Castle Lake Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Dunsmuir, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This is NOT the Heart Lake Trail. It takes you to unparalleled views of Castle Crags, Mt Eddy, Black Butte and Mt Shasta. Perfect spring (May) hike before it gets hot and while flowers and chaparral are in bloom.
My favorite place ❤️
It's been a long time, but what I remember of the hike: when we first tried to find the trail to Bradley Ridge, we took a game trail by mistake til it faded! But when we found the real trail, it led us up to a ridgeline with spectacular views of the Crags & to remnants of an old lookout. The other trail leading to Heart Lake is easy to find & the view down to Castle Lake & over to Shasta & Black Butte is amazing.
This is such a beautiful hike! Castle lake is so clear and blue! I could probably see down at least 15 feet in the water! We had fun hiking around the perimeter of the lake for a while just exploring. Then we made our way up to the top, gorgeous view of Mt. Shasta and castle lake. I must have taken about 100 photos. Up at the very top there is what I believe to be called, "heart lake" more of just a pond and looks very stagnant. Wouldn't recommend swimming up there ;) . Definitely the focal point of trekking your way to the top is the amazing views! I'd recommend packing a lunch and having a picnic. One of the things I liked most about this hike was the fact that after about half way up there wasn't really one specifically marked trail, so you can pretty much take your own route up, explore what you want and it's very open so at no point was I nervous about losing my way. Definitely would recommend this hike to everyone! Simply gorgeous.