Yreka ( wy-REE-kə) is the county seat of Siskiyou County, California, United States, located near the Shasta River; the city covers an area of approximately 10 square miles (26 km2), most of which is land. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 7,765, reflecting an increase of 475 from the 7,290 counted in the 2000 Census. Yreka is home to the College of the Siskiyous, Klamath National Forest Interpretive Museum and the Siskiyou County Museum.
In March 1851, Abraham Thompson, a mule train packer, discovered gold near Rocky Gulch while traveling along the Siskiyou Trail from southern Oregon. By April 1851, two thousand miners had arrived in "Thompson's Dry Diggings" to test their luck, and by June 1851, a gold rush "boomtown" of tents, shanties, and a few rough cabins had sprung up. Several name changes occurred until the little city was called Yreka. The name comes from the Shasta language /wáik'a/, for which Mount Shasta is named. The word means "north mountain" or "white mountain".
Mark Twain tells a different story: