By Lexi Costello, Travel Correspondent
Here and there, yellow and black wildflowers crowd together in dense patches on Mount Shasta Resort's golf course, mirroring the bumblebee color scheme of the checkered flags planted on the greens. The course landscape stretches out from the foot of the main lodge, its hills faintly imitating the surrounding alpine terrain, with the sparkling white surface of volcanic Mount Shasta stretching up beyond the fairways. Synchronicity with nature permeates the scenic resort, integrated seamlessly into its mountainous setting with naturally inspired decor, a calming spa, and adventurous activities.
Nestled in the forest, one-bedroom chalets overlook Lake Siskiyou's placid waters. Knotted-pine trimmings, natural-stone hearths, and botanical art pay homage to the surroundings. Redwood decks extend off the cottages, some offering views of the Siskiyou Trail.
In the morning, cigar smoke blows in the mountain wind at the golf course, where players can show off their new driver or laser-guided putter. Tennis courts on Siskiyou Boulevard offer further competitive opportunities, and the miniature Buddha and courtyard gardens at Evergreen Day Spa suggest peace and relaxation. Inside the spa, dramatic spotlights illuminate two leather thrones, which rest above artisan pedicure baths. At the onsite Highland House Restaurant, patrons graze on breakfast, seafood, and meaty masterpieces while admiring views of the golf course from the bustling second-story dining room or the porch.
Five miles north of the resort in northern California's Shasta-Trinity National Forest, a web of hiking trails meanders through the 14,162-foot Mount Shasta, surrounded by conifer forests and wildflower meadows. The moderately steep 5.2-mile Black Butte Trail originates on Everitt Memorial Highway and unveils a sprawling, westerly view of Eddy Range about halfway up the rocky trail. From this relatively level vista point, hikers often set down their wooden walking sticks to marvel at the Shasta Valley glistening below.
In downtown Mount Shasta, The Goat Tavern indulges an eclectic crowd with hearty burgers and a beer list scrawled on a chalkboard. Tattooed motorcycle crews sit alongside couples in cardigans on the outdoor dining deck perched above the area's main drag. Waitresses parade through, balancing dishes laden with spicy chicken sandwiches and fragrant garlic fries.
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