Explore the most popular camping trails near Mount Shasta with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Loved this hike. Did it with my son on my back and the lake is beautiful.

backpacking
2 months 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.

This is a hike I first did decades ago and recently rediscovered it in 2018. It has great views, passes through beautiful meadows and by old growth trees. It is fun to find the old trail blazes and sections of trail, but the terrain is easy going so a trail is not required on the first part from the starting point to the Sisson Callahan Trail in the North Fork Sacramento valley. The rest is on trail. Finishing the hike by passing Toad Lake provides a possible way to cool off at the end. The Siskiyou Wanderers will be doing this one again.

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.

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

backpacking
5 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.

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
5 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!

hiking
6 months 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.

hiking
6 months 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.

This is a really nice hike. Since I like to do things the hard way, I hiked up instead of down. The location of this hike allows several options - today I parked near McBride Springs campground (where the trail crosses Everitt Memorial) and hiked an out-and-back on the upper section. (From the campground, follow the trail that says "water" to find the trail.) There are some patches of snow left, and really nice view of Mt. Shasta and the Eddies near the top. The trial is unsigned, but easy to follow. In a bigger snow year, there would be a lot more snow on the upper part of this trail, which might make it more difficult to follow.

This is an easy hike, but beware, there are lots of unmarked spur trails that loop all around the area. Luckily, majestic Mt Shasta and the Eddys offer great visuals for keeping you headed in the right direction. My Labs and I are always happy to have another dog-friendly trail to choose from!

Summitted this majestic mtn several years ago and have ascended other 14-ers since. This is still my favorite AND one of the more challenging to safely climb!

Our ascent was on the Summer Solstice 6/21 with a Full Moon, bright starry night, clear blue skies, tandem moonset/sunrise and a heavy snowfall 3 days earlier... Couldn't ask for any better conditions than that! The icing on top was the exhilerating glissade ride down that cut several hours off our descent...

We rewarded ourselves the next day with soothing massages, mineral soaks & cold creek dips at Stewart Springs followed by a hearty dinner at Mt Sasta Resort to replenish the approx. 10,000 calories we'd burned!

Made the trip down from Portland for a solo NYE summit. Unbelievable. Be extra cautious on the descent, especially through Red Banks.

hiking
11 months ago

Breathtaking hike and views. I was able to get above tree line with heavy duty yak-tracks. The ones with teeth, not just a cord. But I felt uneasy once it got steep without an ice axe to rescue me if I fell and made the slide for life.
Bottom line: It’s an absolute must do, if you’re in the area. The first part is fairly easy. Just make sure you have some sort of traction device. The snow was packed and therefore, icy. The crowds thinned to four of us once past the first 1/2mile...as is normal for wilderness hikes. And as an introvert looking for solitude, I’m thankful for that.

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

Climbed Shasta in June of '17 as my first '14er. Started around 4:30 AM and reached the summit around 10:30 AM. I was in the middle of a cycling tour from Portland to SanFrancisco, so I was in solid shape at the time. From what I understand, most 1 day summit attempts should be started around 1 AM. 2017 was also a heavy snow year, so it was a bit easier in late June that it may have otherwise been. Beautiful views throughout the climb, and I can't wait to get back out to Shasta.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

So a disclaimer for this review: I am aware that I'm a amateur hiker and only do about 4-5 hikes a year. I also am one of those hikers on here that when I pick a hike and it shows me the full trail, I'm gonna want to do it all. And I'm a naïve hiker and not great at reading the trail maps.
But from my understanding of the description, this was a good day hike that was fairly easy. I thought it just stayed on the east base of the mountain and we'd get pretty close. It wasn't until after we went further than the horse camp that I realized this hike was taking us to the summit.
There were about fifty signs that it did, but for some reason, as I said, as a naïve hiker, I didn't think it would take us all the way up.
This mountain might be an easy mountain to climb. However, when I find an easy hike, I don't think it's gonna include climbing a mountain.
This trail should be just up to the horse camp that ends at the actual camp. And not include the summit trail.
Hopefully naïve hikers from out of town, who aren't prepared to hike a mountain, won't do the same thing as I did.

hiking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

climbed 2 weekends ago (07/15-07/16) along the west face route. started from bunny flats and camped at hidden valley Saturday (~3 mi and 2,000 ft elevation gain, took us approx. 6 hrs). started our climb up the west face ~1 am Sunday. we left most of our gear (tents, sleeping bags, snowshoes which we never used) back at basecamp and only brought crampons, ice picks, and helmets, along with food, water and extra jackets which also didn't need. reached the saddle point (top of west face) ~8 am and then reached the summit ~10 am. there was one other group climbing ahead of us, other than that didn't see anyone, was amazing. conditions were perfect, clear skies, low winds. glissade back to hidden valley (~4,000 ft in 30 min) around noon was incredible. then packed up our stuff and made our way back to the bunny flats trailhead. trail between hidden valley and horse camp is not very pleasant, hard to find and slippery talus/scree most of the way, but worthwhile.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summited 7/14/18.

Ascent to Lake Helen the day previous. Certainly didnt hurt acclimatization. Late evening nap from 9PM till 3AM then the summit push. Took our time to Red Banks and then enjoyed the walk up Misery Hill to the Palisades.

To enjoy a quieter, safer and more rewarding summit I would advise avoiding weekends and holidays.

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fun time had by all. 9 hours of uphill snow and scree from horse camp to the summer, 3 hours of (mostly glissading) downhill. Would probably be quicker earlier in the season; snow was very soft once sun came up.

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Beautiful but do not underestimate this mountain. Didn't reach the top this time due to a fallen soldier but will return

Monday, July 10, 2017

Steep hike to the top. Very challenging but rewarding!

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Chose to do as a straight shot, no camping. Started at 10 pm on 7/2/17 from Bunny Flat parking lot, temp at departure approx 75 degrees. Snow on trail after 1 mile. Moon was 3/4 and gave good overall light for direction finding once past Horse Camp. Snow past Horse Camp was soft, did not put on crampons until Helen Lake at 2am, probably should have put them on around 1am. Left Helen at 2:30 am with approx 40 other climbers, snow was hard, and uneven with suncups. Ascent to Red Banks took 3 hours, and while not terribly strenuous, a little dangerous because of people ahead slipping, dropping bottles, backpacks etc. witnessed one person fall and slide a hundred feet before he could self arrest. There is danger to oneself too, a slip can easiest result in sliding two thousand feet = death, or feedtube for rest of life. so, if this is your first time on mountain of this size, do yourself and others a big favor, and get educated on crampon, axe skills. Red Banks was a little challenging/technical, important that any climber can route find through them, not just follow others...who knows who they are, or what skills they have. many people were traversing lookers left, ascending rocky chutes, I chose to ascent first chute to left of headwall. At Misery, removed Crampons and went up scree switchbacks, put crampons back on to make final. rested at top for approx 2 hours with lunch. left summit at noon. made car by 3pm, after descending glissade luge below red banks. Ran out of water. Took 3 liters, gave one away for emergency. consumed 2 liters, and needed 4. I only knock of one star because not the most beautiful view from summit...

backpacking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

I started on 6/18/17 at 6:30 am. I would recommend starting earlier to avoid the heat during climbing and to give more time for acclimation. Hike bunny flats and camped just below Helen lake. Since it was a Sunday there were lots of tents from the previous day but at about 5pm I was the sole tent on the mountain.

Conditions were very warm due to a heat wave. Too warm for my liking. Wind was real low at 10-15 MPH. Basically a perfect day.

Made camp, ate and went to bed around 8pm. Woke at 2am, made breakfast then started the climb at 3am. Reached Helen lake around 4am. That's where the steepest climb began. Slow and steady wins the race. Started with about 15 others ahead of me but ended up 4th to summit at around 7:45.

Going down was easy but take care not to relax too much. Most people get injured on the descent. Glissading was fun once the snow softened up.

Be sure to cover your head. I got sunburnt on my scalp from not wearing a hat all day at base camp. Also burned the corners of my eye balls so either use full wrap sunglasses or buy the leather side shields to protect from glare. Apply sunscreen every hour or so.

For elevation sickness I popped 600 mg of ibuprofen before I started hiking and every time I started to get a headache. Drink plenty of water and eat a good amount of carbs. Got a mild headache when I first reached base camp and when I started to descend from summit. Ibuprofen saved me! The headache is caused by inflammation in the brain.

I brought about a gallon of water and melted snow to get about a gallon more. Make sure you bring enough fuel and protect your stove from wind so you aren't wasting it when in use.

I'd do it again. Make sure you train though this is very intense physically.

backpacking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

I started on 6/18/17 at 6:30 am. I would recommend starting earlier to avoid the heat during climbing and to give more time for acclimation. Hike bunny flats and camped just below Helen lake. Since it was a Sunday there were lots of tents from the previous day but at about 5pm I was the sole tent on the mountain.

Conditions were very warm due to a heat wave. Too warm for my liking. Wind was real low at 10-15 MPH. Basically a perfect day.

Made camp, ate and went to bed around 8pm. Woke at 2am, made breakfast then started the climb at 3am. Reached Helen lake around 4am. That's where the steepest climb began. Slow and steady wins the race. Started with about 15 others ahead of me but ended up 4th to summit at around 7:45.

Going down was easy but take care not to relax too much. Most people get injured on the descent. Glissading was fun once the snow softened up.

Be sure to cover your head. I got sunburnt on my scalp from not wearing a hat all day at base camp. Also burned the corners of my eye balls so either use full wrap sunglasses or buy the leather side shields to protect from glare. Apply sunscreen every hour or so.

For elevation sickness I popped 600 mg of ibuprofen before I started hiking and every time I started to get a headache. Drink plenty of water and eat a good amount of carbs. Got a mild headache when I first reached base camp and when I started to descend from summit. Ibuprofen saved me! The headache is caused by inflammation in the brain.

I brought about a gallon of water and melted snow to get about a gallon more. Make sure you bring enough fuel and protect your stove from wind so you aren't wasting it when in use.

I'd do it again. Make sure you train though this is very intense physically.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Went up in mid-June to do the only stretch of trail dogs are allowed (the first part up to the house where Sierra Club land begins)... it was 103 in Redding so we needed the getaway! The snow was so deep that the small dog struggled... but it was well travelled and safe. Met many different levels of hikers and Alpine Trekkers... completely worth the short drive... though in the heavy snowpack of 2017 I will be better prepared for the snow of heading up again in the next month.

Monday, January 30, 2017

We hiked this route last September. We start 1am midnight. We got all our gear ready. It was only half mile & will be in the summit, but we had to turn around due to weather was in favor for us that day, wind & clouds was getting crazy. We checked the weather before we go but we just never know, it's changes every second specially you are in the highest altitude. Better be safe than sorry! . Worse hike I've ever been. Better Train yourself & plan before u do this hike. Definitely going back to reach the summit. View is amazing when u reach to the top!

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