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Mount Shasta

Quick Read:

Mount Shasta can be enjoyed by car... up to a point. But, if you plan on climbing the mountain, rangers from the Mount Shasta wilderness area want to remind everyone that this mountain is a world-class climbing challenge. Take steps to minimize accidents and injuries by knowing your route, current climbing conditions, and the latest weather forecast. Have the proper gear, including an ice axe, crampons, and a climbing helmet. More importantly, have the appropriate expertise to use this equipment. An essential skill for climbing Mount Shasta is the ability to immediately self-arrest a fall using your ice axe. Practice with your gear in a less challenging environment or take a class from a qualified instructor.

Mount Shasta

Go Climb A Volcano!

Mt. Shasta's upper slopes are designated as the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. The United States Congress designated the wilderness in 1984 and it now has a total of 36,981 acres. Mt. Shasta is a snow and glacier capped volcano that rises 14,179 feet, dominating the view in all directions. On a clear day, the mountain can be seen from the floor of the Central Valley over 100 miles to the south.

Mt. Shasta is the highest peak on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, second highest peak in the Cascades, and fifth highest in the state. It has an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles, which makes it the most voluminous volcano in the Cascade Range.

This magnificent mountain has been a focal point of history, science, art, literature and mythology of the region. Long before settlers arrived, Mount Shasta was an important place in the lives and mythologies of Native Americans. Then in the early 1800's, it guided explorers, fur trappers, gold seekers and settlers traveling trails to California and Oregon. The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors and presidents.

Although the last documented eruption occurred in 1786, geologists classify Shasta as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

There are seven glaciers that drape the mountain's slopes and their outstanding views attract many human visitors armed with crampons and ice axes. No trails lead up Mount Shasta, but trails provide access to the Wilderness and the foot of the mountain. The Avalanche Gulch Route (six miles) is considered the easiest, but the elevation gain is over 7,000 feet, and at least 8 to 12 hours should be allotted for the round-trip.

The glaciers are cracked by crevasses and are more visible in late summer and fall. On the south slopes, rockfall becomes a danger after midsummer. Major storms off the Pacific Ocean can send high winds and snow across the mountain any time of year. Sound preparation is a must.

Bunny Flat Trail

Bunny Flat Trailhead

The trailhead at Bunny Flat is on our pre-convention geology field trip. Photo: Matt Bowers, Stonewall Grotto

This trailhead accesses all routes for climbers and hikers on the south and west sides of the mountain. It is also the launching point for snowmobilers heading up into the Old Ski Bowl area. It is also the point for any and all spiritual seekers, motor tourists and any other folks making a quick jaunt or weekend off the I-5 to check out the mountain.

This road is plowed to Bunny Flat year round and thus is the standard access point for all winter recreation. The sky is the limit for activities from here. Day hikes to Horse Camp, Hidden Valley and Lake Helen... climbs up a multitude of world class routes, epic winter powder and amazing spring skiing to your car door, sight seeing, meditating. Treat the area and other types of users with respect. Pick up trash, not just yours.

Pre-Convention Geology Trip

The pre-convention geology trip will travel up the side of Mount Shasta where you will be able to get an up-close look of the volcano's summit. Geology professor, Dr. Bill Hirt, from College of the Siskiyous will be our guide on that trip. Seats are limited. Click here for more information.

Mt. Shasta Geology Trip
Mt. Shasta Geology Trip

Today's Weather: Mount Shasta, CA

  • Updated: Wednesday, February 24 at 7:39 pm
  • Reporting Station: Mount Shasta (KMHS)
  • Elevation: 3,540 ft.
  • GPS: 41.31494;-122.31702
  • Data provided by: National Weather Service
40° F
Mostly Clear

Regional Map Forecast Wind: none
Humidity: 34%
Dewpoint: 14°F
Barometer: 30.38 in.
Visibility: 10.0 miles

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low around 26, with temperatures rising to around 28 overnight. South wind 1 to 7 mph.
Thursday: Sunny. High near 53, with temperatures falling to around 50 in the afternoon. Northeast wind 2 to 10 mph.