While some people have their special viewing points and would never consider watching the annual show anywhere else, here are some ideas for alternate viewing points you might want to consider this holiday.
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Mount Shasta is a can’t-miss tradition for many in the community. While some people have their special viewing points and would never consider watching the annual show anywhere else, here are some ideas for alternate viewing points you might want to consider this holiday.
Mount Shasta Resort
If you’re looking for a family-friendly, partylike atmosphere, look no further than the Mount Shasta Resort. They open their sprawling greens for a big get-together on the Fourth that includes live music, food, drinks, beer, margaritas and wine for sale.
People bring blankets and friends gather for an evening of socialization before the show begins. Children enjoy playing with footballs, hula hoops and glowing toys of all kinds.
“We enjoy watching from the Mount Shasta Resort listening to Secret Society Handshake in the cool green grass below the gorgeous blue sky with our grand white capped mountain in the background watching the kids play while sipping a cool drink with family and friends!” said Heidi Rishel.
“I love the Mount Shasta (Resort) with the music, the trees, the food and all the families and friends just hanging out and feeling wonderful,” said Lisa Gott.
The cost of entry is $2 per person, which goes back to the Mt. Shasta Community Fireworks fund. No ice chests or dogs are allowed.
On the Lake
Want to see the whole dang show, right overhead? There is no better place to see the fireworks than from a boat on Lake Siskiyou itself.
To get on the lake, you’ll need to launch from Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort. You’ll have to pay a day use fee of $2 per person and it costs an additional $5 to launch a boat.
Most importantly: obey all guidelines put in place to protect boaters.
Boats must remain outside the fireworks fallout zone from 5 p.m. until after the show. The restrictions will be strictly enforced by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, said lead pyrotechnic operator Tom Haistings. In fact, the fireworks show won’t begin or will be stopped if the zone is breached.
Mount Shasta’s Heather Erickson called watching the show right from the lake a “magical” experience.
“Traditionally, friends and families join together in boats to enjoy the magnificent firework showcase front and center on the lake. Having enjoyed and appreciated the Mount Shasta firework displays throughout the years from various locations in town, the spectacular view afloat Lake Siskiyou ranks favorite,” Erickson said.
From the beach
Pack up a picnic and stake out a spot at “the beach” at Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort. Fireworks are spectacular from that vantage point. A bonus: you can come early and enjoy the lake all day long.
The Camp Resort is located on the southwest side of Lake Siskiyou and has a breathtaking view of majestic Mt. Shasta.
Swim, sunbathe or play at The Splash Zone (a mini floating waterpark). You can also enjoy treats from the Beach Shack or Grille & Brew.
There are countless places to watch the fireworks from the many forested areas in most every direction. Locals have their secret viewing areas – ask one of them and maybe they’ll share.
“Up on the mountain – its amazing looking down on the fireworks,” said Lisa Tucker.
Kyle Lunsford suggests taking an adventure in the direction of Gumboot Lake. “Take a right after the second bridge, drive awhile and you will find an outlook that’s a good place,” he suggested.
“Vista Point” on Everitt Memorial Highway also provides a different perspective to watch the show, as well as the Old Ski Bowl at the very top of the road.
One thing to remember: personal fireworks are not allowed on National Forest land, so don’t try to put on a show of your own.
The south end of town
Large vacant city-owned lots on the south end of Mount Shasta City provide another good vantage point to see the show. People often park their cars there and enjoy the show right from their tailgates.
This option is preferred for those who want a good view but don’t necessarily want to be social. It’s also easily accessible since you can access Interstate 5 by going south. Be aware, however, the lots are dusty and rocky. Bring blankets and some lawn chairs to be comfortable.
From around the lake
Pretty much any place around the lake makes for a great place to watch. One of the local favorites is from the parking lot near the dam.
The catch: North Shore Road is closed on the Fourth from 6 a.m. on to ensure the safety of pyrotechnic operators and the public.
“This is for our safety in the event that there’s a problem,” said Haistings. “Could you imagine if we had to get emergency vehicles on that road with a thousand cars back there?”
While the walking trail is open during the day, people are asked to stay on the path in the area of the firing site and respect all closed areas.
At 5 p.m., the walking trail is closed in its entirety from the Delta bridges to the Wagon Creek Bridge. This will be strictly enforced by security, the Siskiyou County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and CAL FIRE, said Haistings.
The fireworks are scheduled to begin right after dark, at 9:45 p.m. depending on wind conditions and final approval from CAL FIRE.
The show is choreographed to music that’s broadcast on Z100.1 FM. A hint: although you can listen to the local radio station on various apps, there is a delay. The only way to watch the show with musical accompaniment is to listen with an actual FM radio.
Haistings said the soundtrack brings “a broader dimension to the show for more impact,” but please be sure the volume is low enough so only you and your friends can hear the music. Some people, after all, enjoy the sound of the shells reverberating through the canyon.
Another thing to consider beforehand: the traffic getting out of the lake area after the show is over can be overwhelming. Drive carefully, watch for pedestrians and yield for emergency vehicles.
It might go faster, but plan an extra hour to get to Interstate 5.
Make sure you have an adequate amount of gas in your tank and be sure not to drink and drive, because law enforcement does checkpoints on the route.
Another thing to remember: personal fireworks are allowed in Mount Shasta City and most parts of the county, but they are banned completely in Lake Shastina as well as all national forest lands. Citations will be given for those not obeying the rules, using unsafe fireworks, throwing them in the air, or otherwise abusing “Safe and Sane” fireworks.