Yreka - Gold-Rush Town and Seat of Siskiyou County
Yreka (pronounced Wye-REE-ka) is the seat of the middle one of the three northernmost counties in California and just south of the Oregon border.
Yreka, situated on the Siskiyou Trail through the Siskiyou Mountains and Cascade Range, grew inthe 1850s as a northern gold-mining centre. Its historical importance as a mining town and local industrial, commercial, and transit centre is clear in the large downtown with some impressive buildings as well as fairly extensive, attractive old residential areas.
Although the original maning of the name "Siskiyou" is uncertain, the name for the county and the mountains from which the county takes its name is at least from the Siskiyou Trail. This wasl used by fur-trappers and explorers/voyageurs of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), and by people for long before that. The HBC trappers and explorers from Canada made their way along the trail from settlements in the then-Oregon Territory near the Columbia River, down to the San Joaquin Delta and the San Francisco Bay by the early 1800s. The rough ends of the trail were near modern-day Portland, Oregon in the north and Stockton, California in the south, with French Camp near Stockton being named for Francophone HBC explorers. The word "Siksiyou" may come from Six Cailloux (6 Rocks), a name originally given by French-speaking voyageurs to a ford at one point in the trail in what is now Oregon, and subsequently applied to the entire trail.
This is a also a good place to stop on the way through the regionor when visiting the area. The downtown is fairly attractive and lively with a number of restaurants and is stil a nicely living, functioning downtown. There are many other services, even a shopping mal with department store, and most of these services are in or around downtown. The shopping mall, however, is at the southern end of town.
Overall, this is a much more interesting, easy, and pleasant place to stop than Redding in the county to the south and it's by far the biggest town between Redding and the Medford-Ashland area of Oregon.