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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.

Length 38.2 mi Elevation gain 2,125 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Mountain biking Nature trips Road biking Walking Bird watching Running River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (46)
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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.

- For a very short ride do the loop just north of the Sundial Bridge (approximately 2.5 flat miles). - For a nice family ride go from the Sundial Bridge to the Ribbon Footbridge and loop back (approximately 9 flat miles). - For a decent road bike workout go from the Sundial Bridge to the Keswick Boat Ramp (about 20 miles with some decent climbs). - For a good road bike workout go from the Sundial Bridge to the top of Shasta Dam w/o the side trips (38 miles and 2000 ft of elevation gain).

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Reviews (38)
Photos (58)
Recordings (21)
Completed (89)
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Brian Imhoff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Nature tripsGreat!

what a great place around dusk easy didn't finish but would do it anytime

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Jane Spieker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Mountain biking

Great Trail! The Sundial Bridge was awesome, what a jewel for Redding. Rented electric bikes from Pedigo Bike Rental. It was soooo fun! Will do it again.

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Connor Siladi
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The blockade just before the keswick dam has been reopened, so you can now take the river trail all the way to Shasta dam

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Janey Hemsley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 29, 2020
Hiking

The Sacramento River Rail Trail is one of my favorite walking and cycling trails in Redding. In the past two weeks I have started at both the entrance below Shasta Dam and at the Keswick Boat launch parking lot. I love riding by the water and making it either a short round trip(15 miles) or a long round trip (approximately 38miles) if you go all the way to the sundial bridge and back. If you stay in between these two areas (below Shasta Dam and Keswick boat launch), its an easy ride. If you are up for a challenge, heart rate hill (above Keswick Dam) is more advanced.

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Christine Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2019
Road biking

The bike trail was closed at three point. One was just a two day closure to clean up the fire debris. The other two the trail was washed out. Had to be creative in finding a way back onto the trail. Ride is great, roads are free of debris. All trails made my ride not only salvageable but worry free

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Jeff Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 22, 2019
Road bikingClosed

Want to reiterate what Liana wrote. The trail is completely closed a bit north of Ribbon Bridge. Can still get up to Shasta Dam by taking the Middle Creek trail to the town of Shasta and then go down Rock Creek Rd to get back to the main Sacramento River trail, then need to return this way also.

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Liana Salazar
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 7, 2019
Mountain bikingBridge outClosed

Trail was closed due to a bridge being washed out. Only other route was the FB trail.

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Benjamin Carter
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this Trail is awesome to do

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Linus Ryan
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Road biking

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

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Anna Nikulina
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Amazing trail!

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John Miller
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Road biking

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.

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T Jacob Santo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 29, 2018
Mountain biking

VIEWS!

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Jason Gib
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Running

Very pretty and lots to see

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

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Lahairoi Carlisle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 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.

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Millet Rodulfa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2016
Nature trips
First to Review

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

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Brittany Flederbach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking
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Aubrey Foidel-Huey
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Running
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Carla Gamboni
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Hiking
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Felicia Hwung
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Hiking
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April Zelt
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Hiking
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B LaHood
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Hiking
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O'shea Bailey Sr.
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Hiking
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Sharyl Barney
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Hiking
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Robert Gilman
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Hiking
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Carissa Clelland
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Hiking
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Mohan Srirangapatanam
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Hiking
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Kyle Witting
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Hiking
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keung h
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Scenic driving
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