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10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta

06.08.17

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10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
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  • Gorgeous Mount Shasta and wonderful mountain lupine from Yellow Butte.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Haystack, the Trinities, and the Eddy Range in the distance as seen from Yellow Butte. - 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Unencumbered views of Mount Shasta from the summit of Yellow Butte.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Laying adjacent to Mount Shasta, the volcano plug of Black Butte offers a moderate hike with excellent views.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Black Butte's scree-covered slopes.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Lower Falls, a popular swimming hole on the upper McCloud River.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • A platform at Lower Falls helps direct safer jumping access.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • View over Middle Falls while hiking along the McCloud River.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Middle Falls on the Upper McCloud River.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • McCloud River's Upper Falls overlook.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Upper Falls on the Upper McCloud River.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Mount Eddy east of Upper Deadfall Lake.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Mount Shasta from the summit of Mount Eddy. - 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Scenic Heart Lake, with Mount Shasta beyond.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Overlooking Castle Lake and Mount Shasta from Heart Lake.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Castle Crags and the Dome from Vista Point in Castle Crags State Park.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • View of Castle Crags from the trail.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • View of the dome and Mount Shasta (14,179 ft).- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Castle Crags in winter.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Berstarse Falls in the Castle Crags Wilderness.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Bustarse Falls in the Castle Crags Wilderness.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Lower Burstarse Falls.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • McArthur-Burney Falls is a 45-minute drive south from Mount Shasta along scenic Highway 89- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • McAurthur-Burney Falls.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • View of Mount Shasta's southern facing Avalanche Gulch from near the Bunny Flat parking area.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Aspiring summiters heading up Shasta's Avalanche Gulch route.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • A busy Helen Lake Base Camp (10,472 ft) on the Avalanche Gulch route.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Dawn view looking west at Mount Eddy (9,026 ft) and the surrounding Scott and Trinity Mountains.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • View up Misery Hill and toward Mount Shasta's summit (14,179 ft).- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Enjoying the views from the summit of Mount Shasta.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Mount Shasta's east aspect entices climbers and skiers looking to escape the crowds.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Skinning to basecamp for a climb and ski descent of Shasta's Hotlum-Wintun Ridge.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • Seracs and crevasses on Shasta's Hotlum Glacier.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
  • 7,000-foot descent to the trailhead, skiing the Hotlum-Wintun Ridge.- 10 Reasons to Visit Mount Shasta
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Team

Glistening Mount Shasta and it's eponymous base camp of a town are just about as far away from a major West Coast city as you can get while still remaining on the I-5 corridor. That's precisely part of what makes the Mount Shasta area so special; it's far removed, yet it's accessible. Given its location approximately halfway between San Francisco and Portland, most of Shasta's visitors encounter the area as a quick pit stop or as a nice scene out the window during a northbound or southbound I-5 road trip. Well, we're here to tell you that Mount Shasta should be a destination in it's own right.

Situated less than 50 miles south of the Oregon border and dominating much of the far northern California skyline, 14,179-foot Mount Shasta is the second tallest volcanic peak in the Cascade Range and a stunning stand-alone peak to behold. The mountain encompasses a massive volume with a circumference of slopes that draw in an eclectic mix of climbers, skiers, artists and those with more spiritual inclinations. Reverberating outward from the mountain in all directions is a sea of volcanic buttes, sub-ranges, lakes and rivers that provide a diverse backdrop of outdoor venues and experiences, a backdrop nearly as grand as the mountain itself. 

Suffice it to say Mount Shasta has a lot to offer. Here are 10 reasons we love visiting the Mount Shasta area, reasons we think you'll fall in love with it, too:

  1. Yellow Butte: Providing one of the best views of Mount Shasta's northern slopes, this 3-mile hike is seldom visited yet offers postcard worthy views and spectacular spring wildflowers.
  2. Black Butte: Adjacent to the town of Mount Shasta, Black Butte is a shapely volcanic plug dome lying to the west of the mountain and rising over 2,000 feet from base to summit. Hikers can climb switchbacks leading up the butte's lava-scree laden slopes to incredible views of Mount Shasta, Mount Eddy and surroundings.
  3. McCloud River Three Falls: The spring-fed McCloud River and it's three falls offer one of the most picturesque stretches of riverbank strolling anywhere. The river is accessible year round, but during the summer months Lower, Middle and Upper Falls each offer their own version of a unique swimming hole experience.
  4. Deadfall Lakes + Mount Eddy: Hike or backpack to Deadfall Lakes and on up to the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S. west of Interstate 5. At 9,026 feet, Mount Eddy is the high point on the Trinity Divide, affording one of the best views of the Trinity Alps and Mount Shasta. Views stretch from Lassen Peak to the southern Oregon Cascades.
  5. Heart Lake: This short hike above Castle Lake near Castle Crags gives much more than what it requires to get there: idyllic swimming and views over Castle Lake and Mount Shasta and stunning wildflowers in late spring and summer.
  6. Castle Crags Dome Hike: Rising above the Upper Sacramento River Valley is a seemingly out of place grouping of granite domes and spires one would expect to find at Yosemite known as Castle Crags. Hiking 2,000 feet above the river on the Crags Trail affords access to Castle Dome, which can be summited via a short scramble. More Shasta views await! Castle Crags is also an option for wintertime exploration.
  7. Burstarse Falls Hike: Tucked away behind Castle Crags along the Trinity Divide is a picturesque waterfall that is accessible year round known as Burstarse Falls. This 5-mile round-trip hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail to Lower Burstarse Falls. Take a short and cautious scramble on the east side of the creek to reach main Burstarse Falls.
  8. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park: Slightly off the beaten path from Mount Shasta, McArthur-Burney Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls to flow throughout California. Fed from an underground spring, the 129-foot falls so impressed President Theodore Roosevelt that he declared McArthur-Burney Falls the eighth wonder of the world. This is one waterfall not to be missed.
  9. Mount Shasta Climb, Avalanche Gulch:  Ever desired to stand on top of a 14,000-foot peak? Mount Shasta's Avalanche Gulch route may offer the best non-technical bang for your buck. Starting at Bunny Flat on the mountain's southern slopes, the route ascends a broad gully leading to Mount Shasta's summit. Note this is still a physically demanding route requiring ice axes and crampons and gets crowded during peak climbing season (guides available). 
  10. Mount Shasta, Hotlum-Wintun Ridge: Looking to escape the crowds? A more demanding spring route, but one that offers one of the best ski descents on the mountain, is found on Shasta's north side. Upon summiting, ski 4,000 feet of sustained steeps down the Wintun Glacier for a combined 7,000-foot descent back to the car. Note that this is a remote side of the mountain where help is less available than in Avalanche Gulch. 
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