Activities for Couples in Northern California

Activities for Couples in Northern California
Outdoor-oriented couples have a wealth of activities to choose from when visiting Northern California. You can hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, climb Mount Shasta, a volcano in the Cascade mountain range, or explore the ancient redwood forests in Redwood National Park.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park offers stunning scenery, plenty of camping and wildly varying hiking experiences. The Redwood National Park system comprises Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, There are four campgrounds, three in the forests and one by the ocean. In addition, there are several backcountry campsites along hiking trails. The Coastal Trail offers a different hiking experience, with the opportunity to see up to 70 miles of the Pacific Coast. The inland areas have plenty of short loop hikes, like the Stout Memorial Grove, with views of 300 foot high redwoods, to longer backcountry hikes, several of which are open to horses and bikes.

There are also opportunities for sea kayaking and river kayaking in the region.

Shasta

Mount Shasta, located in Siskiyou County just off Interstate 5 north of Redding, rises to an elevation of 14,179 feet high. Mount Shasta is the fifth highest peak in California. Unlike Mount Whitney, which is little more than a stiff hike requiring good conditioning, Mount Shasta has several glaciers and requires more technical mountaineering skills. The standard Avalanche Gulch route is considered non-technical, but does cross snow even in late summer and may require the use of an ice axe and crampons. For those who don't have as much experience, there are guided trips up the mountain offered by two companies.

Biking and Fishing

Shasta Lake offers ample opportunities for boating and fishing, including guided boat tours. The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, in Susanville east of Lassen National Forest, offers excellent mountain bike outings and horseback riding. Though mountain biking is prohibited on Mount Shasta because it is a wilderness area, bike the Mount Shasta Loop trail for a 65-mile tour with stunning views of the mountain. The Redwood National Park system has several mountain biking opportunities, mostly on old logging roads: Popular routes include Little Bald Hills Trail and Davison Trail. The Lost Man Creek Trail is currently closed (as of 2009). The Coastal Trail near Crescent City has a 20-mile stretch open to biking called the Last Chance section. Mountain biking is prohibited in designated wilderness areas, but is allowed in national forests and national parks. Regulations are subject to change, so check before riding.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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