“Sabin’s Point” (Castle Crags Wilderness) 07-Jan-2018

Sabin's Point Castle Crag Wilderness California

Although recent weather forecasts are being cagey about snow, they did offer up a sunny day (or most of one) in Northern California. Going to our ever growing file of hikes to be done before we become compost, I pulled out a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) along the southern edge of the Castle Crags Wilderness to an outcrop the Ashland Hiking Group has informally named “Sabin’s Point.” I sweetened the deal with a night in Mount Shasta, California and The LovedOne was all in for it. Previously, we’d hiked up the Castle Dome Trail and even climbed the Dome itself, but this would be our first foray to the Crags’ southwest side.

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Gray Rock Lake (Castle Crags Wilderness) 30-Jun-2016

Castle Crags Wilderness Northern California

In search of the highpoints in seven of Northern California’s wilderness areas, we went for a short hike and scramble in the small (10,609 acre) Castle Crags Wilderness, located just west of the town of Mount Shasta, California (details).  The area is probably best known for the Castle Crags, a dramatic formation of towering granite spires – ranging in height from 2,000 feet at their base along the Sacramento River to over 7,200 feet at the summit of the tallest crag. The largest are clearly visible from Interstate 5 just south of Mount Shasta. In 2011, we climbed well-known Castle Dome (4,966 feet) from Castle Crags State Park on the south side of the wilderness (post).

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Castle Dome (Castle Crags State Park) 14-Aug-2011

Castle Crags State Park California

After finally hiking Mount Lassen the day before, we thought it would be fun to try climbing Castle Dome (4,700 feet) in Castle Crags State Park. We also figured this might be our last chance since the park is slated to be closed next year because of California’s budget woes. The most popular hiking route is the Crags Trail which leads to spectacular views from the base of Castle Dome.  Our goal was to climb the Regular Route (high Class 3 – low Class 4) to the summit of the Dome, where the view was anticipated to be even bigger! Although Sullivan describes climbing the Dome itself (Hike #98 in his Southern Oregon & Northern California guide (Second Edition)), his description of the actual climbing route isn’t very detailed, so we used the one from SummitPost. It’s not a technical climb in the strictest sense but (as Sullivan says) it’s only for “confident scramblers” – as there are places where a slip could have very tragic consequences.

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