JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Looking at my summer, I really want to get away to somewhere different. Somewhere I haven't spent a whole lot of time exploring. Somewhere I can go hard, or go easy. That said... My Shasta sounds like the perfect getaway. !
My Shasta is a volcano in Northern California. Fifth highest peak in California. They have everything an outdoorsman can ask for! Climbing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, you name the fun and you can do it there. I love seeing new places so hiking some trails will be my choice.
Trials range from easy to tough, but the expert hikers are already out there. So here are some trails that everyone can handle.
SHORT HIKES (15-45 minutes)
John Everitt Vista Point
Walk through large, old growth conifer forest to volcanic rock outcropping with panorama of area south to McCloud and Sacramento River Canyons. Look for botanical tree signs.
Time: 20 minutes Length: 1/2 mile RT Elevation: 5000′ to 5100′
Difficulty: Easy. Climbs then levels to easy grade.
Trailhead: 9 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to parking lot.
Panther Meadow Loop
Spring water flows in rivulets through fragile alpine meadow full of wildflowers. Peaceful loop trail allows great view of mountain. Sensitive plantlike; please stay on trail. No drinking water. Note: Only accessible after snow melts, typically June 1.
Time: 45 minutes Length: 1.5 miles RT Elevation: 7500′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Easy. Rocky path is well-marked.
Trailhead: 12.5 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to marked trailhead.
MEDIUM HIKES (1-2 hours)
Old Ski Bowl Trail
Outstanding views up to Mt. Shasta’s summit. Unmarked trail meanders through volcanic rock gulch between Green Butte and Sargents Ridge. Trail has no destination. No water. Cover in snow unitl June usually.
Time: 1 hour (varies) Length: 1 mile Elevation: 7800′ to ?
Difficulty: Easy, steady uphill climb on rocky path.
Trailhead: 14 miles to end of Everitt Memorial Highway at uppermost parking lot.
McCloud River – Lower, Middle and Upper Falls
Access to all three falls has been greatly improved in recent years by the Forest Service. There is a trail connecting all three, which is partially wheelchair accessible. The trail is approximately 1 ½ miles long, one way. There are picnic tables and restrooms at the Lower Falls area. There is a parking area and restrooms at the Middle Falls. From the parking area you can choose to walk just a short distance to an overlook above the falls or travel down the trail to the pool.
All three of these waterfalls are within about one mile of each other, yet each is uniquely beautiful, and has their own personality. At Upper Falls, the quiet river gathers itself into a massive rock chute, charging the water full of energy before it spills into a pool far below. Middle Falls spreads a sheet of falling water over a lava cliff, into a large pool. The water is icy cold, but in the summer you will find people frolicking in it. Lower Falls is a small chute spilling into a pool below.
Directions: From Mt. Shasta, go about a mile south of town to the beginning of Highway 89. The sign will say to McCloud, Susanville, or Reno. Travel over the hill about 10 miles to the town of McCloud. Continue traveling east on highway 89 five miles beyond McCloud, slow down when you see a McCloud River Access sign. Turn right at the Forest Service sign “Fowler’s Campground Lower Falls” Go straight past the entrance to the campground to reach the Lowers Falls area in about ½ mile. If you want to go to Middle Falls take the paved road to the east and travel about ½ mile. To reach Upper Falls by car, travel about another ½ mile past the Middle Falls parking area. This road is actually a loop and continues on to Lakin Dam and Cattle Camp, then back to Highway 89 in about 6 miles.
LONGER HIKES (2 hours or more)
Bunny Flat Trail
Major trailhead for both mountain climbers and day hikers. Trail ascends south flank through open conifer forests to Sierra Club Hut at Horse Camp. Bathrooms at parking lot and Horse Camp. No drinking water except at Horse Camp spring. Wilderness Permit required.
Time: 3-4 hours Length: 4.5 miles Elevation: 6900′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous in spots. Steady uphill with moderate grade. After Horse Camp is rock causeway to protect fragile vegetation. Trail not suitable for children under 6 years old.
Trailhead: 11 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Bunny Flat parking lot. Kiosk for self-issue Wilderness Area use permits.
Sand Flat Trail
Ascends through Avalanche Gulch and connects with the Bunny Flat Trail, then up to the Sierra Club Hut at Horse Camp. Impressive views upward to Mt. Shasta’s Red Banks area. Spring water and restroom at Horse Camp.
Time: 3 hours Length: 4 miles Elevation: 6800′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Strenuous. Climbs steeply through forested area.
Trailhead: 9.5 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Lower Sand Flat Road. Turn left on unpaved ; drive .8 miles to junction. Continue straight ahead and take fork to the right for .4 mile to trailhead.
Grey Butte Trail
Marked trail crosses bottom of meadow, then climbs up through notch to west side of Grey Butte through conifer forest. Panoramic summit views east, south and west plus the summit of Mt. Shasta. Radio transmission equipment and earthquake sensors are located here too.
Time: 3 hours Length: 3 miles Elevation: 7600′ to 8000′
Trailhead: Begins at Panther Meadows Campground parking lot about 13 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. from Mount Shasta City.
Squaw Meadows Trail
Ascending over Grey Butte saddle, it opens up to unique “moonscape” of volcanic outcrops as it skirts north side of Red Butte. Drops into green Squaw Meadows.
Time: 4-5 hours Length: 4 miles Elevation: 7600′ to 7800′
Trailhead: 14 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Old Ski Bowl parking lot. Rock-lined trail begins there.
Now... Get outside and see the world or at least Mt. Shasta!
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