SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - While most people in Shasta County think to hit the lake to cool off.
There's another local gem that can help you stay cool during the hot summer days.
“When you start getting into the higher temperatures, about 110, 111, one of the best places to come is Lake Shasta Caverns,” Shasta Caverns general manager Matt Doyle said. “Year round, we're 58 degrees.”
With temperatures 5 to 10 degrees cooler on the water, folks can already feel some relief from the heat on the short boat ride it takes to get to the caves.
“The second the boat starts moving, you start getting that nice little breeze,” Doyle said. “And you get a little breeze coming down from the north on the channel of the McCloud arm, and it just cools you off right away.”
Last year Shasta Caverns saw a record year with nearly 70,000 visitors.
The previous record was 64,000 visitors, and that was set in 1984.
“So it was a massive increase,” Doyle said. “This year so far, we're already beating last year.”
Doyle says they do get quite a few locals, but the majority of those visitors are tourists driving down Interstate 5.
Folks like Mike Molloy from Quartz Hill.
“We're going up to Bend, Oregon to visit a good friend of ours that lived by us in Leona Valley,” Molloy said.
He says the temperature inside is a nice contrast from what's waiting for him just outside the cave.
“It's supposed to be 111 today, 115 something like that,” Molloy said. “And it's nice in here.”
Doyle says they don't see quite as many locals visiting the caverns as they'd like.
He said that’s probably because people take it for granted being in their own backyard.
But now is a better time than ever to check out some spectacular cave formations.
“This heat can be a little unbearable,” Doyle said. “But what a better opportunity to come up here and enjoy that 58 degree temperature that we have inside the cave. Not only that, but learn a little bit about the area and why this is so important to the Shasta Lake and Shasta County areas.
Shasta Caverns is open daily from 9AM to 4PM, and tours currently leave shore every half hour.