Shasta Bally Trail [CLOSED]

HARD 20 reviews

Shasta Bally Trail [CLOSED] is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near French Gulch, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and off road driving and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,356 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


bird watching

ohv / off road driving





Note: Due to the Carr Fire in 2018, trails on the south and west side of the recreation area are closed until further notice.

8 months ago

As of today, 5/11/19... access road to the trail was CLOSED!

Fri Jun 29 2018

Spectacular views!! I loved the feeling up top. The hike up kicked my butt. :) 3 hours up & 2 down. Soooo worth it!

Tue Apr 24 2018

Great workout from start to finish. The trail inclines along an old 4-wheel road. In the summer, the trail can be quite dusty. Have hiked this 3 times and each time I'm amazed by the views of Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps. If you're hiking on a warm day, bring plenty of water. At the top, there are a few little short trails that you can explore to find a perch for lunch/snacks.

Wed Apr 11 2018

Wow. Super hard trail! 11 miles so I guess 5.5 miles of straight uphill nonstop! One foot in front of the other. Lots of beautiful views along the way and the peak has spectacular views and rock formations! You can do it!!!

Wed Apr 04 2018

First Off: Yes, this is a challenging trail. 5.6 miles and 4,500ft gain is no cake walk. I would recommend this hike to someone who is is in moderate shape. While portions of the trail are fully exposed, (for example the last mile and the whole summit), there is intermittent tree coverage along the trail. It was nice to take a break in the shade of the trees when I stopped for a breather. The trail does get hot fairly quickly so carry lots of water- I had thee liters- though, there is one creek off the trail within the first mile for filtering. I would suggest hitting the trail early too and in late spring/early summer or fall to enjoy this trail during milder temperatures as Redding summers can get really hot! The views are spectacular and worth every drop of sweat. Trail Assessment: The first 1.6 miles is the “easiest” part of the trail. There are plenty of flat portions to help you catch your breath as the inclines work up your heart rate. There are some deep ruts so watch your footing. At about 1 mile up you will see the turn off to the Shasta Trinity Divide Trail that takes you to Papoose Pass. Miles 1.6 to 3.3 are, in my honest opinion, are the hardest parts of the trail. If you can make it up to mile 3.3 where there is a nice cozy bench and lookout, you can finish the trail. Why so hard? This portion has the steepest inclines and you will really notice when you go down. The flatter portions are few and far between and I found myself stopping more on these inclines than others farther up the trail. One consolation is that of the views! Around mile 1.6 you start to see open views of Whiskeytown Lake and the surrounding hills of Swasey Recreational Area, but wait! They get better! From mile 3.3 to 4.6, I felt as the trail got easier. Though you are still gaining elevation quickly, the inclines are not as steep and the condition of the trail vastly improves. Where once was deep ruts gives way to a nice packed gravel dirt trail. I thought this section was quite pleasant and the views picked up substantially too! I saw many views of Mt. Shasta, the Trinity Alps, Shasta Lake and Mt. Lassen! Miles 4.6-5.6....Oh boy! The last mile! Ha! One mile from the top the trail opens up beautifully and you see almost a 360 view! The radio tower is in sight and you could almost reach out and touch it.....but don’t be fooled! The last mile looks deceptively easy. Maybe it was due to my legs feeling like jello or the elevation, but I felt like I slogged up the last five switchbacks to the top! I was partially distracted by the amazing views too. Lol. Needless to say, the last mile is the final challenge of the hike. Mile 5.6: the beautiful summit! The trail to the right is closed off due to the radio tower so just turn left and explore the fun area up top! I took solitude in a nice outcropping of rocks facing west and had a couple of trail snacks. I would say that Shasta Bally boasts the best views of Whiskeytown and the surrounding areas. I would do it again just to see them and get a killer workout. Don’t be deterred by the challenge, you’ll be glad you took on this amazing mountain! I reached the summit in just over 2.5 hours and meandered my way down taking about 1:45 minutes to really take in the amazing views and snap some shots I missed on the way up. I was not disappointed. Side Note: I hiked up Shasta Bally today 4-3-18. About 1.5 miles from the top I encountered snow and had to hike up half a mile in it till it cleared. I managed without snow gear but wish I would have brought an extra pair of socks! There was also snow on the summit too. :)

Thu Jul 06 2017

July 5, 2017 This trail is extremely hard. The trail is not really a trail at all- it's a dirt service road for vehicles to get to and from the cell tower station. The road is a very steep incline the entire 6 miles up with minimal shade. It feels like you're on a stair master the entire way. No views until around 4 miles so not only is it brutal, but there isn't much to look at. Great workout, but I don't see how anyone who isn't pretty fit could do it, nor want to. I wouldn't even do it again. It took me 3 hours to do the 6 miles up with only stopping to catch my breath. Going down is obviously easier but you can't run since it's so steep and sandy. It took me 1.3 hours to get down. I will say though, that the view from the top is amazing. If you go to the left once at the top (cell tower is on right) you can adventure through some paths leading to beautiful views and some rock formations. If you have 5-7 hours to spare and want a brutal workout, this hike is for you. If you just want the view, get a 4wd and drive up.

ohv/off road driving
Thu Jun 29 2017

I'm reviewing this as a 4wd trail. I didn't hike it. Trail took about 45 minutes once you leave sheeps camp. You will probably need 4wd but could possibly do it with a 2wd. It's quite steel and has some places you may high center if not used to off-roading. Great views and a fun little challenge!

Tue May 30 2017

Really hard hike if you only do moderate hikes. My advice is hike Whiskyown Falls once and if you can hike it to the top pretty easy, you're ready for Bally. If it's hard, you're going to have a very exhausting hike up Shasta Bally. With that being said, it's a very steep hike but very worth the effort - beautiful and lots of shade. It's a rewarding experience that you can be proud of!

ohv/off road driving
Tue Oct 11 2016

Super fun drive to the top! The road is fierce but frequently traveled and easily passable in the right vehicle. We have 2012 Toyota Tacoma and had no problem getting to the top. You can see as far as Shasta Lake, Mt. Lassen, and are looking pretty much eye level with Mt. Shasta. We went on a hazy day and the views were still spectacular.

Mon Jul 25 2016

Steep and tough. We didn't start at Sheep Camp though, we drove up the road a ways. Started at about 3,800 elevation making it about 6 miles round trip. Thank goodness, or I'm not sure we would have made it. The first 3/4 mile for us we saw a 650' elevation gain. We had to stop frequently to catch our breath and get water. It seemed to be less steep about halfway through. There were a lot of bees along the ground and at one point we had to run through them. Stayed at the top for a bit to take in the amazing views. The trip down was hell on my hips and feet, but every bit of it was worth it. Took us about 4 hours round trip from where we started and we didn't see a single other person out there the whole time.

Sun Jun 19 2016

Brutal, non-stop, stairmaster of a hike in terms of incline/elevation gain. There are places where the grade is so steep, some steps should be cut for hikers. Nevertheless it is a fire access and maintenance road intended for four-wheelers. You will likely see, smell and hear such recreational vehicles blowing by you as you continue your 3-4 hour ascent. Once you make it, the reward is stellar. You can climb granite boulders for a great southern view or peer easterly toward Redding and see the Sac and the friggin Sun Dial bridge with Lassen looming beyond. Phenomenal views.

Sat Feb 06 2016

This is a really fun hike. It took about 3.5 hours to get up and 2 hours to go back down. I hiked up the Bally in early February and there was a lot of 1ft deep snow most of the way, but that didn't really cause any problems. Definitely recommend this trail!

Sat Aug 22 2015

I am in great physical shape but I am not sure I would classify this hike as easy. It is not a technical climb but definitely a continuous grade. I didn't stop until I reached the summit and it took me just about 3 hours. Absolutely beautiful views! Start early in the summer to avoid the heat. I wore hiking boots but wished I had my running shoes instead.

Sat Jul 25 2015

Best views of the county up here. Watch out for mountain lions up here and around the backside of Bally

ohv/off road driving
Thu Feb 05 2015

You can no longer 4x4 on this trail. it was a fun place to mess around and have a picnic up by the radio station.

Fri Jul 13 2018

ohv/off road driving
Sun Jul 08 2018

Sun Jun 25 2017

Sun Feb 05 2017