Northern California Nature April 07, 2017
Everyone in Northern California Must Visit This Epic Natural Spring As Soon As Possible
The pristine headwaters of the Sacramento River might surprise you. They start as a natural spring that bubbles up out of the ground in Mt. Shasta’s City Park, and you won’t believe that the small babbling stream here ends up as one of Northern California’s largest rivers. Take a trip to this park and see for yourself!
This city park in Mt. Shasta is home to the amazing clean, clear, and tasty waters of the Sacramento River headwaters.
Consume at your own risk, however! While you will see lots of folks filling up water to go, this water isn't treated and it's a good idea to either fill up at the drinking fountain or bring along a water purifier like the kind you would take camping before drinking.
Also known by locals as the Big Springs, the Headwaters, the water is so pure and clear because it has spent decades filtering through layers of volcanic rock.
The water bubbles up from the underground channels about half a century after it fell as snow or rain or melted from a glacier in the Mt. Shasta area.
You will be amazed by the clarity of this spring, which then turns into a babbling little stream and eventually the wide, well known Sacramento River.
From Mt. Shasta, the water flows to Shasta Lake before moving on to supply much of the state with its drinking water. Obviously after all that travel, the water is cleanest and most pristine at the source.
Nearby, the bottled water company Crystal Geyser taps into their own water supply. Most Northern Californians like it better from the stream and from our own wells, however!
The land that eventually became the Mt. Shasta City Park was once part of the hunting ground for the Wintun, Maidu, and Okwanuchu Native American tribes and was first crossed by explorers around 1841. Big Springs, designated as the location of the headwaters of the Sacramento River, once contained a water-wheel and was the city’s first source of energy (1901) for generating power to light the local community.
All in all, Mount Shasta City Park is really a lovely place to spend the afternoon with loved ones.
(It's even the location of an annual blackberry pie festival!)
Restoration work in recent years has stabilized the hillside above the spring with boulders and native plants. The area has gradually returned to its natural health and beauty. Respect this area, but visit it as much as you can!
You can find the park at:
Road No 2M010
Mount Shasta, CA 96067
Have you ever visited the Mt. Shasta City Park and seen the headwaters of the Sacramento River? If you are interested in more epic adventures in Northern California, we think you might like
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