The Shasta National Forest is a federally designated forest in northern California, USA. It is the largest National Forest in California and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
This trail was nice. We went in December, when the section of the campground at the trailhead was closed and blocked off. However the trail itself remained open if you walk to the start. We saw no other people.
The trail had bathrooms near the start (as it is a campground). It was also dog friendly, which was a key reason we chose this hike.
The trail is well marked and both wide and well maintained. It was more like a longer nature stroll. There was however one portion where the trail was flooded from recent rains, but we waded across with pups in arms with not much trouble.
The trail was mostly forested and I appreciated the remnants of fall leaves in December. Approximately half way to the lake is the cemetery. The cemetery, while unique, wasn't that impressive. It seemed like many of the stones had been refurbished or were new, so to me it seemed at odds with itself, but I saw this is comparison to ones from New England.
This trail is worth a visit particularly if you have a dog with you. Plus the campground is beautiful and Burney Falls just down the street is amazing.
Hiked while it was snowing & a heavy mist around the falls. It left me with my mouth gaping open & then I could hear myself "WOW - OH MY GOD -WOW" Another hiker was there (I did see small shoe prints in the snow while hiking beside the RR track). Denise, from Lubbock, was just as awestruck.
Great Trail. Slightly Challenging. If your not used to the altitude it will be even more of a challenge. Trail not marked and it can be easy to stray. Just stay on the rocky path and follow other hikers. Once you reach Heart Lake, you can continue west up on the ridge to get an AMAZING view of Mt Shasta and the surrounding area. Stay positive.
We have done this loop counterclockwise, and didn't regret it one bit as it has allowed us to completely avoid the crowds even though it was a long weekend.
A word of caution: even though this trail description says the loop is 14.2 miles, in reality it's closer to 17-18.
On the first day we walked 7.5 miles to Bear Basin and camped on an established camping site. The closest human soul was an entire 1 mile away, and we got an amazing experience of being alone in the wilderness.
On the second day it took us another 5 miles to reach the Seven Up Pass. The Seven Up Pass was the most beautiful part of the hike. Wherever you are hiking from, make sure you traverse it! We were originally thinking to connect to the Four Lakes Loop from there, however, that trail involved going down into the Black Deer Valley and coming up on the other side just as much as we have just done out of the Bear Valley, and we didn't feel up to it.
So we had an amazing lunch in an incredible tucked in spot at Seven up Pass and headed down to the Granite Lake. Granite Lake was a zoo - we counted 10 tents visible just from the trail! It really felt like there needed to be an established bathroom there at this point, it was so overcrowded. So we headed down to the car. The second day for us was 11 miles, which is a bit of a stretch with backpacks.
More photos and description can be found here:
Nicole E. on Black Butte
Amazing 360 views!
Nicole E. on Lake Siskiyou Trail
Awesome easy hike around lake sis. Had to get off the trail quite a bit to stay near the water, so it ended up being almost 8 miles for us.