Shasta Bally Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near French Gulch, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for birding and off road driving and is accessible from May until October.
off road driving
Super fun drive to the top! The road is fierce but frequently traveled and easily passable in the right vehicle. We have 2012 Toyota Tacoma and had no problem getting to the top. You can see as far as Shasta Lake, Mt. Lassen, and are looking pretty much eye level with Mt. Shasta. We went on a hazy day and the views were still spectacular.
Steep and tough. We didn't start at Sheep Camp though, we drove up the road a ways. Started at about 3,800 elevation making it about 6 miles round trip. Thank goodness, or I'm not sure we would have made it. The first 3/4 mile for us we saw a 650' elevation gain. We had to stop frequently to catch our breath and get water. It seemed to be less steep about halfway through. There were a lot of bees along the ground and at one point we had to run through them. Stayed at the top for a bit to take in the amazing views. The trip down was hell on my hips and feet, but every bit of it was worth it. Took us about 4 hours round trip from where we started and we didn't see a single other person out there the whole time.
Brutal, non-stop, stairmaster of a hike in terms of incline/elevation gain. There are places where the grade is so steep, some steps should be cut for hikers. Nevertheless it is a fire access and maintenance road intended for four-wheelers. You will likely see, smell and hear such recreational vehicles blowing by you as you continue your 3-4 hour ascent. Once you make it, the reward is stellar. You can climb granite boulders for a great southern view or peer easterly toward Redding and see the Sac and the friggin Sun Dial bridge with Lassen looming beyond. Phenomenal views.
This is a really fun hike. It took about 3.5 hours to get up and 2 hours to go back down. I hiked up the Bally in early February and there was a lot of 1ft deep snow most of the way, but that didn't really cause any problems. Definitely recommend this trail!
I am in great physical shape but I am not sure I would classify this hike as easy. It is not a technical climb but definitely a continuous grade. I didn't stop until I reached the summit and it took me just about 3 hours. Absolutely beautiful views!
Start early in the summer to avoid the heat. I wore hiking boots but wished I had my running shoes instead.
Best views of the county up here. Watch out for mountain lions up here and around the backside of Bally
You can no longer 4x4 on this trail. it was a fun place to mess around and have a picnic up by the radio station.