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The Redding River Trail Cycling Guide

50+ paved miles from Turtle Bay's Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 50 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  This guide is intended for novice riders. For experienced cyclists Redding has some of the best road cycling available anywhere.... more »

Tips:  • Elevation gains are estimates. iPhones do not calculate elevation gains accurately.

• For a very short ride do the loop just north... more »

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Points of Interest

Begin your trip here.

2. Trail to Hilltop Drive

This is a very steep section of trail. Requires low gears and excellent brakes.

3. Turtle Bay Arboretum

The Gardens comprise 20 acres of mediterranean-climate display gardens, a children’s garden, a medicinal garden, and two beautiful and unique water features.


"Chauncey Carroll 'C.C.' Bush - Judge, Banker, Entrepreneur & First Mayor of Redding - By John Welch 2006

5. ACID Weir

This weir divert water using gravity to the Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District (ACID) for transportation via 35 miles of canals to agricultural land in Shasta County. The water rights for this diversion have been in place since about 1914.

6. Redding Aquatic Center Public Pool

1250 Parkview Avenue
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 225-4095

This bridge was built i 1939 by the American Bridge Company. It is 110 feet tall, 4,346 feet across.

8. Boat Ramp / Water / Restroom

This boat ramp also has a small picnic area with tables and shaded cover.

9. Diestelhorst Bridge Built 1915

For years this was the only bridge available across the Sacramento River. It is now a dedicated footbridge and cycling bridge. The bridge will be updated, while preserving its historical importance, beginning in 2011.

For a complete history of the bridge, and the Diestelhorst family, go to:


10. Shasta Bally

The peak with a bit of snow is Shasta Bally. Shasta Bally is the dominant peak in the area at 4,989 ft.

11. Cut Off to Estates

Short, but steep incline to housing estates.

12. Sacramento River View

There is a bench here to view the river from a high bluff.

13. Pubic Restroom (no water)

14. Sacramento River Ribbon Foot Bridge

The Sacramento River Trail Bridge, is 418 feet long. It opened in 1990, and was the first bridge of its kind built in North America. There are 236 steel cables supporting the bridge. THe cables are drilled into bedrock, which avoids the need for piers.

15. FB Mountain Bike Trailhead

This trail undulates for miles and eventually meets up at the visitor center at Shasta Dam. It is a fairly flat, and non-technical trail.

16. Keswick Dam

Keswick Dam creates Keswick Reservoir. There is a migratory fish-trapping facilities where salmon and steelhead are trapped. Once trapped, they are captured and milked. Keswick Reservoir does not have salmon, but does a have several varieties of trout, including German Brown.

17. Last Water before Shasta Dam

18. Heart Break HIll

Follow the directions of this poster to learn about your cardiovascular health. The poster actually says heart rate hill, but I take creative license in renaming this steep section.

19. Keswick Reservoir

20. Fast Downhill

This pictures shows you a nice example of the quality of the trail.

21. Keswick Dam Boat Launch / Restroom (no water)

22. Unusual Tree

The large tree in this pict is a non-native. It is interesting because it has obviously been here for a long time.

23. Shasta Dam View / Restroom

This is the end of the River Trail, but the trail turns into a very nice road which will take you to the top of Shasta Dam. No water is available.

24. Restroom / Off Road Vehicle Area

Off road vehicles can be found on trails and roads. Keep an eye out younger motorcyclists who don't pay close attention to where they are going.

25. Shasta Dam

Shasta Dam provides long-term water storage and flood control, and also generates hydroelectric power. Water released from Shasta Dam flows into the Sacramento River, and eventually irrigates the fertile fields of the Sacramento Valley. Water which isn't used for irrigation eventually empties out into San Francisco Bay.

The Dam was begun in... More

26. Shasta Dam Visitors Center

Museum / Visitor Center Detailing the History of Shatsa Dam. There is a water fountain between the visitor's center, and the guard booth in front of the dam.

27. Beginning Extended Loop (not part of mileage)

This is the beginning of the extended loop. Mileage is not calculated as part of the 45.5 mile description. Estimated extra 6 mile addition. Steep climb.

28. Shasta Dam Overlook

After reaching this part of the extended loop, you may want to return to Shasta Dam. The climb from here to the top of the ridge is safe, and the decent is petty good too, but the loop road back to Shasta Dam has a terrible shoulder and a lot of boat trailer traffic. It is not advised in the summer, or warm holiday weekends, when boat trailer... More

29. 1923 Railroad Tunnel

This tunnel was built for the first railroad the 1800s. It was reinforced with concrete in 1923. It now serves as an fun experience for cyclists going to Shasta Dam.

30. Iron Mountain Toxic Water Treatment Plant

Iron Mountain Mine produced iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc, and pyrite from 1860s until 1963. Acidic water drainage from these old mines contain zinc, copper and cadmium. This is one of America's most toxic waste sites. It has been listed as a Superfund site since 1983. The dam here is used to stop the water, and treat it, before it enters the... More

31. Junction to Parking Area

32. Middle Creek Paved Trail

This is a gentle climb for several miles, and then a few stretches of steeper pitches. Views of the canyon near the top are breathtaking. This short trail is a gem. At the end of the trail cyclists can ride to the town of Old Shasta, by taking Hwy 299 about 1 mile. There is an Everytrail Guide on Old Shasta, if you are interested in touring this ... More

33. Middle Creek Trailhead

From this trailhead you can connect to Highway 299 and ride up to the old mining town of Old Shasta. There is a convenience store there, and post office. There is also an Everytrail guide to give you a walking tour of this historic town. The simple .6 miles to the convenience store is worth the trip, even if it just for a few snacks.

34. Advanced Mountain Bike Trailhead

This short trail connects to Highway 299. It is highly technical. It connects with the extensive West Side trail system. This trail should not be attempted by inexperienced mountain bikers. There are steep cliffs with no room for error. See Max Walter's book, North State Singletrack for more information.

35. Restroom (no water)

36. Water / Parking

37. Sacramento River from Dieselhorst Bridge

The bird sanctuary is part of Turtle Bay.

41. Highway 299 Bridge

42. Beginning of Trail at Hilltop and Dana Drive