If you’re zooming down California Highway 89 without making any stops along the way, you’re missing out big time. Beginning just south of Lake Tahoe and stretching all the way up to Mount Shasta, this iconic highway is nearly 250 miles of California splendor, making for one heck of a road trip.
From impressive lakes and reservoirs to historic trails and tunnels, here are seven destinations you won’t want to miss.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway is a big ol’ 500-mile stretch of highway with views galore. Merging with Highway 89, it passes Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lake Almanor.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Named for the nearest active volcano, Lassen Peak, the area is surrounded by boiling springs, mud pots, waterfalls, and even an old Sulphur mine that you can explore.
Noble’s Emigrant Trail
This historic trail was once a thoroughfare for travelers venturing through the Sierra Nevada. Nowadays you can drive right alongside it, looking out over spots like Black Rock Point and Trego Hot Springs.
Just a short drive from the Lassen Volcanic region, Lake Almanor boasts 52 miles of shoreline. Nestled in a basin where “the Sierras meet the Cascades,” here you’ll find camping, boating and breathtaking views of Lassen Peak.
Emerald Bay State Park
On the shores of Lake Tahoe’s clear blue waters, you’ll find Emerald Bay State Park. Nature lovers can enjoy multiple hiking trails, explore the Scandinavian-style stone “castle” that sits on park property or book a paddle wheeler ride on the lake.
Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina
Another Lake Tahoe stop, this historic year-round resort boasts beaches, lakeside cabins, and a full-service marina. Road tripping in the winter? Camp Richardson offers miles of cross-country ski trails and snowshoe rentals when the weather gets cold.
Historic Downtown Truckee
We’d be remiss to overlook Truckee itself. Surrounded by the nature that makes Tahoe famous, Truckee offers a quaint downtown with arts and culture galore. Sophisticates will enjoy the art walk; thrill-seekers will scream for the haunted historic tour.