Explore the most popular forest 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.

My dog loved this walk around the lake!

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.

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.

Nice trail

on Lake Siskiyou Trail

1 month ago

Great acclimation hike mostly in shade with great views of Mt. Shasta.

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.

great quick hike! but it was very smoky today. the smoke seems to come and go.

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.

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

Never actually found the trail. Signage in the Bunny Flat area is really poor. We ended up on one of the climber routes headed to the summit and after a couple miles figured out we were way off track. But the climber route was pretty nice (although very steep in spots).

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

2 months ago

Very dry, dusty hike on a wide, dirt road with limited views of Shasta or anything else. Not recommended. There’s much better hiking nearby.

Nice views in few parts of the hike. Doing the entire loop is kind of boring. Great views of Mt Shasta in a few parts.

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!

Nice walk if you only have a few minutes and want to see the headwaters, but if you have a little time, do yourself a favor and head up Everitt Memorial to either the Gateway trails or farther up the mountain for some much nicer hikes. Spring Hill right across the street is also nice, but all uphill (and downhill on the way back).

I was excited about this new trail that parallels the road, winding through forest, but quickly realized there are much nicer hikes through this area. The hike is sort of dusty and rough at this point; about 1.5 miles in I decided to head back to the car and up to Old Ski Bowl to do one of the hikes up there (Panther Meadows and/or Southgate Meadows - grey butte is also nice), which are much nicer.

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.

walking
3 months ago

Beautiful afternoon walk around the lake,wasn’t hot,had a light breeze that made it very comfortable for the 7 mile workout

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing view

walking
4 months ago

Lovely views and little development. The trail is easy to follow yet offers several short spurs down closer to the water. Great walk if you’re looking to avoid elevation!

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