SACRAMENTO VALLEY, CA - FREE AND FUN
Hike the American River
The American River is made up of 2 different forks : The North and the South. The South fork has a variety of different trails that are great for a nice afternoon hike, while the North fork trails are slightly more demanding and difficut. Regardless which trail you choose, there is plenty of natural beauty to be seen.
National Yo-Yo Museum
In Chico, California, you can find a museum dedicated to everything yo-yo. The museum displays many different types of yo-yos and yo-yo memorabilia, and is also home to the worlds largest yo-yo (256 pounds!)
Castle Crags State Park
Castle Crags State Park has over 28 miles of hiking trails and is the perfect place for activities such as picnicing, fishing, and photography. The many trails offer views of Mount Shasta, Gray Rocks, and Castle Crags. Campsites are also available.
Located in Dunsmuir, California, the Mossbrae falls are a beautiful sight to be seen. The falls, which are approximately 50 feet tall, flow into the Sacramento River. Please note, however, that while many people do still frequent the falls, there have been no trepassing signs posted. Visit at own risk.
Folsom Prison Museum
The Folsom Prison, made famous by singer Johnny Cash, is one of the most well known prisons in California. Johnny Cash once served time in the prison, resurrecting his career when he decided to sing in front of a live prison audience. Johnny Cash memorabilia can be found here. The musuem also holds onto other interesting artifacts such as objects taken from prisoners and tools used by correctional officers. There is a small fee to enter the museum, all of which is donated to charity.
Folsom Valley Railway
Once again, while not completely free, the Folsom Valley Railway only costs $3.00 to ride. In operation since 1970, the railway consists of one miniture scale replica of a steam engine. Rides are approximately 10 minutes in duration.
Hike Mt Shasta
Mt. Shasta is a potentially active volcano that rises over 10, 000 feet. The Volcano is a sight to be seen from both afar and up close. Most people who visit the mountain choose to stick to the base, whereby you can find a variety of beautiful and scenic hiking trails. Some people also attempt to climb to the top, but mountaineering experience is needed. Summit passes are also required.
Mt. Shasta is home to numerous caves, some of which are open for self exploration. One of the more popular caves in the area is the Pluto Cave. The cave itself is an ancient lava tube and extends about 1 mile. The entire hike runs in a loop and is an approximated 3 mile walk.
Lava Beds National Monument
The Lava Beds National Monument is a wilderness park that offers plenty of unique and exciting opportunities. Whether you want to explore a cave, discover a crater, admire petroglyphs, or simply enjoy nature, the Lava Beds Monument has something for everyone. The area has many hiking trails, wildlife outlooks, and even has a camping site.
Fees may apply.
The Yuba River flows through Nevada City, California. It's raging waters and natural swimming holes make it a popular location for swimming, walking, fishing, picnicing, and other recreational activities.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
This National Park is home to 4 different types of Volcano, as well as mud pots, steam vents, and painted dunes. There is plenty of beautiful photo opportunities in the park, and many activities to engage in. The park offers everything from hiking trails, to fishing, skiing, swimming, and horseback riding.
To the right: Bumpass Hell Overlook (the largest hydrothermal area in Lassen National Park)
Explore Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento is a landmark in California and is a great way to spend your day. Whether you are in the mood to take a gold rush tour, ride the railroad, explore a museum, dine, or shop, Old Sacramento has something for everyone. You can also find horse drawn carriages, river boats, bike trails, and many other great activities in the area.
Take a trip to Apple Hill
Located in El Dorado County, Apple Hill is the perfect place to find all of your orchard needs. Not only does Apple Hill have an abundance of fruit farms, but it also has plenty of tree farms, wineries, and breweries!
Tahoe Trout Farm
The Tahoe Trout Farm is a family owned farm where families can come to fish. No fishing license is required on the farm, and bait and tackle are free. Admission to the farm is also free, you only pay for what you catch!
Hike Eagle Falls
The Eagle Falls trail is one of the most popular hikes in Lake Tahoe. The trail extends approximately 1/4 mile and is considered a relatively easy hiking trail. The trail encompasses Eagle falls, and if you continue to walk past the falls you will hit Eagle Lake.
Any visit to Lake Tahoe must be accompanied by a visit to Emerald Bay! The Emerald Bay State Park is a National Landmark with a rich history, gorgeous natural landscapes, and unique geology. The area is popular for swimming, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and more!
The Donner Pass takes you on a hike straight through an old railroad tunnel. The tunnel was first used in 1867 and shut down in 1993 when the train that used it was sent to a new location. The hike to the tunnel is very beautiful, and if you like there are several exit points throughout the tunnel that also lead to gorgeous views.