The Escalator Trail and Meiner's Loop are just some of the pawrific trails inside the Swasey Recreation Area on Swasey Drive in Redding, California, and offer plenty of varied terrains, steep climbs, rocky descents, and pawesome views of Lassen Peak to the east and Shasta Bally to the west. The total length of the trip is a just over eight miles.
Park at the Meiners Trailhead Parking Area inside the Swasey Recreation Area. This sets you right on the Meiner's Loop. The first section to the north meanders along the dirt trail through meadows full of flowers, manzanita trees, and giant oaks. Olney Creek follows you throughout the first half mile of the trail, and then you and your fur buddy will continue left onto the Escalator Trail, which has a sign for your convenience.
You and your furbaby can take a break here and cool off a bit in the water. You can then begin climbing the Escalator Trail toward Mule Mountain Pass and Picnic Area through some switchbacks for about two miles. Once you reach a clearing with picnic tables, you will be at the two-mile mark where you and your little buddy can sit down and have some lunch or a snack. Here you can see Shasta Bally for the first time.
From here, you have a few options. For time estimates quoted for this guide, take the Escalator Trail back to meet back up to the rest of the Meiner's Loop, then go left to continue the Loop to the original trailhead you started on.
For longer trips, from the Mule Mountain Pass Picnic Area, if you continue north, you can traverse the trails in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Or you can take the rocky and steep Terminator Trail along the 4.3 mile Mule Mountain Trail to the southeast to meet back up with Meiner's Loop. Around the four-mile mark, other sections of the Olney Creek will appear, and you can take another water play break with your pooch. If you brought a pole and have a fishing license, you can even try your luck at catching some dinner. There's several varieties of fish in the creek, such as bluegill, sunfish, and crappie.
When you and your furbaby are done cooling off, head back to the trail where you will make a left at the four-way intersection and follow Meiners Loop back to the trailhead. On the way back, you will probably see some nice views of Lassen Peak and Shasta Bally, as well as meadows and grasslands full of colorful wildflowers. Be sure to bring water to share and clean-up bags too.
No matter which path you choose, the Escalator Trail and Meiner's Loop are sure to delight both you and your adventurous pooch!