Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

California's Newest National Natural Landmark

Lake Shasta Caverns receives a big honor from the national parks.

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California's Newest National Natural Landmark

Lake Shasta Caverns

Lake Shasta Caverns was designated a National Natural Landmark in March 2012.

NATIONAL HONOR: Whenever we read about a new area or landmark receiving special commendation from the National Park Service we think of that famous quote about everything that's inventable having been invented already. (It might be a misquote, but it has grown in the national mind for sure.) The reason we think of this quote is that it can be hard to believe that every beautiful and wild place in our country hasn't already received a special plaque and special protections designating it a beautiful and wild place. But that's not the case. While there are many important locations included in the National Park Service, there are countless others queued up for the spotlight, and a cavalcade of hopeful backers. Now a California cave system has received the love, and just in time for its annual tour season. Congratulations, Lake Shasta Caverns, for being the latest National Natural Landmark.

BEAUTY BENEATH: The caverns people point out that this isn't yet listed on the NPS site but you can get to know what this means via this helpful National Park Service article. There are nearly 600 NNLs in all, including, wait for it, the San Andreas Fault. Fascinating. If you want to get to know the Shasta landmark, it just opened for its annual tours, which run in the warmer months. Here's a fun factoid: You take a boat across the lake to even reach the caverns. Adventure! With an exclamation point! Thanks to the Visit Redding people for the tip on this one. Always good to see more wilderness get the love.

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