Have you ever heard of Yreka? If you live close to the border between Oregon and California, you might have. Similarly, if you are interested in the history of the gold rush, the odds are pretty good that you have heard this name as well. As a matter of fact, did you know that Yreka owes its very existence to rumors of grand gold discoveries at Black Gulch back in 1851? It was a fellow by the name of Abraham Thompson who busily spread the rumors of discoveries of the yellow metal all along the Siskiyou Trail.
Traveling up an down the trail and visiting towns in California, that today we know as Redding and Dunsmuir, and also in Oregon that are named Grants Pass, Salem, Portland and Ashland today. As the word spread that there was gold in "them there hills", the trail saw a steep increase in traffic, namely a large influx of forty-niners, who set up shanties in the area now known as Yreka.
A lot of time has passed since the historic days that brought gold miners in search of a fortune, and today Yreka is a small community that offers charm as well as recreational possibilities. Capitalizing heavily on the surrounding mountain streams, there are many opportunities for white water rafting and fishing, but for those who prefer the dry land, there is hiking, backpacking, camping and of course hunting. When hunting, it is important to check in with the forest service and the rangers first to ensure that you only hunt what is currently in season. So when you are ready to visit a town that owes its very existence to the gold rush, Yreka is the place to visit!
Shingletown is another lovely city in Shasta County. It has nearly 10,000 residents and preserved a natural charm that is rare even among mountain communities. Similar to Yreka, Shingletown offers a large variety of mountain sports for those seeking some active recreation. Hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, and camping are at the top of the list of activities that visitors to this spot enjoy.
Shingletown owes its name to the shake makers who split shingles on Shingletown Ridge. This practice went on in the early 1850s, and in 1855 the town's name is mentioned in a survey. More and more tourists are enchanted by the tall trees and clear lakes, and it is no surprise that many choose to purchase vacation homes in the area. Real estate is a veritable boom at this time, and log cabins or elegant homes may be yours in picturesque surroundings.
For those who like to travel in by air, this little town even has its own airport! Granted, it is more or less a strip of cleared dirt road, but a private plane or helicopter will have no problem landing and taking off at any time.
As you can see, there are plenty of small mountain communities in the hills of northern California that will be a joy to discover for anyone who enjoys the mountain sports and is not afraid to do a bit of adventurous travel. There is so much more to California than the travel brochures do it justice, and hopefully you will one day soon take off with a full tank of gas, a map in the glove box, your fishing pole rigged and ready to go, and just set off and see where you land. You will not be disappointed!