Mount Eddy is the 9,025-foot peak immediately west of Mount Shasta and the Deadfall Lakes are in the basin just to the west of the peak. A hike to the summit offers views, lakes, and, because it’s all at 6,800 feet or above, pleasant air temperatures even when those in the valley are flaming hot. And the trailhead is just 13 miles west of Interstate-5 via good, but twisty, paved roads. Our last hike of Mount Eddy was back in 2009, so a return visit seemed due. This time, however, we started at the Parks Creek Trailhead (rather than the Deadfall Creek Trailhead further west on Forest Road 17) and took the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to the lakes – it’s a better trail and we saved 600 feet of elevation gain (which is good now that we’re 7 years older).
We followed PCT going south from the trailhead and contoured along above the Deadfall Creek Valley, alternating between forest,
an occasional spring-fed meadow still heavy with wildflowers,
and open stretches through sage brush,
with a view of our goal off in the distance.
After about 2.5 miles, we crossed Deadfall Creek,
and came to the junction of the PCT, the Deadfall Lakes Trail (which we’d used in 2009), and the Sisson-Callahan National Recreation Trail (NRT).
We turned here and followed the Sisson-Callahan southwest into the upper lakes basin, with Mount Eddy looming in the background.
The Sisson-Callahan is well-trodden up to its junction with the summit trail but, from what we could see from there, the rest of the Sisson-Callahan is fainter and is probably more of an adventure than the part we were on.
From this junction, we had a good view down into the lake basin,
and west toward the heart of the Trinity Alps (with snowy Mount Thompson (we think) just standing out from the other peaks),
We started up the summit trail,
then it was up a whole bunch of switchbacks,
to the summit and the remains of the last lookout,
that survived upright until about 10 years ago.
A little post-hike research found that Mount Eddy had been graced by a variety of lookouts – sometimes more than one at a time – since 1914. The view of Mount Shasta from the summit was as spectacular as ever,
as was a close-up of Mount Thompson westward in the Trinities.
After lunch on the summit among a swarm of ladybugs, it was back down the switchbacks, with a hazy view of the Castle Crags to the south,
and of clouds playing across one of the upper lakes.
An excellent hike (11 miles roundtrip; 2,200 feet of elevation gain), with views, lakes, a good air temperature, and NO bugs! A very popular hike – we saw over a dozen other hikers between the trailhead and the summit, including two Boy Scout troops that had seemingly worked their way directly up Eddy’s northwest ridge! Still it didn’t feel crowded.