Cattle Camp Campground, McCloud

Finally leaving for an adventure! Don’t really want to travel out on Memorial Day weekend but with 4 days we should be okay. We’re heading to McCloud where we know we most likely can get into Cattle Camp as there are no reservations and it’s Thursday. We snag the second to the last site and just like that we have a site for 4 nights! We have been in site 14 before with it only being available, over Labor Day- so it must be our site. After a quick dinner we settled into the night expecting rain to occur sometime during the night. Decided to invest this trip into watching Peaky Blinders.
Luckily we aren’t camped under trees with overextended branches, so rain and sleep were separate. Friday was forecast for all day rain. After hitting the McCloud Ranger Station to buy a hiking map we headed into Mt.Shasta and toured the shops and had lunch at Phuket Café. Good warm food. Walked around more and had coffee at Yaks and headed back to the truck. Decided to check out Castle Lake, not much to see as it was raining and the campground was not one to take a trailer into. Then drove to Lake Siskiyou and toured it. We were there numerous times for beach use when our kids were little, no desire to camp there as the sites are packed for trailers. Back for dinner and the rain began to lighten up enough to to quickly BBQ chicken.
Awoke to an almost sunny day as the clouds moved east. We decided after breakfast to head to Castle Crags SP and hike the Dome/Crags Trail. We packed lunch, walking sticks and water and headed south. Arriving at the entrance station at Castle Crags SP we secured the last parking spot at the trail head. It’s quite the road up and parking is extremely limited so it’s relayed up to the camp host that a vehicle is coming.
We started the hike just after 11 am. With a total trip of 5.8 miles mostly up and then down we headed out and first up. Numerous people were on the trail as it was a holiday weekend, the campground was full, it’s a quick drive from Redding, and a climbers choice. The trail is under canopies of various trees, and really only exposed the last 1/2 mile. The views are spectacular especially of Mt. Shasta, which luckily was clear, the Trinity Divide, and the Crags. It took us three hours to get to the top and under two hours to get down.
The reward at the top besides the view is the end sign. Luckily someone we had met on the trail hiking up was headed down and told us about the sign. When we took the trail back numerous hikers asked us how far they still had to go and we informed them about the sign. It’s the little things. We drove through Dunsmuir and headed back to camp.
The next morning we drove into McCloud and checked out the old lumber mill and then went into town to visit the Mushroom Festival. This town always has an event. The last time we were camping there was a Yoga Festival. Main street was closed down and it was busy with people looking at the booths of foods, trinkets and mushrooms. we had street tacos, lemonade and took home some delicious individual berry pies.
We decided to have a campfire – a rare event. We had a contest to see who could gather the most. The campground has so much down wood due to tree hazard work that it was easy to fulfill the quota. I do like a campfire, but not the lingering smell in the trailer and on the clothes.
Monday morning it was time to pack up and head home. The campground was quickly emptying and we said good bye to camp host Paul. Perfect Memorial Day weekend.  Cattle Camp never fails to impress as does this whole area known. There are always interesting places to see like the three falls and we enjoy the McCloud River Loop drive. Next time we need to bring our bikes.