Helen Lake and Mount Shasta Trail is a 6.6 mile out and back trail located near Mt Shasta, CA and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible from December until February.
In my beginning days in the mountains this was the place to be for me. A great experience and long slog with not much in the way of variation or interest. Just getting up this can be a bear for people even in great shape. On either side you see Shasta's so ridges which offer a little more fun earlier in the year. Don't rush yourself and the mountain will come to you, thats thew best attitude to get to the summit or just Helen Lake as the route here is so titled.
Snow trip to summit - crazy weather. Stopped at thumb rock (13000ft) due to conditions (it was blowing! and a storm was coming in). Great couple of days, hope to get back and get to the summit.