Inside the Lake Shasta Caverns in Mt. Shasta, CA

Northern California is known for its gorgeous scenery, including its forests and mountains. Many visitors enjoy staying as close as possible to the surrounding scenery to be fully immersed with nature. Railroad Park Resort offers a variety of lodging options in Dunsmuir including tent and RV sites, vintage cabins and cabooses. Mt. Shasta is a popular destination for visitors, but many don’t realize that there is more to the area than the mountain and its lake, Lake Shasta. There are a series of caves located at the northern end of the lake called the Lake Shasta Caverns.


Before Mount Shasta City and Dunsmuir were settled, the area surrounding Mt. Shasta was exclusively home to the Wintu Native Americans. They most likely knew of the caves before it was “officially” discovered in 1878. J.A. Richardson, who worked at a local fish hatchery, is credited to its discovery.


Lake Shasta is the only way to access the caverns. The lake was created when the Shasta Dam was put in during 1945. It was not until after the creation of the lake that the Shasta Lake Caverns became a popular attraction to visitors. The caverns officially opened as a local attraction in 1964. Today, visitors can visit the attraction year-round. The journey to the caverns begins with a 15-minute sail across the lake. Next, a bus then takes visitors up the mountainside over 800 feet above the lake’s surface.

The Caverns

Once visitors make their journey, a 45-60 minute guided tour of the caverns awaits. The Shasta Lake Caverns are made of natural limestone and have been forming for the last 250 million years. Stairs and paved walkways have been placed inside the caverns to make the site easily accessible to the public. Indirect light has also been added. All the modern conveniences have been added so as to not disturb the natural processes that continue to occur as the caverns continuously develop. The caverns constantly sit at 58 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 95%.


Admission prices to the Shasta Lake Caverns are $26 for adults, $15 for children who are 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and under. Departure times vary throughout the year. See the Visit Mt. Shasta website for complete details.

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