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Mount Shasta Wilderness




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General Information

Description - The Mt. Shasta Wilderness was established in 1984 with the passage of the California Wilderness Act. This 38,200 acre addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System contains many unique geologic and scenic features: a hot sulfur spring, seven glaciers, lava flow, waterfalls, buttes and canyons. Mt. Shasta is the second highest (to Mt. Rainier) of the Cascade Range volcanoes. Rising to an altitude of 14,162, Mt. Shasta is a landmark that dominates the aerial view for several hundred miles in all directions. Although it is believed the last eruption was 1786, geologists still term Mt. Shasta as an "active" volcano.

Mt. Shasta's weather is variable. The exposure to storms from the Pacific results in high winds and heavy snow accumulations. Major storms can occur at any time of the year. Like many other solitary mountains, Mt. Shasta intensifies existing weather conditions. With respect to weather, it is recommended that you go prepared, be observant and anticipate dangers.

Attractions - Recreations on the Mount Shasta Ranger District center on the two designated wilderness areas of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags. Dominating the landscape for several hundred miles in all directions, Mount Shasta looms 14,162 feet, a beautiful snow-cloaked massif, second only to Mount Rainier in height among the famous Cascade Range volcanoes. No trails lead up Mount Shasta, but trails provide access to the Wilderness and the foot of the mountain.

Sheer granite cliffs, towering spires reaching up to 7,200 feet, and steep canyons hide five small alpine lakes in Castle Crags Wilderness. Covered with fields of brush and a few wet meadows in the heads of several creeks, the vegetation on the east, west and north slopes consist of pine, Douglas fir, spruce and cedar. More than 300 species of wildflowers have been identified in the Wilderness, including the Castle Crags harebell, which blooms nowhere else on Earth. Rattlesnakes, black bears, deer, and squirrels abound, as do ticks. The Wilderness shares its southern border with Castle Crags State Park. You'll find 27.8 miles of maintained trails starting from nine trailheads. The Pacific Crest Trail rambles for 19 miles through the area.

Recreation - Horseback riding, hiking, and backpacking are enjoyed on this wilderness area.

Climate - Climate on the Shasta-Trinity varies greatly with elevation. Higher elevations tend to have much cooler temperatures and higher precipitation. Summer weather is usually hot and dry with lower elevation temperatures ranging from 85° - 100°+F and lows from 60° - 70°. Fall days are usually mild and warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls, averaging over 55 inches per year, much of it in the form of snow in the high elevations. Highs range from 40° - 60° and lows from 30° - 40° in the lower elevations. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days.

Location - Shasta-McCloud Management Unit is based in McCloud, California.

Directions from Mt. Shasta City: Mount Shasta Wilderness can be accessed via several trailheads. From the Everitt Memorial Highway: Sand Flat, Bunny Flat, Panther Meadows and Old Ski Bowl Trailheads. From Highway 97 there are: Black Lava, Graham Creek, and the Bolam trailheads. From Highway 89 there are: Clear Creek and Brewer Creek.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Camping
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking A Mt. Shasta climb can be a rewarding adventure, challenging your physical and mental abilities with a long and strenuous hike. Pre-trip planning and conditioning will help towards successful climbing. June and July are the best months for climbing Mt. Shasta.
Yes


More Information

Additional Information:
Mount Shasta Ranger District - Shasta-McCloud Management Unit contains the ranger districts of McCloud and Mt. Shasta. Anglers and other water-oriented sport enthusiasts find a palette of choices.

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