US 97 provides a beautiful drive across northern California. You’ll admire Mount Shasta as you barrel towards the town of Weed, California, where souvenir purchases are mandatory.
Just south of Klamath Falls, US 97 enters California. For the next few miles, you’ll be making a straight shot southwest towards Weed.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the great old neon sign from the Cal-Ore Supper Club, just south of the state line.
US 97 eventually hits a few hills, and curves around…
… until you end up on a delightful stretch where you’re headed directly towards Mount Shasta. At 14,179 feet (4,322 meters), this volcano really stands out from the surroundings.
There are some hiking opportunities around Mount Shasta, but I was determined to make it all the way to Lassen Volcanic National Park. And, since it was cloudy, I wasn’t quite as tempted to go hiking.
After seeing one billboard after another, advertising the Weed souvenir store, I knew I had to go. The store is on the south end of the very short downtown business district.
As you can imagine, it’s filled with every sort of Weed double entendres. I bought a t-shirt which I’m now embarrassed to wear in public. Keep in mind, everyone in Weed, California gets the joke — people back at home probably won’t.
The rest of downtown Weed is worth a quick stroll. I appreciated the funky neon sign at the Hi-Lo Motel Cafe.
And if you’re in the market to buy a 1946 Ford fire truck, stop by — it might still be there.
Since US 97 ends at Weed, my only choice was to hop onto Interstate 5 for a while, and head south. The next town down the road is Mount Shasta. From there, California 89 took me over to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Bottom Line
Weed, California is worth a quick visit, and the drive down US Highway 97 is beautiful, even when clouds obscure the top of Mount Shasta.
US Highway 97 heads south from Klamath Falls, Oregon, forming a giant letter Y with Interstate 5 at Weed, California. Route 97 ends at Weed.
The entire route is considered part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, even though the state of California has not designated it as a state scenic byway.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive south from Crater Lake, through Klamath Falls, and into California…
… and from the state line south into Weed…
… and from Weed south and east to Lassen National Volcanic Park: