Flume Trail (Castle Crags State Park, CA) 21-Jul-2021

After going high for our first hike in the Mount Shasta area, we decided to go some 4,000 feet (1,220 m) lower for our second. Specifically, a loop formed from the Flume and Bob’s Hat Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in Castle Crags State Park. We got another early start but noticed that the heat built sooner and higher down here than it had up at Boulder Peak. That said, there was plenty of shade and even a few, still flowing, water courses to keep the heat at bay – at least in the morning. But we were back in town – “rehydrating” – before it got too hot. 😅

On our previous trips to Castle Crags, we did a 3rd/4th Class climb to the top of Castle Dome (4,966 ft / 1,514 m) and an out-and-back hike on the PCT past Burstarse Falls to Sabin’s Point. Today we went up the Flume Trail to the PCT, took that back to the Bob’s Hat Trail, and followed Bob’s Hat back down to the trailhead. There was shade and history along the Flume Trail, several thru-hikers and small streams along the PCT, and a heated descent on the Bob’s Hat.

Considering the nature trail brochure at the trailhead
Along the Flume Trail
The reservoir at the end of a wooden flume that still supplies water to the park
An elevated wooden box flume
Indian Creek was still flowing 😁
Indian Creek
Rusted headlight and fender near an old mining site
Remnants of a wood box flume (1) along the Flume Trail
Heading up toward the PCT
A thick clump of Indian Rhubarb huddles in a seep
Foot bridge on the Flume Trail
Near the top of the Flume Trail, the Grey Rocks come into view

We reached the PCT and started NOBO on it. One thing we noticed is that it crosses a number of small, still running, streams that have little name plaques next to them but which do not appear as named on the USGS or USFS topo maps. Only Indian Creek and its tributaries appear on these maps.

Reflections in Horn Creek
On the PCT
The Castle Crags themselves are only visible from a few points along this loop
Upper Indian Creek
Leaves on Indian Creek
A little bit of No Name Creek
On the PCT at the edge of the Castle Crags Wilderness
Descending the Bob’s Hat Trail – which is about 90% old road

Because this piece of the PCT undulates quiet a bit, our 7.4 mile (11.9 km) loop, with about 900 feet (275 m) of gain, offered up a little more exercise than expected. Still, it was a good hike – probably one that would be even better in the Spring when it’s (hopefully) cooler and more of the streams are gushing. 🙂

The Flume / PCT Loop
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2 comments

  1. It is amazing how some of these smaller creeks keep flowing even this deep in a drought. But snow above 6,000 feet or so has been OK (so far) and that is what might be feeding some of these water courses. But we’ll need several years of good wet to break this drought!

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  2. How beautiful and lush and even with flowing water! So nice to see, knowing how the drought has been so devastating. I have fond memories of hiking Castle Crags and those spectacular views from the top.

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