Heart Lake Trail From Castle Lake

MODERATE 120 reviews

Heart Lake Trail From Castle Lake is a 2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Shasta, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
682 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

private property

Follow signs to Castle Lake from the town of Mt Shasta. From Central Mt Shasta go west on Lake St, turn south on S Old Stage, Veer right at WA Barr Rd, cross Box Canyon Dam (Lake Siskiyou), turn left on the Castle Lake road shortly after the dam and follow the pavement to its end at Castle Lake.

17 days ago

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

20 days ago

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

21 days ago

Beautiful views but difficult to follow trail

hiking
26 days ago

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.

hiking
26 days ago

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.

28 days ago

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

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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

Tough but worth it

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this trail. I hike it at least once a month. Can be hiked year round, but lots of snow right now (March.)

3 months ago

Little hard to find if you don’t know where you’re going. Don’t let the steepness intimidate you. this is by far the best view you can get of surrounding areas without that much difficulty. From above heart lake you can see Mt. Shasta, Black Butte, Mt. Ashland (far distance) and then if you look hard enough you can even spot Mt. Lassen and the Crags. You have to climb above heart lake up on the ridge to see this but honestly everything here is absolutely GORGEOUS.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with my dog! Didn’t see many other people, and the view of Castle Lake from Heart Lake is amazing. Be careful if you come in the winter, as the snow and ice makes this more of a “hard” hike than “moderate”. The trail was packed down so snowshoes aren’t necessary (as mentioned in another review). There’s a small stream to cross at the beginning, with a precarious piece of plywood over it, so be prepared for that.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail, beautiful views at the top. Yesterday there was probably 1 ft-2ft of snow most of the way, but it’s pretty stamped down from all the hikers, some areas more challenging than others. Didn’t need snow shoes (though you could get away with them off to the sides of the trail), just wear some waterproof hiking boots and water repellent pants and you’ll be good to go!

trail running
4 months ago

Ran up the trail most often way with my dog. Hard run to moderate hike. Can get crowded on weekend. Very nice views.

hiking
5 months ago

No snow, a little icy. Heart Lake is frozen over.

5 months ago

Beautiful views.

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely winter hike. As mentioned by others, lots of side trails so easy to get off trail, especially once the snow covers some tracks. I was glad I had microspikes for the steeper slushy/icy parts. The frozen lake plus Mount Shasta views however can't be beat!

6 months ago

breathtaking!

hiking
7 months ago

Steep and rocky with several side trails accessing beautiful views of the lakes. Busy but easy to find seclusion. Several nice picnic areas.

8 months ago

Went up there Saturday afternoon. It was chilly and cold wind was coming off the lake. So we started up the trail around 3:00pm. Modest uphill for 1/4-1/2mile in. Really frustrating (I'm quite out of shape) steep uphill until you get to a lot more modest uphill with mostly rocks coming out of the mountain. When we got to the rock face, we steered to far right and had to climb up a much steeper rock face into heart lake, rather than the longer trail to the left. But it was cloudy, and misty, and really magical. The views from the top, and the rock face hiking up, were absolutely awesome! I love this trail. Not too long, uphill was strenuous, but very rewarding versus the work put in. I'd recommend the main trail for safety, as it got a bit dicey hiking up the rock face, though never anything really dangerous, just steep, rocks, and short falls. It was a lot of fun. And the lake was great, very misty, I'll upload one photo. Have a great day!

-------------Mike

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, and even though lake heart was dried up, you have amazing views of Black Butte, and especially Shastina and Mt. Shasta. Bring your kayaks, because Castle Lake is one beautiful place to spend the day.

8 months ago

Following the trail can be a challenge, but you ought to find the lake and then continue to go up the mountain for a breath-taking view

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Beautiful views at the top, bring lunch and a suit if you want to swim so you can enjoy hanging out at the end!

hiking
9 months ago

Taxing hike up to heart lake but totally doable if you pace yourself. There were kids on the trails even. It will wind you though and wear you out, so bring lots of water! Once up there, there are plenty of exploring opportunities in the rocky landscape. Breathtaking views, even though it was smoky from fires.

hiking
9 months ago

Wanted to love it but only 4 stars. Easy to find - elevation increase is tough. Hard to stay on trail once you get past Castle Lake (thank you all trails). I found Heart lake unimpressive. Might be based on the smoke which blocked the view of Shasta. You have to however do the overlook of Castle lake

hiking
10 months ago

You climb rather quickly through trees along the lake. The trail levels off a bit about two thirds to heart lake and opens up out of the trees. There are no signs to direct you to heart lake so we missed a fork that we had to double back to. Try to keep right if unsure. We came across full sized rattlesnake maybe 5ft long crossing the trail. Beautiful views from heart lake.

hiking
11 months ago

Is this hike still accessible? USDA site says it's on private property?

Load More