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Mossbrae falls is well worth the hike! I’ve visited over a dozen times and the waterfall is consistently beautiful year round. I recommend waking the railroad tracks but make sure you do not park in the Shasta retreat neighborhood. Park up on the main road and walk in. You will be walking along active train tracks, be safe!

Poorly marked; lots of off-trail hiking in the snow (not this year) made this a rather difficult hike. I didn’t mind much tho, the views made up for it. Had Heart Lake all to myself.

backpacking
5 days ago

Absolutely amazing experience. Standard Avalanche Gulch route, rather late in the 2018 season (July 6th-7th) with conditions deteriorating quickly. In retrospect, worth doing earlier for more snow on the approach, which was instead a lot of scree.

Additional reason for doing earlier is the hazardous rock fall danger, which continues to increase throughout the climbing season with snow melt. In fact, rock traveling ‘warp-speed’ split my roommate and I (we were no more than 10’ apart) on the night climb ascent (3am start) from Helen Lake to the Red Banks. Made for an extremely unnerving remaining 1k’ up the Gulch and past the Heart. Apparently better to get later start (~4am) this late in the season if a strong climber with good conditioning re: rock fall + wind.

After the Red Banks (steeeep) chimney, and magical sunrise Shasta shadow to the south, Misery Hill was indeed a slog, all scree at this point.

Final push on summit plateau was inspiring, only ~250’ of elevation remaining to the summit. *Make sure to get updated forecast (storm potential and wind) and worth bringing an anemometer, as we were surprised with near 55 mph winds while summiting (8:15am). Ideally less than ~40mph at the top, as we barely felt comfortable getting to the register.

All in all an, an incredible introduction to mountaineering. We went unguided after much research and planning, but benefited from linking up with 2 other small groups. Fun Glissade on the way down. Total RT time from Helen up and back was ~8 hours, but included some leisurely breaks. Crampons and axe almost certainly required.

While others are a priority now, definitely would revisit Shasta in the future, potentially on more technical routes with some more experience. 9/10, only due to rockfall moment and the scree.

this is really an incredible hike. It's not that difficult I would say easy to moderate but some may disagree as there are rocks you have to walk over at times and a slight incline parts of the time. The biggest Beast was actually trying to navigate my way there as I was hiking alone. As other people have said in their reviews it's not a well-marked trail but thankfully I ran into some people and we made it to Heart Lake. It is absolutely stunning with Mount Shasta in the background. Highly recommend this hike. Also be adventurous and hike up the rocks on both sides of the lake so that you can get better views.

also note the trailhead is not the one to the right of the parking lot that is right by the lake there it's all the way at the end of the parking lot if you keep going straight and walk through a line of boulders that almost look like it's blocking off the path that you actually walk in between big rocks and you'll eventually get to a stream that you walk over when you hit that you know you're starting to head in the right direction. But it's about three-quarters of a mile into the trip where the path is not well marked and I wish I could help you navigate it but it's nearly impossible to describe. Oh and by the way the last seven miles of driving to get to the trailhead or absolutely beautiful winding roads.

Beautiful meadows and lake views

Fabulous climb

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike with stunning views. VERY steep and rocky at times and pretty hairy. Watch where you step :)

Climbed yesterday ... It looks like 2 day climbs are popular on weekends (camp on Saturday, summit on Sunday) but a lot of people who summited on Saturday chose a one day option.

As opposed to regular hiking, this route requires you to use crampons, ice axe and helmet.

Glissading is the best way to get down!

I love this trail went with best pal Eric!

Gorgeous views of Castle Lake, Castle Crags, and Mt. Shasta!! This hike is worth every step.

Amazing trail. This hike was a challenge for me. The time I did this hike,I was a lot heavier and had trouble breathing. I would like to go back and do it again.

Half of it is incline. Great short hike with great views.

easy trail, moderately steep on some portions but no clue why its rated as hard. boring hike most of the way, once you get into the crags its cool. the dome scramble isnt bad, reviews on here seem to reflect pansies not willing to live a little. pilot rock is way more dangerous and thats a breeze. do yourself a favor and summit the dome

Beautiful views of mount Shasta and on a clear day you can see mount hood!

Beautiful views but difficult to follow trail

hiking
1 month ago

Climbed this bad boy overnight on May 27th to the 28th. Started at Bunny Flats at about 11:15pm, which was actually a bit too early, wish I would have started a bit later. I hit Lake Helen at about 1:45am but wasn't exactly sure the path I should follow up through Red Banks, so I kinda just found a place to lay down until campers started to wake up. Began the ascent through Red Banks at about 2:30am and my god it was tough, just seemingly endless. Made it to thumb rock right as the sun was rising, and it was sa-weet. Everything after that was tough, but no where near as hard as the section from Helen through Red Banks. Summited around 7am and was back at my car by noon.

A few points that I will explain that I was wondering before my hike. Things were very steep through Red Banks but never steep to the point that I felt unsafe; if you have crampons and an ice axe it's totally fine. You don't actually see the summit until you're basically there, so never assume that what you're looking at is the final prize. Hiking through the night was actually super ideal, great full moon made it so that I didn't have to use my headlamp, and was nice to have hard ice during the hike.

Everything was awesome, I highly recommend. I also beer bonged a bud light at the top, and surprisingly, helped ease my nerves on the descent.

This hike was harddddd. It was completely uphill for the first half, and if you’ve taken a couple months break from hiking like I have then it will be a struggle for you. But the views at the top are lovely and scrambling up the rocks was pretty fun. A great workout and fun time overall! Just make sure you bring lots of water (did this hike in 90 degree weather and wished I had brought more with me) and enjoy!

We had 6 adults and 8 children. 6 of the 8 kids were under the age of 8. It’s a little over a mile each way. It isn’t a great trail at all. The second half I think is more erosion from run off than it is a trail at all. It was a little confusing as to where to go because of the lack of defined trails and the many areas water had run before. I would visit castle lake again but this hike wouldn’t be on my list. Oh, don’t forget your bug spray.

Great hike, moderate to hard. We started towards the right of the lake where the trail head sign is but got to the dead end, so go left to get to Heart lake! Wear good shoes with ankle support because a lot of the rocks are shaky. Trails are not really marked but we found our way by watching other hikers and using the map on this app. The last climb to the top is pretty scary at the end, so beware if you’re at all scared of heights. Views are worth it though! Will return even to find a quiet cove on the lake. Suggest starting early in the summer months so you’re back by noon or so, not a lot of shade.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail Memorial Day weekend. The trail was spectacular, offering splendid views of the valley, Mt. Shasta and the Crags. The Indian Springs side trail is short and worth it; the springs are small but gorgeous and the stop offers a different view of the Crags.
The hike is a great workout, 3 miles uphill! The upper parking lot is pretty small and the road is one lane, get there early to secure a space. There was a park ranger there directing parking so nobody would get blocked in...very nice.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked up to Heart Lake, then down to Little Castle Lake and to the end of the trail (where it meets Mt. Bradley Rd.). The steepest parts are heading up to Heart Lake, then returning the last stretch up from Mt. Bradley Rd. (no real reason to make that descent unless you want the exercise, it's an ATV road), and then climbing back up from Little Castle Lake to get back to the parking lot.

A great variety of terrain, from forest to shrubs. In some parts the trail is overgrown with thorny shrubs to bring long pants if you intend to hike the whole trail (I didn't and have the scratches to prove it).

Heart Lake is definitely the highlight, with its splendid view of Black Butte, Mount Shasta and Castle Lake below.

We reached Castle Lake around 5pm yesterday and left for the trail in 15 minutes. Very few people on the way, especially after we crossed the Castle Lake overlook. The road is a little confusing but you figure it out after a while. With a little help from Google Maps we reached the heart lake overlook point. Amazing view! Worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

Did it on 5/25/18 - took Avalanche Gulch. Started exactly at midnight (parking lot - Bunny Flats), and reached the summit at 9:34am. Crampons and ice axe used from Horse Camp all the way to the summit. Only eight people summited on this day. Around 10am, the storm came in - cold (19 degrees on the summit), complete whiteout, snow, rain (lower elevation) - no wind. Unable to see anything on the way down all the way to Horse Camp - had to follow own steps from the ascent.

hiking
1 month ago

AMAZING! Steady incline all the way up. Had to scrabble up rocks during the last bit. Plenty of areas to trek around once at the top. Be sure to grab a photo of the trail end sign. Mostly shade till the last 1/3 and then your so amazed at the view you don't even pay attention. I bet it would be plenty warm in the summer. About 2 hours to get up and that was lots of photos stops.

hiking
1 month ago

amazing hike. so awesome are the views, especially at the top. My brother and i summited it in about 3 hours with dogs and a long stop at the top, but we are experienced hikers. there's a neat structure to chill in and protect you from wind at the peak. loved it, would do it again. beware the top is very rocky and steep, could be slippery when wet, definitely wear good trail shoes.

hiking
2 months ago

How can you beat a view overlooking a gorgeous mountain lake and Mount Shasta?! You can’t! Absolutely beautiful area, and a great hike!

Be careful taking dogs, the train told by every so often and scares the dogs! Also the rocks along the railroad track get scalding hot so try and go early in the day if you have dogs to prevent burns.

Usually a VERY busy place, but it’s a beautiful hike! Definitely recommend going, try to sneak up for a sunrise or sunset!

hiking
2 months ago

Don’t Forget Water and Sunscreen on this bad boy! Beautiful views of Mt Shasta!

Amazing hike with unreal views. Not to hard ether! Trail is horribly marked

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