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“A Well-Populated Ghost Town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shasta State Historic Park

Shasta State Historic Park
Redding, CA
530-243-8194
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Ranked #8 of 19 Attractions in Redding
Type: State Parks, Ghost Towns
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This historic park houses the remains of Shasta City, alive and bustling in the Gold Rush days, and now a ghost town with restored stagecoach, barn and courthouse.
Chico, CA
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
74 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
“A Well-Populated Ghost Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

The locals call the town "Old Shasta," which is easier to say than the official name. At one point in history, in the early 1850's, it was one of the biggest cities in California because of the richness of the gold strikes in the area-- placer, hard-rock and hydraulic mining. But then the gold ran out and shortly afterward Redding was chosen as the county seat mostly because it was easier to reach by railroad, and that was the beginning of the end for Shasta as a metropolis. Now it's a small bedroom community for Redding, three miles east.

Many old brick buildings survived the years, and some have been restored to their former "glory." There's a general store that is a museum. There's the old courthouse with the jail downstairs. There's the re-built gallows behind the museum, where many bad men met their final ends. Shasta is also the site of one of California's last lynchings, when the townspeople took the Ruggles Brothers out of jail and hanged them unceremoniously. But no worries-- that was at the beginning of the 20th century, and no lynchings of tourists have been noted in the last century.

Highway 299 West out of Redding leads right through town on its way to the Pacific Ocean 150 miles west, so you can't really miss Old Shasta. It's definitely worth taking an hour or more to walk around the ruins and look through the buildings. There is also a pioneer graveyard on a hill at the western edge of town, on the north side of the highway. The graves have dates from as far back as 1850. It's a little hard to find, but it's there if you look. There are no restaurants in town, but there is a place to get gas and buy basic necessities like soda or beer. Continue about 4 miles west and you'll reach Whiskeytown Lake, which is why the highway in Shasta is often crowded with boaters and swimmers heading to the lake to escape the summer heat.

Visited December 2011
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53 reviews from our community

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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“little to see.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

Visited this park on both sides of the road. There was only a very little to see and was a bit of a waste of time for the drive.

Visited October 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“A wonderful surprise - something for everyone!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2011

You will be totally blown away by the ART that was collected and donated by the benefactress of this state park. It is eclectic and wonderful. The historical displays in the courthouse are well done and will be enjoyed by all of the family. If the store is open - I recommend that as well to see what life was like in years past. They also do demos at the Blumb bakery on special occasions. BE AWARE - due to cutbacks in the state parks, you should check on hours. They are talking of closing permanently!

Visited June 2011
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Keizer, Oregon
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Cheap Entertainment”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

This entire place was a ton of fun. My wife and I explored all of the buildings, watched a blacksmith demo, took a stroll through time in the general store, and went through the museum. I couldn't have been happier with the exhibits. Plus, it was all free except the museum, which was just $3 per person. If you like history at all, then this is the place for you.

Visited May 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Vancouver, Wa.
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Old Ghost Town!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2010

We were traveling through and didn't have time to visit the museum. But, we walked through the buildings and grounds. Well worth the stop!

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