Explore N Inland CA - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This is one of my favorite hiking trails in Northern California. It’s always worth the extra effort to make it up to Middle Ridge overlooking heart lake, castle lake, castle crags, black butte & Mount Shasta. Only downside is that castle lake can be crowded at all times of the year & the road to the lake is closed in mid winter - perfect for snowshoers seeking solitude though.

Stellar snow shoe, worth hiking past the lake up the ridge to see views of the backside of Castle Crags.

Great hike

According to the sign at the trailhead, this hike is 4.3 miles each way. It is a fantastic hike with stunning views. We loved it!

22 days ago

Great trail. A little challenging, but well worth the effort.

on Castle Dome Trail

25 days ago

Loved it so much!! So many climbing opportunities! I started this hike in the parking lot inside the Park, and definitely not 11-12 miles of hiking, way less than that. And definitely not a hard hike, moderate is accurate. Amazing.

hiking
28 days ago

Really cool trail to hike. It was so amazing to see the Cinder Cone. It’s steep, but short. There were kids doing it, so definitely family friendly. It a pain to get to, there not a lot to see around Butte Lake, so unless you camp at Butte Lake (which I did) you would have to drive an extra 40+ minutes to the trailhead from the main part of the park (Manzanita area).

hiking
28 days ago

I loved this trail. Very well maintained and there were informational signs (Ecology, geology facts) at most of the switchbacks. There was snow at the end of the trail; you had to cross it to get to the peak, but it was easy. Would definitely do this again. I was there in August 2018 and it was smoky, you could just barely see the top of Mount Shasta peaking out from a layer of smoke.

Probably the most unique hike I’ve done! I’d call it a moderate hike, first part is easy it’s like walking on sand (annoying but easy) then hiking up the cone is the killer part. It’s only a half mile up, but your legs are going to burn. The painted dunes are what I was looking forward to the most, and they exceeded my expectation. Very unique and beautiful! Also I’d recommend hiking down in the the back trail of the cone, you get great views of MT Lassen, Brokeoff, and you get to walk in the lava flow and dunes a bit.

One of my favorite hikes! It’s beautiful the whole time you’re hiking, lots of flowers, wild life, and water (ponds, creeks). Definitely a harder hike but well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike! Not to hard and a beautiful view of the park and the lakes at the top!

Stunning hike with incredible views of Shasta, Castle Crags, Castle Lake and Heart Lake. We clocked this hike at 3 miles round trip, rather than the listed 2. Trail is quite steep in places and elevation gain was closer to 850'. It's easy to lose the trail ~1 mile up; other hikers have tried to help by placing rock barriers in multiple places where the path appears to diverge as well as rock stacks to help guide you, but the path is still easily lost in places.
Lake was frozen solid 11/11/18

We just went directly to Hidden Beach which was a beautiful and easy one mile walk. The AllTrails map is not really accurate for this one, as it shows Hidden Beach much further down than it really is. If you park in the Lagoon Creek parking lot and start on the Yurok Loop Trail, you’ll see signs for Hidden Beach. We didn’t see anyone out there, so this was just a spectacular place to end our day and watch the sunset.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Lots of signs and markers. Well maintained trail. Lots of uphill but not too steep. Rock climbing opportunity if you are interested. Would highly recommend. We hiked about 8.5 miles overall but that included exploring the rocks and doing a Little Rock climbing.

Amazing bang for your buck! So beautiful! The trail is crazy hard to keep track of but just bring an adventurous attitude, stay to the right and south and use this app to stay on track., you'll find it! So worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

A relatively hard hike that is completely worth it because the views are incredible. I started this hike at the Castle Crags entrance parking lot. From the parking lot I took Bob's Hat up and crossed the PCT and then connected with Crags Trail. Did a quick out and back to Indian Springs along the way before continuing up Crags Trail to the top. Nothing terribly technical, just a bit of scrambling here and there as you near the top. Fun stuff. From the parking lot (and with all of the diversions I took) I ended up at just over 10 miles when I was done. Definitely will be headed back to this area to explore more.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike 10/24/18. Good, strenuous 8.6 mi out an back from the Soda Creek trailhead. Last 1.5 miles was mostly out of the tree cover, and the views of Shasta and the rest of the Crags was impressive. Had my 35 mm Nikon with me and took a number of “suitable for framing” photos. Great hike!

1 month ago

Intense, good workout. Fitbit tracked 6.18 miles.

Better Than hiking Lassen Peak trail. Phenomenal views, bring your best camera and plenty of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely MUCH FURTHER than 4.4 miles - Fitbit tracked at 7.5 miles round trip. Still a great hike, and we got to do the moonlight experience tonight, which was spectacular! definitely tough, with loads of switchbacks buy big rewards the higher you climb!

hiking
1 month ago

THIS WAS HARD! But one of the most worthwhile, amazing hikes I've ever done. Once you hit the wilderness area, the trail is rocky but to me that is fun; stepping up over boulders and stairstepping in certain areas is way more fun than an flat, even trail. The views were second to none. Our legs and lungs were burning, and we didn't bring enough water (so we were VERY thirsty back at the car!). At the dome it was fun to have some snacks and explore the cool terrain. I would do this again in a heartbeat, it's such a great experience.

Just hiked the trail for the first time. Amazing views, and I'll definitely be hiking Brokeoff again.

Third time I’ve climbed this. This time Thursday oct 11. Nice and chilly morning. Parking lot mostly empty. Saw three people on summit. Stayed up there for a half hour. Views were very good. The trail is vastly improved from my last trip up here which was 11 years ago. At 67 years old I expected a tough climb. The last half mile I had to stop about seven times. As I was starting my descent I walked past about thirty kids and a few adults climbing up. My whole trip up and down was about three and a half hours. Looking forward to climbing brokeoff mountain this coming Thursday. This good weather won’t last much longer

Okay. I do a lot of hiking. I do a lot of uphill climbing. But I’m telling you this is a tough 2.8 miles!! That being said, the views are spectacular!! Plus you haul ass going down because it’s SO steep!!

2 months ago

Tough. Windy. Spectacular. Worth every step!

hiking
2 months ago

This was my first solo hike! I've been wanting to say that I've hiked Mt. Lassen and now I can. However, it is HARD. I kept seeing reviews about how much harder and better Brokeoff Mountain is, so I went into falsely thinking that meant this trail was a lot easier. I was wrong! It was a gorgeous day and I got started about 10:30 am on a Sunday and didn't see anyone for over an hour on the trail. My legs burned, my chest burned, and it was a chilly 35º, and probably even just barely freezing at the top. I had to stop many times to catch my breath and give my legs a break. The views were magnificent, the sounds of nature were amazing, and being able to sit up on the true summit and breathe it all in was magical. I expected more wind based on reviews, but I got really lucky and the wind didn't pick up until on the way down. It was so clear that you could see all the way to Shasta, which is amazing after a summer full of fires. Steep, elevated, and cold, but breathtaking.

The hike was amazing. Will confirm what all others have said, first part is easy to moderate, it's just like walking in sand at the beach. It's annoying and works your calfs but it's not the worst thing in the world. Plus you get to walk parallel to the lava beds and it's kinda cool. So much rubble and then it just stops. Kinda cool to think about how it happened back then.

And then you see it. The cone. And the steep incline. And you wonder if you can make it. Here are the only two things I would say a) it looks a lot worse than it is especially if you notice how tiny the people are as they are walking up and b) please take sticks. My husband made me a stick from a dead tree close to the bottom and I don't know how I would have made it without. Everyone tells you how it's one step forward and two steps back but with a stick it rarely happens. And then, seriously. Don't let anyone rush you. The path is wide enough people can pass you. Take your time. Let your quad muscles relax again before you keep going. Slow and steady wins the race as the say.

The good news is that it only goes around the side once. So what you see is pretty much it. There's a last bend that you don't see from way down but really that's it's.

Then enjoy the top. Use the inner trails if you don't like heights but want to see some views.

But my biggest lesson (and maybe it's just my perspective). THE INITIAL SLOPE UP IS WAAAAAY EASIER THAN THE BACK ONE. Just in case there's confusion: the darker one is what I can the initial slope. It's the first one you see when you come from butte campground/Lake. That is way easier up and mainly wider. Less stones so less sliding. The back one, meaning the one on the side of the painted dunes, is half the width. We walked down it and it was horrible. Plus when you're done, the "flatter" hike is twice as long as if you take the main slope.

Lots of detail here as hopefully it's useful for those of you, who, like me, feel like they need to read up a lot on things before venturing.

Bottom line, as with all things that seem difficult, you'll be so proud once you've done it. You hiked up a freakin' volcano for goodness sakes!!!!

easy trails beautiful fall

2 months ago

Loved the hike! It was hard but visually stimulating! Hard Ault my boyfriend and I are natives of Redding and this is our first time hiking it! What took us so long ???

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