Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Stunning hike with incredible views of Shasta, Castle Crags, Castle Lake and Heart Lake. We clocked this hike at 3 miles round trip, rather than the listed 2. Trail is quite steep in places and elevation gain was closer to 850'. It's easy to lose the trail ~1 mile up; other hikers have tried to help by placing rock barriers in multiple places where the path appears to diverge as well as rock stacks to help guide you, but the path is still easily lost in places.
Lake was frozen solid 11/11/18

Amazing hike super short but beautiful and historic!

We did Bunny Flat through panther meadow campground (on the hardball) up to Gray Butte. Had lunch on Gray Butte, awesome views up there! Very few people up that high this late in the season, so it was nice and secluded. Gray Butte and back was right at 7.2 miles.

Great views of the Mt. Easy going trail, mostly flat. Not sure where 6.5 miles came from, we showed 8.24 miles. The lake is really low this time of year.

I enjoyed so much the view of Mt. Shasta. I would have enjoyed more with less people walking their dogs. Besides Mt. Shasta view and the bridge, nothing the trail is not really impressive.

This was a little tricky to find, but we managed just fine. The ruins are cool, and the falls are great. The actual falls were beautiful and the hike itself was not too bad. I did have my 8 and 9 year old kids with me, and found the trail down to the falls a little narrow. I will be returning to scramble along the creek on the boulders some more; there are so many exploration opportunities.

Amazing bang for your buck! So beautiful! The trail is crazy hard to keep track of but just bring an adventurous attitude, stay to the right and south and use this app to stay on track., you'll find it! So worth it!

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

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful fall colors, amazing views. Easy flat hike around 7 miles. But...we lost the trail several times, especially at the boat dock. We had to go into the camp ground and ask around. It took 4 people before we found anyone that knew where the trail was.

My dog loved this walk around the lake!

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.

Nice trail

on Lake Siskiyou Trail

2 months 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 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.

This was a beautiful hike/climb done 8/15 -8-16
We left northgate trailhead at 2:20 pm and arrived at camp (9800 ft elevation) at 5:30. This part of the hike is a 4.5 mile walk from the trail head to where we camped. We enjoyed fresh ice cold water from the glacier that ran through camp , and a nice sunset before catching a few hrs sleep. We awoke at 2 am and began our accent up the mountain , we were able to stay on the moraine all the way up to the step where we needed to use crampons for a short distance up to the rabbit ears. From here we watched a beautiful sun rise over the Smokey valley below. We reached the summit at 7:20 am , had a bite to eat and headed back down at 8:15 to pack up camp to head for the truck . We reached camp at 11:30 , packed up and headed out. The trek back to the truck took 2 hrs. We had the entire mountain to ourselves for 2 days which I’m sure being later in the season and the assumption that air quality might not be good kept people away.

I would like to try this one again earlier in the season when the need to wear crampons on most of the climb is required. This was mostly a lot of climbing on loose rock , gravel and sand with the need for crampons and ice axe periodically once you get to the Step. I recommend this route to anyone looking for something more than the conga line that takes place up avalanche gulch during peak season.

Not for amateurs. Great climb, but definitely need crampons, ice axes, and short roping technique to mitigate slips and falls, especially above the crevasses. We camped at9600 ft and enjoyed the freezing glacial water before starting for the summit at midnight. It’s a long day, as we returned to camp at about 4 pm. We had the north side of the mountain entirely to ourselves for 4 days.

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.

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!

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
4 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.

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