Explore Shasta - 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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hiking
2 days 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.

This was an adventure! I took my kids, ages 8 and 9, and I was a little stressed out about the trains. There are many areas where it is narrow and not a lot of room on the sides of the tracks, and I worried about getting stuck in that section if a train rolled through. You're stuck basically walking either on the tracks, or on the rock, which is actually tricky to walk on and found it was worth the stress to just walk on the tracks. Stay on the EAST side of the tracks on the way in and out; the west side is really narrow and you'd basically be pinned against a rock face if a train came through. We had one train go by, but we had basically found a nice wide spot to sit and enjoy some snacks and wait for one so we knew we'd likely be clear the rest of the way there. The train ended up stopping, actually, and we continued on while it was stopped and moved aside once it started moving. The falls themselves were magical and absolutely gorgeous. My kids enjoyed the adventure. We parked on Dunsmuir Avenue and walked down through Shasta Retreat, and had no problems at all. We always eat at Yak's after a hike in the area because they have delicious food!

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!!

backpacking
1 month ago

I attempted this climb several years ago in January/February time frame. It was my first mountaineering trip, and definitely a memorable experience. I went with four guys, one got strep throat, one got a bad knee, and then the two of us that were remaining got stuck in a wicked snow storm. Ended up digging a snow cave up near Helen Lake, and turned around the next day. Hope to return some day and reach the summit.

Awesome hike from castle lake to heart lake! very scenic, would probably be better on a week day at sunrise. It was a little crowded during the week.

hiking
1 month ago

I’d like to think of myself as a physically fit person but hot damn this was hard! It took me about 3 hours all in all but was much harder than I expected! Make sure to bring more water than you normally would, the climb up is STEEP with minimal plateaus. The final 45 minutes (on the climb) require some rock climbing (nothing crazy but just something to note) and stretches that are in the sun with zero shade. All said, it’s well worth the work - had I brought more water, I would have stuck around at the top for a while - enjoy!

This was my first summit! a beautiful and exhilarating hike.

Great short trail. Phenomenal views looking from the top to see Castle Lake & Mt Shasta. Not great. Phenomenal.

Beautiful hike from Horse Camp on the stone path. Once that ended the trek had lots of loose rocks and scree made it tough going for a while made it about 10k up right below Lake Helen. . We lucked out because it was a clear day but due to the fires most of the remaining days we were there the smoke prevented seeing the views. Hats off the the fire departments from all over risking their lives.

We took the wrong trail, poorly marked, and ended up on a ridge hike to the top. Above the tree line the rock is unstable, and is mountaineering, not a hike as I’d promised my hiking buddy. Very tough. I’m in marathon shape but this is a very difficult unstable mountain. Grant, the scenery was so beautiful and my partner had a great attitude.

I got the chance to hike this trail on August 17, 2018. I started from the parking lot at the top in the park. the first 3 tenths of a mile are easy, but when you get to where the trail starts, it goes up and continues up and switches back and forth. it does level from time to time and eventually gets rocky because you are in the crags. If you aren't a skilled hiker, give yourself time and breaks often. take lots of water and if you want take the trail to Indian springs to fill up your water bottle. also if you start the hike from the upper parking lot, the climb is only 2.8 miles one way. My suggestion, go as far as you can, but get to at least where the trees start to think, so you can get a closer look at the crags. Well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Not bad, mainly strenuous on the way back. Bring sturdy hiking shoes, and bug spray.

went last year. got whooped and had the time of my life. anazing area. can't wait to go back.

Pretty amazing excursion to say the least. The key thing to summit is proper training beforehand. The hard work will pay off!

Worth the hike! Gorgeous view for Mt. Shasta and lake Castle.

This hike is absolutely gorgeous - and not too difficult. It’s fairly steep, but short. And I really didn’t find it as difficult to navigate. It’s not incredibly well marked, but if you read a few descriptions and stay generally heading south, you’ll find the lake! We went on a very hot Sunday (go early; it’s not very shaded as others have noted) and it was pretty popular but not crowded.. The views from Heart Lake are spectacular!

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
3 months ago

Absolutely amazing experience. Standard Avalanche Gulch route, rather late in the 2018 season (July 6th-7th). 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. In fact, rock traveling ‘warp-speed’ split my roommate and I (we were no more than 10’ apart) on the gulch ascent (3am start) from Helen Lake to the Red Banks. Made for an extremely unnerving remaining ~1k’ up past the Heart. Apparently better to get later start (~4am) this late in the season re: rock fall + wind.

After the Red Banks (steep) 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 (storms/wind) and worth bringing an anemometer, as we were surprised with near 50 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 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
3 months 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!

backpacking
3 months ago

Oh man this is a site to see! Mt Shasta is one of the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen. She rises above and can be seen from miles away. Went up the second weekend in June and the forecast was not looking great (95 mph wind gusts at Lake Helen) but after chatting with the folks at Fifth Season, we decided Shasta always has a mind of her own. Was pretty cloudy the drive up the 5 and we couldn't see Shasta until about half an hour away. When we first got to Bunny flat, there was a nice lenticular cloud obscuring her summit, the aliens were landing! We started the trek up in full gear which was pretty damn warm. It started cooling off at about Horse Camp and some snow flurries settled in. The hike up to Lake Helen gave me a run for my money. I'm a pretty avid hiker but this was my first alpine summit attempt and damn I need to work on my endurance. We didn't encounter snow until probably half a mile before Lake Helen so it was all scree scrambling which drains your energy fast. Once we hit snow it was a little better but as the pitch increased it was hard to get good footing on soft snow. I had the old plastic shell Scarpas and they did a number on my shins and every step I wished that I had brought trekking poles. Once we reached Lake Helen the winds picked up and temps were dropping. Got pretty cold at night, dropping down to maybe 17 F. Heard some climbers head out at 2:30 am but with the cold we decided the snow would be okay a little later. I decided to hold off on a summit attempt as my boots were giving me too much trouble so I wasn't trusting my footing. The two others in my group made a summit attempt but clouds set in densely about 3/4 to Red Bluffs and winds were gusting at about 50 mph, so most climbers descended. Definitely will be heading back next spring with more preparation!

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

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