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Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam

MODERATE 18 reviews

Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam is a 38.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Redding, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

38.2 miles
2,125 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

mountain biking

road biking

trail running


bird watching



The trail starts at the Sundial Bridge, and makes it way through central Redding, and finally to the top of Shasta Dam. The majority of the trail follows the historic railroad bed that once connected Oakland, CA to Portland, OR (1885-1942). Chinese workers (primarily) used hand picks and shovels to create the railroad bed in the 1880s. This part of the railroad was abandoned as the primary railroad line to Oregon when Shasta Dam was completed, but it continued to be a branch line until 1980. The views and scenery are incredible along the entire trail. The paved trail system is navigable by any bicycle, but to ride the entire trail you would do best with a mountain bike, or better yet, a road bike with multiple gears. Some sections are steep and require low gears, and excellent brakes. Be sure to take water and food if you plan on heading to Shasta Dam. The last available water until you reach Shasta Dam is a mile past the ribbon foot bridge, so be sure to fill up your water bottles. There is a water fountain near the visitor's center on the top of Shasta Dam. There is also fairly well hidden water source just below the Dam at the OHV area in the parking area east of the trail. It is hard to find. Please ride slowly when you are in the city limits of Redding. There are many children on bikes, tourists taking pictures, and people generally enjoying all the natural beauty on the trail system. These people are completely unaware that cyclists are coming their way, so it is up to you to keep everyone safe. Be sure to announce your presence when overtaking joggers, walkers, and other cyclists by calling, "On your left," as you pass. Once you pass the ribbon foot bridge, it is safe to increase speed. Weather in the winter can be very cold, and it can snow, although this is rare. It rains heavily all winter, so be prepared. Fall and spring can vary in temperature from the 70's to the low 90's, and it is the preferred time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. In the summer expect it to be over 100 degrees by 12:00 noon. It is highly recommended to take this trail in the early morning during the summer season, and early fall.

7 months ago

this Trail is awesome to do

road biking
8 months ago

Absolutely love the views, and it is the perfect balance of challenging and doable to make the ride a very worthwhile experience.

9 months ago

Amazing trail!

road biking
Sunday, February 18, 2018

The majority of the trail is uncrowded, peaceful and scenic. The first few miles near the sundial Bridge is heavily trafficked my recommendation is to start at the Elks Lodge and head out from there.

mountain biking
Monday, January 29, 2018


trail running
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Very pretty and lots to see

Monday, July 31, 2017

The views are beautiful and lots of river overlooks. There are some hills to climb, but overall very satisfying.

Friday, July 28, 2017

This trail was simply amazing. I ran it twice. One way the first time which is about 20 miles and the second time there to Shasta Dam and back to the Sundial Bridge which is about 40miles. The views were amazing. I really enjoyed the 20mile stretch. Returning was equally satisfying.

nature trips
Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Its a very interesting architecture of the bridge made by a Famous architect from Spain. The trail is easy and dog friendly.

trail running
1 month ago

8 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

Friday, January 26, 2018

Thursday, October 05, 2017

road biking
Monday, April 17, 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017