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The city of Mount Shasta is located in Northern California at the base of one of the largest volcanoes in the state. Mount Shasta is a must visit location in California with endless outdoor activities including hiking, biking, fishing, and camping.
Location: 62 miles north of Redding, CA
Highest Elevation: Mount Shasta’s elevation is 14,179 feet
Difficulty: Varied depending on the adventure activities you choose!
Season: June to mid-October as there is snow in the winter
Additional Requirements: Bikes are nice to have when exploring Siskiyou Lake.
To Mount Shasta Hiking Trails from the I-5 South: Take exit 740 onto Mount Shasta Blvd to enter the city of Mount Shasta. Then turn left onto Ski Village Drive and take a quick right to stay on Ski Village Drive. In 0.8 miles turn left onto Everitt Memorial Hwy and follow that road to the hiking trailhead of your choice.
To Lake Siskiyou from the I-5 South: Take exit 738 as you drive through the town of Mount Shasta and turn right onto W Lake Street. Turn left at S Old Stage Road and follow the road as it makes a slight right onto W A Barr Road. After about 2 miles you cross the Wagon Creek Bridge and will find a parking lot on the lake side.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes or winter boots in case there is snow on the mountain.
- Water: Always smart to bring water when you are hiking.
- Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the falls. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
- Weather appropriate clothing: Depending on the time of year, you may want shorts and a T-shirt or some winter clothing. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- Mountain Bikes: If you have a bike, the trail around Lake Siskiyou is a pleasant pedal with exceptional views of Mount Shasta in the distance.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
- Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
- This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country. It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife. Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Summary: Mount Shasta is an area with many opportunities for adventure. We were only able to spend one day in Mount Shasta but you could easily fill a few days there. We have attached a link below that includes a thorough description of all of the available hikes and other activities to do in the area.
The remainder of this guide describes our day at Mount Shasta and the recommendations we have, for the activities we did.
One day in Mount Shasta:
Our initial goal was to summit Mount Shasta but due to the time of year, and the amount of snow, this was not a possibility. Instead we decided to head for a leisurely bike ride around Lake Siskiyou before driving up Mount Shasta as far as the winter roads would allow.
Some of the best views of Mount Shasta come from the southwest shore of Lake Siskiyou. We left the city of Mount Shasta (Route marker #1 on the map) and parked in a parking lot on the southeast edge of the lake (Route marker #2 on the map). There is a well maintained 7 mile trail that runs through the trees and loops around the lake. The trail has minimal elevation gain and can be walked or biked. In the winter, if there is snow, the trail is used for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. As you travel around the lake there are breaks in the trees that provide stunning views of Mount Shasta in the distance.
After soaking in the views from the lake we drove back through the city and up the mountain for a short hike off the Bunny Flat Trailhead (Route marker #3 on the map). The roads up to Bunny Flats are plowed year round and in the winter this is as high as you can reach by vehicle. We did our trip in November and there was a fresh 8-10 inches of snow at the Bunny Flats parking lot!
The Bunny Flat Trailhead is at 6950 feet and there is hours of hiking that begin from this point. Our hike was only about an hour due to the amount of snow, but the views were incredible. We lucked out and had a very clear day with blue skies and the sun shining.
Mount Shasta is an area filled with adventure opportunities and beautiful scenery. It is a bit off the beaten track but totally worth spending a few days in!
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Have fun out there!