Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Shasta-Trinity National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful run. Once you get to middle deadfall, the trail gets considerably steeper in slope. Upper deadfall lake is well worth seeing. This trail is great in May/June, after that it gets pretty rundown with tourists, dogs, etc. High desert terrain, can drink from certain springs in the early season

backpacking
13 days ago

Had a great trip, this second weekend of June. The trail was in good maintenance, and clear all except two small patches of snow. Weather is pretty variable so make sure to check the forecast first!

Great hike. I followed the directions below this post which were very helpful. when driving look for castle lake and turn left. On the trail make sure you go about a quarter mile past the ruins and go left.

Amazing trail. Did this as a day hike Memorial Day 2018. Most people on trail were backpacking. Easily doable in a day. Steadily progressed uphill the whole way. Still a good amount of snow at high elevations on trail. Views are amazing and frequently changing. OF NOTE: this trail is ~ 1 mile longer than stated on this app but elevation change is close to true.

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

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

Beautiful views but difficult to follow trail

I got within 1/2 mi. of the lake this weekend before the snow got too deep. we followed the stream on foot up to the lake from there. The lake is currently frozen over with the edges starting to melt. the drive up is easy in 2wd, only time I put it in 4wd was near the summit when the snow started. I had to clear a few small boulders and fallen branches from the path along the way.

awesome hike.

FR 17 is paved the whole way. great scenery on the drive.

trailhead is a little tricky to fine. There is no signage from the road. it is exactly as indicated on all trails. at the hairpin turn there's a gravel pullout and the trailhead is crossed the road. we stacked up some rocks on road to help mark trailhead. we were also trying to find it before sunrise so that added an element of difficulty.

overall awesome hike. meadow was a little squishy. waterproof boots are a must. you have soggy feet almost immediately without them.

road to trailhead in good condition

trail is challenging. our GPS put it closer to 10 miles RT but still 4500 gain.

there are a few areas where trail is overgrown with brush but nothing horrible.

great hike with amazing views of trinity alps, Shasta, lassen...highly recommend

hiking
25 days ago

We visited during Memorial weekend and there were some flowers, but it will be amazing in a week or two. We went down to lake Summit to camp - great view, quiet location, although we had to take side trail to reach it. No permit is required for overnight camping, but you need one to have campfire. Scenery is amazing: a lot of snow on North facing slopes, water in all lakes has amazing color. Right now there is some snow when you hike the Loop, and a lot of tiny running creeks are using the trail as a pathway, so we lost the trail at least 3 times. Advice: definitely download the map! Also, it was hot. The first third has some shade, but the rest is brutally sunny. I cannot imagine doing it in July.

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. Wear waterproof boots. Uphill battle at times, but well worth it.

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.

Gorgeous hike! Steep but my three year old was able to hike it just fine! Parking lot gets parked up fast, start early.

hiking
26 days 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.

Saw my first bear there!

This trail was definitely a beautiful hike. The view is amazing, and even the trail is pretty. However, many parts of the trail are overgrown, several times we almost got off track. It sincerely is all uphill climb. And just when you reach the top and think the hard work is done, remember that the sharp inclines you came up, you have to be careful and engaged on the way down.
Loved the hike and glad we did it. Definitely caught off guard at just how hard it was. If you like a challenge, this hikes for you!

Watch for snakes!

beautiful falls that were not too difficult to find. The trail continued past the actual falls but didnt go that far today.

hiking
1 month 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!

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

Road up to the falls is a little iffy (at least when I went) but definitely cute little falls!

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

This was an amazing place! We hiked up and camped next to the lake. The bullfrogs were pretty noisy until 2 am. But the views were spectacular!

hiking
1 month ago

Really great hike! Took about 3.5 hours to get to the top, and 1.5 hours to get down. Great scenery once you get to the top. This trail is a definite butt kicker though; your calfs will be burning pretty much from the start to the peak.

Tough but worth it

Hiked (in some snow) December 2017. From what the Shasta Ranger Station says, the road up to Castle Lake is usually well maintained during winter months. The hike itself is short and moderately steep. We saw folks ice skating on Heart Lake with views that were incredible. At Heart Lake, we ventured another 10minutes through a roughly established trail (through a few bushes) up the side of the hill to a vantage point that looked down on Castle Lake, Heart Lake, and out across the valley towards Mt. Shasta. The extra 10min journey upwards definitely recommended.

backpacking
2 months ago

Very difficult uphill battle but absolutely gorgeous along the way. Definitely worth it. Tons of wildflowers, and changes in scenery. Waterfalls, snow, fields of flowers, giant trees and granite peaks surrounding you. There were many switchbacks and intense elevation gain but the trail was well marked.

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