The Orion

The much needed day trip getaway

Take+a+day+and+get+away%2C+Castle+Lake+is+a+great+place+to+stay.+Photo+credit%3A+Jae+Siqueiros
Take a day and get away, Castle Lake is a great place to stay. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Take a day and get away, Castle Lake is a great place to stay. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Take a day and get away, Castle Lake is a great place to stay. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Jae Siqueiros

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A quick getaway isn’t always on a college student’s radar. A day to get out of Chico and escape the stresses that plague students, whether it be school, work or family is sometimes necessary.

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Take a day and get away, Castle Lake is a great place to stay. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Here are day trip ideas to help relieve the stresses of upcoming tests and projects. One perk of taking day-long trips rather than week long is the relatively low cost of exploring scenic destinations around Chico.

Castle Lake is located in the Trinity Mountains part of Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Siskiyou County, just a two-hour drive from Chico, California.

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Castle Lake Trail is just one of the many trails located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

This day trip costs about $80 for the total eight-hour adventure, dispersed as followes:

  • $40 for gas (gas prices will vary)
  • $25 for dinner
  • $15 in car and trail snacks

The drive comes with some amazing sights. The first stop was at Lake Siskiyou and a small creek on the way up to the trailhead. At the trailhead, the most amazing view of the lake greets you.

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This trip requires little planning, but here are some things to bring just to be safe:

  • a backpack or camelback
  • hiking boots (preferably waterproof, especially this time of the year)
  • trail snacks (trail mix, crackers, energy bars)
  • water (very important)
  • a fully charged phone, maybe even a backup portable charger
  • hand and feet warmers
  • a jacket
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Mt. Shasta on the horizon while driving down I-5. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

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Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

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The sign to point you in the right direction of the of Castle Lake Trail and other trails that you can explore. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

On the hike, I spotted a hiker named Reet Neemoja and her 7-month-old son, Jasper who let me in on a little secret: if you stay along the trail path long enough, you will find Heart Lake. You can learn about this hike from the Mount Shasta Hiking Association.

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Reet Neemoja and Jasper finish up their hike and give me some tips and tricks to succeeding the trails. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

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The view of Mt. Shasta from a turn out on the way to Castle Lake Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

After admiring the sunset from the lake, I headed back to Chico, but not without some kind of reward for my hard work. I found a cozy diner called Yak’s On The 5, in Dunsmuir, California. They are self-described as, “Artisan burgers + 100 craft beers + world famous sticky buns = Sensory Nirvana.” You can read about their amazing locally sourced items from micro-greens to hamburger meat, beef hot dogs and beer on their website.

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Yak's Diner has hospitality, huge portions and tons of local beers to choose from. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

I ordered the “Morning After Burger” described as a “grass-fed burger topped with aged cheddar, hickory smoked bacon crumbles, tater tots, a fried egg and our house made aioli with a drizzle of our lavender ketchup just because,” on their menu. I leveled up with some garlic fries and I was good to go for a long nap after that.

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The cheese skirt on my burger at Yak's rivaled that of Nobby's on Park Ave. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Overall, the trip really helped me relax and it could possibly do the same for you. Head over to Castle Lake and all the amazing surrounding sights to check out of reality for a second and enjoy the world around you.

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This creek runs down the road while traveling to Castle Lake. You can stop and walk along it. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros


Jae Siqueiros can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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The much needed day trip getaway