Redding, California

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Redding, California
City of Redding
Sundial Bridge (8843646383).jpg
Flag of Redding, California.svg
Seal of Redding, California.png
"The Jewel of Northern California" [1]
Shasta County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Redding Highlighted.svg
Location of Redding in Shasta County, California
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Location in the United States
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Redding (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°35′N122°22′W / 40.583°N 122.367°W / 40.583; -122.367 Coordinates: 40°35′N122°22′W / 40.583°N 122.367°W / 40.583; -122.367
CountryUnited States
State California
County Shasta
Incorporated October 4, 1887
Founded by Pierson B. Reading
  Type Council-manager
   City council Mayor Erin Resner
Vice Mayor Kristen Schreder
Michael Dacquisto
Julie Winter
Mark Mezzano
   City manager Barry Tippin
  Total61.17 sq mi (158.44 km2)
  Land59.65 sq mi (154.48 km2)
  Water1.53 sq mi (3.96 km2)  2.50%
564 ft (172 m)
(2019) [4]
  Rank 84th in California
  Density1,552.30/sq mi (599.35/km2)
Demonym(s) Reddingite
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
96001–96003, 96049, 96099
Area code 530
FIPS code 06-59920
GNIS feature IDs 277582, 2411531
Website Official website

Redding is a city in and the county seat of Shasta County, California, United States, in the northern part of the state. It lies along the Sacramento River, 162 miles (261 kilometers) north of Sacramento, and 120 miles (190 km) south of California's northern border with Oregon. Interstate 5 bisects the entire city, from the south to north before it approaches Shasta Lake, which is located 15 miles (24 km) to the north. The 2010 population was 90,322. [5] [6] Redding is the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region, and it is the sixth-largest city in the Sacramento Valley, behind Chico, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, and Vacaville.



Benjamin Bernard Redding Benjamin B. Redding (1824 - 1882).jpg
Benjamin Bernard Redding

During the Gold Rush, the area that now comprises Redding was called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin Bernard Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad so that it could build a northern terminus there. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built a town in the same area, which they named Redding in honor of Benjamin Redding. In 1874 there was a dispute over the name by local legislators and it was changed for a time to Reading, in order to honor Pierson B. Reading, who arrived in the area in 1843, owned the Buenaventura land grant on which Redding sits, and had died only a few years before, in 1868. The name, however, was officially changed back to Redding by 1880. It has been called Redding ever since. [7] [8]


Indigenous culture

Before European settlers came to the area, it was inhabited by a tribe of Native Americans called the Wintu. At their height, the Wintu had as many as 239 villages in the Shasta County area. [9]

First European settlers

Although Europeans had been to California as early as 1542, when Juan Cabrillo sailed to what is now the San Diego Bay, the indigenous Indians were probably the only inhabitants of far Northern California region until Russian fur trappers came through the area in 1815.

The first European settlement in the area was established in 1844 by Pierson B. Reading, an early California pioneer who received a Rancho Buena Ventura Mexican land grant for 26,632 acres (10,778 ha) that is now covered by Redding and Cottonwood, California. At the time, it was the northernmost nonnative settlement in California.

Founding of Redding

During the Gold Rush, 49ers found gold to the north on Rock, Middle and Salt creeks, near Shasta, California, and to the south along Oregon and Olney creeks but the area that is now Redding was poor placer gold ground and called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin B. Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad for a northern terminus, which the tracks reached in 1872. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built the town of Redding which was officially incorporated on October 4, 1887. In 1888, Redding won the county seat from Shasta. [10]

Early 20th century

In the early twentieth century the town's economic growth was spurred by the significant copper and iron mineral extraction industry nearby. However, the mining industry eventually declined, causing the economy and population to falter by 1920. It recovered in the thirties as the economy boomed due to the construction of Shasta Dam to the northwest. The building of the dam, which was completed in 1945, caused Redding's population to nearly double, also spurring the growth and development of other towns in the area. [11]

Mid- to late-20th century

Redding continued to grow steadily in the 1950s due to the region's growing lumber industry and tourism brought about by the newly completed dam. The constructions of Whiskeytown and Keswick dams also helped boost the economy by bringing new workers to the area. Interstate 5 was built during the sixties and seventies, which added to development and tourism in the region.

Growth in Redding during the '60s and '70s was also caused by annexation of an area east of the Sacramento River made up of the unincorporated community of Enterprise. Enterprise residents voted to support the annexation primarily to acquire less expensive electricity via Redding's municipal utility, which receives power from the dam.

During the 1970s, the lumber industry suffered from decline. Lumber mills in the area closed down and heavily impacted the Redding area. Things later picked up, due to a retail and housing boom in the late-1980s that continued until the mid-1990s.

21st century

In 2017, the city adopted a new flag after holding a redesign contest. [12]

In late July 2018, the Carr Fire in Shasta County seriously impacted the Redding area with the destruction of at least 1,100 [13] buildings, with several thousand more threatened, 38,000 people instructed to evacuate and 6 deaths. [14]

Geography and climate


Redding is located at 40°34′36″N122°22′13″W / 40.57667°N 122.37028°W / 40.57667; -122.37028 (40.576606, −122.370325). [15] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 61.2 square miles (159 square kilometers). 59.6 square miles (154 km2) of it is land, and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (2.50%) is beneath water.

Redding is located at the very northwestern end of the Central Valley, which transitions into the Cascade foothills. The city is surrounded by mountains to the north, east, and west and fertile farm land to the south. Outermost parts of the city are part of the Cascade foothills, whereas southern and central areas are in the Sacramento Valley.[ citation needed ]

The elevation in Redding is 495 feet (151 meters) on average, whereas anywhere to the north, east, or west of downtown ranges between 550 feet (170 m) and 800 feet (240 m) feet. Southern portions range between 400 feet (120 m) and 500 feet (150 m).

The Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River provides a considerable level of flood protection for Redding. The dam is capable of controlling flows up to 79,000 cubic feet (7,300 cubic meters) per second. The flow rate exceeded this threshold in both 1970 and 1974. [16]

Soils in and around town are composed mostly of clay or gravelly loam texture, with red or brown mineral horizons. They are slightly or moderately acidic in their natural state. [17]

Subdivisions / Areas


  • Bonnyview
  • Boulder Creek
  • College Highlands
  • Country Heights
  • Garden Tract
  • Gold Hills
  • Hacienda Heights
  • Hidden Hills
  • Lake Redding Estates
  • Layton Oaks
  • Mary Lake
  • Miracle Mile
  • Parkview
  • Plateau Circle
  • Ridgewood Estates
  • Shasta View Gardens
  • Stanford Hills
  • Sunset Terrace
  • Sunset West
  • The Bluffs
  • Western Ranches (Greenbelt)
  • Westwood Manor


  • Blossom Park
  • Buckeye
  • Buckeye Terrace
  • Downtown
  • Enterprise
  • Girvan
  • Greenwood Heights
  • Kutras Tract
  • Mt. Shasta Mall
  • Oasis
  • Powerline
  • Quartz Hill
  • Spring Hill
  • West Ridge

Mobile home communities

  • Redwood Estates
  • Los Robles Estates
  • Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Estates
  • Twin View Terrace Mobile Home Park
  • Redding Lakeside Mobile Homes Estates
  • Starlight Mobile Home Estates

Shopping centers

  • Cobblestone Shopping Center
  • Cypress Square Shopping Center
  • Mt. Shasta Mall
  • Discovery Village


There are several rare and endangered species in Redding and its immediate vicinity. The Redding Redevelopment Plan EIR notes the California State listed endangered species, slender Orcutt grass ( Orcuttia tenuis ), occurs in eastern Redding near the municipal airport, where vernal pools are known to exist. This endemic grass is a Federal Candidate for listing and is endangered throughout its range, confined to several populations, and seriously threatened by agriculture, overgrazing, and residential development. Vernal pools provide the preferred habitat for this plant, which the California Native Plant Society considers a rare and endangered species. These same vernal pools also support federally protected species such as the federally threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi).


Redding has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), with very hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Winter (October–April) provides the most precipitation of any season in Redding—the weather tends to be either rainy or foggy and at times, snow occurs. While summers are mostly hot and dry, thunderstorms are not uncommon. The average daily maximum temperature in July stays near 100 °F (37.8 °C). The highest official recorded temperature in Redding was 118 °F (48 °C) on July 20, 1988, recorded at the nearby Redding Municipal Airport and the most recent of three occasions, however some residents say they recall a high temperature of 121 in the summer of 1981 and even just recently, 126 in the summer of 2020. [18] Redding has an average possible sunshine of 88%, the second-highest percentage (after Yuma, Arizona) of any US city. [19]

Redding occasionally receives snow, though it has received as much as 23 inches (58 centimeters) of snow in a single storm, occurring on December 47, 1909 and December 2224, 1968, including 16 in (41 cm) on December 23, 1968, the most in any calendar day on record. [18] It rarely gets sleet or freezing rain. Frost occurs commonly in December through February, less often in March or November. In spring, rain is common. The city is located near the foothills of the Cascade and Klamath mountain ranges and it therefore gets much more rain than most places in the Sacramento Valley; temperature differentials between land and sea cause moist air from the latter to flow over the southern Sacramento valley during the summer months, producing intense heat in Redding. The direction of this winds switches from the north and east in the summer, as hot, high-pressure air flows from land to sea, making the area very dry. Tornadoes are extremely rare; flooding occurs only around the area near the Sacramento River. The coldest temperature recorded in Redding was 16 °F (−9 °C) on January 17, 2012 and December 9, 2009. [18]

Climate data for Redding Municipal Airport, California (1981–2010 normals, [lower-alpha 1] extremes 1893–present [lower-alpha 2] )
Record high °F (°C)87
Mean maximum °F (°C)70.1
Average high °F (°C)55.0
Daily mean °F (°C)45.7
Average low °F (°C)36.5
Mean minimum °F (°C)26.3
Record low °F (°C)16
Average precipitation inches (mm)5.96
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)13.211.411.
Source: NOAA [18] [21]


Historical population
1880 600
1890 1,821203.5%
1900 2,94661.8%
1910 3,57221.2%
1920 2,962−17.1%
1930 4,18841.4%
1940 8,10993.6%
1950 10,25626.5%
1960 12,77324.5%
1970 16,65930.4%
1980 42,103152.7%
1990 66,46257.9%
2000 80,86521.7%
2010 89,86111.1%
2019 (est.)92,590 [4] 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [22]

The 2010 United States Census [5] reported that Redding had a population of 89,861. The population density was 1,468.9 people per square mile (567.2/km2). The racial makeup of Redding was 77,117 (85.8%) White, 1,092 (1.2%) African American, 2,034 (2.3%) Native American, 3,034 (3.4%) Asian, 156 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,307 (2.6%) from other races, and 4,121 (4.6%) from two or more races. There were 7,787 people of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (8.7%).

The Census reported that 87,841 people (97.8% of the population) lived in households, 1,138 (1.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 882 (1.0%) were institutionalized.

There were 36,130 households, out of which 11,012 (30.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,001 (44.3%) were married couples living together, 4,806 (13.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,984 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,570 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 204 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 10,344 households (28.6%) were made up of individuals, and 4,622 (12.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43. There were 22,791 families (63.1% of all households); the average family size was 2.94.

The population was spread out, with 20,518 people (22.8%) under the age of 18, 9,436 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 21,725 people (24.2%) aged 25 to 44, 23,424 people (26.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 14,758 people (16.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

There were 38,679 housing units at an average density of 632.3 per square mile (244.1/km2), of which 19,968 (55.3%) were owner-occupied, and 16,162 (44.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.9%. 48,179 people (53.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 39,662 people (44.1%) lived in rental housing units.


The Redding Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was recognized as the 29th Most Dynamic MSA in the United States in 2019 by the Walton Family Foundation. [23] Redding was recognized for having a diversified economy with several large employers in different sectors.

Top exports

Top employers

According to the City's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [24] the top employers in Redding are:

#Employer# of employees
1 Mercy Medical Center 1,832
2 Shasta County 1,750
3City of Redding1,129
4 Shasta Regional Medical Center 856
5CA Transportation Department663
6 Redding Rancheria 523
7 Wal-Mart 450
8 Shasta Union High School District 406
9 Shasta College 352
10 Blue Shield of California 330


State and federal representation

In the California State Legislature, Redding is in the 1st Senate District , represented by Republican Brian Dahle, [25] and the 1st Assembly District , represented by Republican Megan Dahle. [26]

In the United States House of Representatives, Redding is in California's 1st congressional district , represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. [27]

Municipal government

The city council is composed of Mayor Erin Resner, Vice Mayor Kristen Schreder, Julie Winter, Michael Dacquisto, and Mark Mezzano. [28] [29] The city manager is Barry Tippin. [30]

Redding is a general law city operating under the council-manager form of government. [29]

Parks and recreation

Dancing Shiva by Bryan Tedrick at Old City Hall Redding Old City Hall.jpg
Dancing Shiva by Bryan Tedrick at Old City Hall
Cascade Theatre Cascade Theater 1935 - Redding, CA.JPG
Cascade Theatre

Museums and public art



Performing arts


Higher education



High schools



Charter schools

Other schools

Trade schools





ChannelCall signNetwork
7.2-- MeTV
7.3-- Movies!
9.2 KIXE-DT2 Create
9.3 KIXE-DT3 PBS World
12.2 KHSL-DT2 The CW
17.1 KXVU-LD Antenna TV
20.1 KCVU-DT Fox
20.2 KCVU-DT2 ThisTV
21.1 KRVU-LD MyNetworkTV
23.1 KRDT-LD theDove TV
24.2-- Telemundo
26 KGEC-LD theDove TV
27.1 KUCO-LD Univision
33K33HH 3ABN
35.1 KKTF-LD Telefutura
41.1 KRHT-LD Azteca America


AM radio
Call letterskHzFormat
KVIP 540Religious [34]
KLXR 1230Nostalgia [34]
KQMS 1400News/Talk [35]
KCNR 1460Talk [34]
KNRO 1670Sports [34]
FM radio
Call lettersMHzFormat
KNNN-LP 87.7Indie & Alternative Rock
KKRN 88.5Community Radio [34]
KFPR 88.9Public Radio [34]
K211CO (KHRI translator)90.1 Air 1 Christian Contemporary [34]
K227AE (KHRD translator)93.3Classic Rock [34]
KEWB 94.7Top 40 [34]
KALF 95.7Hot Country
KNCQ 97.3Country [34]
K249EW (KAWZ translator)97.7Religious [34]
KVIP 98.1Christian Talk Radio
KWLZ 99.3Rhythmic Contemporary [34]
KWCA 101.1Public Radio (licensed to suburb Palo Cedro) [36]
K268AJ (KHAP translator)101.5Religious [34]
KKRO 102.7 Air 1 Christian Contemporary
KSHA 104.3Adult Contemporary [34]
KRDG 105.3Classic Hits [34]
KRRX 106.1Rock [34]
K298AF (KAWZ translator)107.5Religious (licensed to nearby Shasta) [34]
KKLC 107.9 K-LOVE Christian Contemporary [34]


Major highways

Rail and bus transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Redding station, operating its Coast Starlight daily in both directions between Seattle, Washington, and Los Angeles, California VA Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; Oakland, California; San Jose, California; Santa Barbara, California and all Intermediate station stops. Amtrak California also provides Thruway Motorcoach service to Stockton or Sacramento for connections to the San Joaquins, which serve the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles area via bus connections.

Redding provides a city bus transportation system called RABA (Redding Area Bus Authority). RABA provides routes throughout the city of Redding and also provides transportation throughout Redding's suburbs. Transportation is also available by RABA to Burney, by Sage Stage to Alturas and by Trinity Transit to Weaverville. [37] Redding is also served by the intercity bus companies Greyhound and Fronteras del Norte. [38]

Shasta Regional Transit Agency is developing a weekday commuter bus from Redding to the Sacramento Valley Station. [39]

Air transportation

Air transportation for the Redding area is provided by two general aviation airports. Redding Municipal Airport, located south of Redding, has scheduled flights from SkyWest (United Express). The smaller Benton Airpark is located on the western side of Redding.

Notable people

This list includes notable persons who were born/raised/worked in, lived in, or whose identity was significantly influenced by Redding, as well as music groups that were founded in the area.

Actors and entertainment industry


Business leaders and entrepreneurs

Musicians and bands


Politicians, civil servants and activists

Other people

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. Records for Redding observed at: [20]
    • Redding Weather Service Office, January 1893April 1929
    • Benton Field, May 1929July 1944
    • Two differing fire stations, August 1944August 1986
    • Redding Municipal Airport since September 1986
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Geographic location