Are you planning a trip to California in 2023? Well, be sure to add Shasta Lake in Redding, CA to your travel itinerary! Not only is this lake perfect for gorgeous views, serene nature, and as much or as little adventure as you like, it’s also the home of two architectural marvels: the Sundial Bridge and the Shasta Dam. Read about these two landmarks here and then make plans to see them in person this year!
The Sundial Bridge opened in 2004 and is one of the world’s largest working sundials. Depending on what part of Shasta Lake you’re leaving from, the Sundial Bridge is roughly 15-30 minutes away, or 10-20 miles, by car. Weighing in at 3.2 million pounds, the Bridge is constructed of concrete, steel, granite, glass, and rebar. The Sundial Bridge is known for being both an architectural marvel and a work of art!
An icon for the area, the bridge cantilevers over the Sacramento River and was designed for pedestrians and bicycles. The inclined cable-stayed structure rises 217 feet above the river.
World-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava was the architect for this project. Calatrava is famous for his awe-inspiring sculptural designs that often include repeating ribs, movement, and asymmetrical elements that seem to defy gravity, of which the Sundial Bridge is a perfect example. His completed works include the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, an Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece, and the Sondica Airport in Bilboa City, Spain, to name just a few.
The Sundial Bridge would not have been possible without the funding support from the McConnell Foundation, the Redding Redevelopment Agency, and the Federal Highway Administration. The project cost a whopping $24 million and was constructed using 580 tons of steel, 200 tons of glass and granite, and more than 4,300 feet of cable.
Aside from its beauty, its location couldn’t be better.
Located in the heart of Turtle Bay, patrons can access the pedestrian bridge and its nearby walking trails for free or pay for additional site access to the Botanical Gardens, Museum, Woods, and more. In short, you won’t be bored visiting this majestic landmark.
The Shasta Dam is another incredible site to visit. There is a visitor center inside the power plant that operates public tours. Tours have been affected by the recent pandemic so call ahead to check on availability.
Construction began in 1938 and took seven years to complete, but construction actually finished ahead of schedule by 22 months. It is made of concrete and gravel and was constructed by Pacific Constructors Inc., led by Frank T. Crowe.
Standing 602 feet above the Trinity River, the gravity dam, and the accompanying Shasta Power Plant were major components of the war effort, generating and fulfilling critical power needs. The dam also provides flood control for the area.
The dam was constructed one 50 x 50 x 5-foot block at a time. Cooling pipes were required to help in the curing process of the concrete. To this day, thirteen hundred miles of pipes still exist in the structure.
The dam is located about 15 miles from the lake, or about a 20- to 25-minute drive. You can drive across the dam and it is open for self-guided tours daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are restricted areas. Be sure to read through the website linked above to make sure you’re up to date on all the latest information regarding tours, the visitor center, and visiting hours.
Bridge Bay Marinas and Resort
Both the Sundial Bridge and Shasta Dam are architectural marvels to see, just like Shasta Lake itself. If you haven’t been to any of these places, 2023 is your year to do so, and we make it easy to plan here at Bridge Bay Marinas and Resort.