Mossbrae Falls after a 1.5-mile hike.

Take in the stunning nature along the journey.

You need to prepare, however, for authorities may block this trail for safety reasons at any time.

Cascades of Mossbrae Falls

Gurcharan Singh /

Bring Your Family to Tauhindauli Park

Swimming and fishing are popular pastimes at this Sacramento River canyon park.

The family-friendly Tauhindauli Park in Dunsmuir is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.

With everything from hiking to fishing, the park has something for everyone.

To top it all off, the park provides a much-needed break from your daily routine.

This park’s fishing and hiking paths are great ways to spend an afternoon.

Take a break and enjoy the natural splendor of the Sacramento River with a picnic.

Enjoy a Retreat at Cave Springs Resort

Founded in 1923, the Cave Springs Resort Cabins provide a holiday experience unlike any other.

Even though these rustic cabins have been updated, they still have all the rustic feel.

All the conveniences of a cabin are also available, including private bathrooms with showers, kitchens with two-burner stovetops and ovens, and vintage refrigerators in the kitchen or back porch.

You can read on your front porch, relax in the hammock, or watch TV without worrying about the phone or TV waking you up in the middle of the night.

Relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Sacramento River as it meanders over boulders and into emerald-green pools.

Trek to the Hedge Creek Falls

Scenic view of the beautiful Hedge Creek Falls

Beach Creatives /

Dunsmuir boasts another waterfall in the name of Hedge Creek Falls.

Visitors may wander beneath the falling water in a tiny cave below the waterfall.

You may see Mount Shasta’s breathtaking view from an observation deck over the river.

View from a cave under Hedge Creek Falls

Stephen Moehle /

You can reach the observation deck and waterfall through a short hike.

Reaching the falls is a breeze, even for kids; it’s a majestic place once you get there.

It’s about 0.2 miles (0.3 kilometers) along the Hedge Creek Falls Trail.

The waterfall’s closeness to Interstate 5 makes it a popular stop for passing drivers.

Grab Your Fishing Supplies at Ted Fay Fly Shop

In 1950, fishing enthusiast Ted Fay relocated to Dunsmuir for its abundant waters.

After inventing the two-fly method and quick casts, his name has become synonymous with fly-fishing.

In 1982, the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame inducted Fay.

Guides on the Upper Sacramento River have continued to appreciate Fay’s skills while carving out their own niches.

Since 1950, the Ted Fay Fly Shop has been a one-stop shop for fly fishing in the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers.

It’s the oldest fly shop in California.

Ted Fay Fly Shop moved to its current home in Dunsmuir, California, in 2007.

Go Camping at Cedar Pines RV Resort

Enjoy a peaceful respite in the Mount Shasta woods near the Sacramento River.

The Cedar Pines RV Resort in Dunsmuir is a must-see attraction.

It’s a great place to spend a night or a few days in Dunsmuir.

This park provides a tranquil and refreshing respite in the middle of the woods.

It’s also close to swimming and fishing areas and offers a few valuable conveniences.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend the night here.

If you’re feeling adventurous, visit the Sacramento River, which has excellent swimming and fishing opportunities.

Appreciate the Architecture of Downtown Dunsmuir

Sidewalk of Downtown Dunsmuir

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stroll downtown Dunsmuir and catch the Victorian, Art Deco, and “post-fire architecture” in this historic area.

In the early 1900s, two fires raged in town one after the other.

In response, Dunsmuir residents began to favor fireproof concrete as a building material.

Travelers Hotel (now an apartment complex) and the Wheelhouse restaurant are two brick buildings that have survived the fires.

Many of the buildings in Dunsmuir are decorated with murals.

You can see the growing Community Garden from the Belknap Fountain.

Monica Zinda, a mosaic artist, decorated the fountain with dogwood blooms, which you can see throughout the water feature.

Downtown Dunsmuir continues to prosper despite its small size.

Marvel at the Stunning Art in the Siskiyou Arts Museum

Located in the heart of Dunsmuir’s downtown area, this museum attracts tourists with its performances and literary and artistic arts.

With a wide variety of art displays and exhibits, this museum is a must-see for art lovers in the city.

You may take in the artwork, participate in seminars, or attend exhibitions by featured artists.

You may find merchandise such as photographs, jewelry, and tiny paintings in the gift store.

Grab Fresh Produce at Dunsmuir Farmers Market

Grab the famous nectarines and peaches at the Dunsmuir Farmers Market.

Likewise, you can buy Vietnamese rolls, salads, Thai tea, and sweets like granola and scone mix baked from scratch.

You may also buy melons, squash, cucumbers, onions, other fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, handmade tamales, salsa, honey, bread, pie, jellies, jams, and preserves.

Crafts include aprons, table runners, potholders, t-shirts with local motifs like railroads and waterfalls, miniature gardens in pots, jewelry, and aromatic, exquisitely handcrafted soaps.

There will be stunning home and yard plants and vegetable seedlings for sale.

Take advantage of the fresh produce and support local growers, gardeners, and craftspeople.

Also, try the seasonally appropriate bounty of locally sourced, delectable cuisine.

Grab a Bite at YAKS on the 5

YAKS on the five should be your first burger pick if you only have time for one place.

In the early 2000s, the restaurant began as an artsy and friendly shop for the best coffee and cuisine in the region.

Since then, it has become one of Northern California’s leading dining destinations.

You can rely on the restaurant to serve you only the freshest and best-tasting cuisine because it sources most of its ingredients from within the area.

The company gets its hamburger beef at the Prather Ranch near Macdoel, California.

Try their cilantro bomb and jalapeño burgers for a unique eating experience.

Taste the City’s Local Brews at Dunsmuir Brewery Works

At the Dunsmuir Brewery Works, sample a wide range of locally brewed ales and eat delectable fare in a cozy, intimate setting.

It is located in historic downtown Dunsmuir.

The spring water used to brew the beer provides a refreshing and crisp taste.

Stop by for lunch or supper from the weekend following Labor Day to the week leading up to Memorial Day.

In-house beers are available, as well as beer on tap.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Castle Crags State Park

Castle crags at Castle Crags State Park

Daniel W. Slocum /

This park is in Castella, California, ten minutes from Dunsmuir.

It’s a haven for hikers and environment enthusiasts, with 3,000 acres of granite peaks and evergreen woods.

Dunsmuir visitors seeking outdoor recreation can find something to enjoy at Castle Crags State Park.

A river at Castle Crags State Park

Nathan Jongewaard, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can quickly go out of town and enjoy some wildlife here.

The park’s 13 scenic pathways offer breathtaking views of the surrounding region as you hike through the woods.

Camping in the state park is an option if you want to extend your time beyond a single day.

A short footbridge at Castle Crags State Park

docentjoyce, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire the Mountain Views from Wagon Creek Bridge

Daytime view of Wagon Creek Bridge

Conor P. Fitzgerald /

Wagon Creek Bridge is a 17-minute drive from Dunsmuir.

It cost 2.8 million dollars to construct and offers stunning views of the mountains and lake.

The Wagon Creek Bridge is an excellent alternative to some of Dunsmuir’s more popular tourist sites.

The body of Wagon Creek Bridge

Conor P. Fitzgerald /

It’s no secret that this bridge is one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city, thanks to its gorgeous background and distinctive architecture.

Hiking the Lake Siskiyou Trail is the best way to see this bridge in all its glory.

You may see large open pastures and gloomy woodlands along the way.

Practice Your Swings at McCloud Golf Club

In 1923, the McCloud Golf Club’s nine-hole course officially opened to the public.

The McCloud River Lumber Company built the golf club on Hearst family land.

The board of directors of the McCloud Lumber Company, who traveled from Minneapolis for monthly meetings, built the course with a panoramic vista of Mt. Shasta at 14,180 feet.

The fairways were constructed using the existing field grass on the site because it was grazing property.

The greens comprise greased sand.

Water from the property’s springs and Squaw Creek flow through the course.

They added a pond at the end of the 7th fairway in 2006.

The use of these water elements increases the difficulty of the system.

Anyone may enjoy this course, regardless of ability level.

Fairways, water hazards, and sand traps all provide opportunities to practice your accuracy.

Find this golf course in McCloud, California, 21 minutes from Dunsmuir.

Final Thoughts

Rather than speeding past Dunsmuir, California, stop by and learn more about this charming town.

Visiting the city with your family is an excellent opportunity to create lasting memories.

Start planning your Dunsmuir getaway today!

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