On Hwy 299, 6 miles west of Redding, this state historic park preserves the ruins of an 1850s Gold Rush mining town called Shasta – not to be confused with Mt Shasta City. When the Gold Rush was at its heady height, everything and everyone passed through this Shasta. But when the railroad bypassed it to set up in Poverty Flats (present-day Redding), poor Shasta lost its raison d’être.
An 1861 courthouse contains the excellent museum, the best in this part of the state. With its amazing gun collection, spooky holograms in the basement and gallows out back, it’s a thrill ride. Pick up walking-tour pamphlets from the information desk and follow trails to the beautiful Catholic cemetery, brewery ruins and many other historic sites.
Note that some of the trails may be under repair and inaccessible during your visit, as a wildfire ripped through this park in 2018. Luckily most of the ruins weren't too badly damaged.