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A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta?
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta? on 06/01/2009 10:31:59 MDT Print View

That can be planned before Saturday night. I have a free weekend and haven't ever been up there, and I'd rather not just get a hotel. If my research is correct, Mt Shasta itself is wilderness and you can get an on-demand, no quota permit from the Shasta Ranger station, so long as you don't plan on going over whatever-thousand feet. Without running to Borders to buy a guidebook, I haven't yet found a lot of info online on 'official' trips.

Anyone have any experience? Also open to places nearby where I could backpack in view of Shasta.

Rene de bos
(piemel) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
castle lake on 06/02/2009 12:13:22 MDT Print View

I can't help you on any 'real' backpacking tips but if you want a really cool campsite then please cheack the Castle Lake sites. There are 6 sites on a first come basis. Sites are located within shirt walking distance to Castle Lake which is extremely beautiful. Close by is also Little Castle Lake and Heart Lake.

I have been there a few times now and it never disappoints

People also seem to be camping on the shore line of the lake but I am pretty sure that is not allowed so do at your own risk

Edited by piemel on 06/02/2009 12:14:36 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: castle lake on 06/02/2009 12:32:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't actually looked at the weather before I posted this, and it's supposed to rain. I don't mind camping in the rain, but the point was to see Shasta, and that'll be hard if it's hidden in the clouds.

I think I've settled on the Sierra club Horse Camp from Bunny flat, a nice 2 mile hike.
But if the weather clears on Sunday, I'll definitely have to make a stop and Castle Lake and do the 2 miles round trip hike to Heart Lake for the view. If the weather ends up clearing on Saturday, Heart Lake might be the place anyways for that view.

No, I don't think you're ever supposed to camp within 100' (200') of a water source, but people are gonna do what they're gonna do.

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta? on 06/02/2009 13:21:25 MDT Print View

There are plenty of good places to go for an over-nighter around Mt. Shasta.

Horse Camp has a nice spring and you can day hike up the mountain up to Helen from there. Great views of the mountain. On the downside it is a busy camp as it is a staging ground for people climbing the mountain. Not a real wilderness experience, but it is beautiful up there. Though bad weather may keep the climbers away.

Castle lake is typically crowded. The hike from there up to Heart Lake is very nice, and you can camp up there I believe. I would recommend this over camping at Castle. There is a great view from Heart Lake, and the ridge above.

The PCT is also accessible. You can do an overnight-er at Gumboot Lake or at Deadfall Lakes. You can walk from Gumboot to Deadfall, which I think are 16 miles apart.

There is an informative forest service station in MT. Shasta that can assist your planning needs and make recommendations depending on the weather.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta? on 06/02/2009 19:44:57 MDT Print View

Scott Lake is a good place for views of Mt. Shasta. From I-5 take exit to Lake Siskiyou and take road around south side of the lake. The road follows the South Fork of the Sacramento River. Take the fire road to the Grey Rock Lake trail head. Scott Lake is east of Grey Rock Lake, over the saddle. There are views of Mount Shasta and Black Butte.

This is an easy hike of about two miles. There was pretty good fishing at Grey Rock Lake, the last time I was there.

cameron eibl
(cjeibl) - F

Locale: San Diego
A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta on 06/02/2009 19:52:29 MDT Print View

Why not summit? The pass for above 10,000 feet is self issued and it should not take you more than 36hours to do any route.

Edited by cjeibl on 06/02/2009 20:46:40 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: A good overnight on/around Mt. Shasta on 06/02/2009 22:57:07 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the tips. I'm just going to stop at the Ranger Station on my way to get a permit and ask them what they'd recommend based on whatever the conditions are that day. Ideally, I'd like to hike up to Helen Lake if the weather permits, even if I have to pay for the $20 permit to go above 10,000'. But at that altitude, I wonder if the snow has melted off enough yet for going up w/o snow-shoes. Something the ranger will know. But if it's going to be snowing, as predicted it may be, that's out.

As for why not the summit; I don't own and have no experience with crampons, ice axes, or anything that would be necessary to scale a mountain. Also I'm going solo. Someday though.

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
snow levels on 06/03/2009 18:55:28 MDT Print View

I climbed the mountain two weeks back. If you go early in the morning you don't need snow shoes to get to Helen, as the snow is still hard (crampons are nice). Helen is certainly not a lake this time of year so don't expect any water. There is a spring at Horse Camp.

The snow starts from the trail head at Bunnyflat. I walked to Horse Camp during the afternoon and I beet the skiers. Snowshoes would come in handy if going to Helen after noon.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: snow levels on 06/03/2009 22:52:26 MDT Print View

Hmmm. . . if there's snow starting at the trailhead, plus the chance of rain, I'll probably pick another destination this weekend. I'm probably moving out of CA. in August, and I want to see Shasta before I go. With the potential for cloud cover this weekend, actually seeing Shasta seems unlikely, and I don't desire to walk/camp on snow. I should have 2-3 free weekends in July to make another try. Ph well.

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
another weekend on 06/04/2009 14:06:51 MDT Print View

Mt. Shasta is something that you should check out in Cal. You would appreciate the area the most on a sunny weekend. It is about 5 hrs from the Bay, so it would be a let down if you couldn't see the mountain and experience other parts of the alpine area.

The weather changes swiftly. It may be in your interest to keep checking up on things. Good luck.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: another weekend on 06/07/2009 18:29:57 MDT Print View

Ian, thanks for the advice about Shasta. I did keep and on the weather, and when I saw Friday morning that the rain was supposed to end by Saturday morning, I decided to give it a try. Really foggy at Horse camp, visibility mabye 15 yards, but about 1/2 mile above, it was clear skies. I made it up to Helen Lake. A ranger told me the winds were 50+mph. At least that, I'd say. I did not envy the people who were spending the night up there. A great trip.