The mountains in the far north reaches of California are perhaps the most unspoiled areas in the state, protected by a wealth of national and state parks and forest lands. This region calls to all outdoor recreation enthusiasts—from downhill skiers to wakeboarders to serious hikers and backpackers.
Crystal-blue Lake Tahoe  offers some of the best winter and summer outdoor recreation opportunities to be had statewide. Visitors who think that all of California consists of year-round warm, sunny beaches are often shocked to learn that Tahoe’s ski resorts  are some of the finest in the nation—second only to the Rockies for vertical drop, quality of snow, and number of resorts. In summer, wakeboarders, waterskiiers, and families all bring out their favorite toys to play in the pristine waters of the lake and to enjoy the stunning views of the wilderness areas that surround it.
Two mountains are notable as the most prominent features of this region: Shasta and Lassen. The snow-capped peak of Mount Shasta  is a familiar picture-postcard sight, and is easily reached on I-5. Mount Shasta is quiet in contrast to Lassen—or at least it is for now. But Mount Shasta is not an extinct volcano; it is merely dormant and scientists are unsure as to when it will erupt again. South of Mount Shasta, its namesake Shasta Lake  serves as a major resort area and boating vacation destination for Californians and visitors alike, with plentiful outdoor and indoor pursuits.
Mount Lassen , one of only two active volcanoes in the continental United States, is the more remote of the two and thus more of an adventure to visit. Here, visitors are exposed to many unique volcanic features, including boiling mud pots, steam vents, and sulfur springs.
South of this mountain region, the city of Redding  provides ready access and comparatively cosmopolitan entertainment before heading out to explore these vast outdoor pursuits.