For our third and last hike in the Mount Shasta area, we needed something scenic but not hard. No big elevation gains or ceaseless ups and downs. While exploring our options, we came across the loop trail around Lake Siskiyou (“Lake Sis”), which is just west of Mount Shasta. At just under 7 miles (11 km), with no appreciable changes in elevation, it was ideal for our purposes (and our diminished leg muscles). The LovedOne had determined (after extensive calculations) that, if we got started early enough and hiked energetically enough, we could reach Ashland in time for lunch at Caldera Brewing. Another pure genius moment on The LovedOne’s part. 😁Continue reading “Lake Siskiyou Loop (Mount Shasta, CA) 22-Jul-2021”
There were a few hikes we wanted to do west of Mount Shasta, California. Rather than spend hours driving back and forth to individual hikes, we basecamped in a hotel (as even tough and stupid has its limits) in Mount Shasta and did three different hikes from there. Not only did this avoid a lot of driving, it also meant that we could arrive at the respective trailheads way early – in the cool of the morning – without having to roll out at o-dark-thirty. These early starts also got us back to town before the day really heated-up. We were also fortunate that this trip coincided with a brief cooling spell (90°F (32°C) versus 105°F (40°C)) and a wind shift that blew the wildfire smoke eastward (sorry North Dakota 😯), giving us almost clear skies. So something of bright spot in an otherwise trying summer. Not to mention us not having to eat my cooking for a few days. 😉Continue reading “Boulder Peak (Trinity Divide, CA) 20-Jul-2021”
Rhyolite Ridge is a bench that curves around below Point 5401 (“Rhyolite Point”) on the western edge of the Soda Mountain Wilderness. We first learned of it from William Sullivan’s Southern Oregon hiking guides. It’s a short diversion, on what was is now a much faded old ranch road, from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Going out to it gives you sweeping views of the peaks (most notably Mount Shasta) and valleys to the south. Its south-facing aspect also encourages early season emergence of some unique wildflowers such as the Dwarf Hesperochiron and Yellow Fritillary. We’ve hiked out to the Ridge several times from the PCT, as have others judging from how a single-track has now formed in the old road.Continue reading “Backdoor to Rhyolite Ridge (Soda Mountain Wilderness) 09-Apr-2021”
We were originally alerted to South Gate Meadows by the Ashland Hiking Group and got the details from Hike Mt. Shasta. Older maps will show the springs in the meadow feeding Squaw Valley Creek, but that pejorative name has now been struck from Forest Service maps. We’d had a wonderful clear day on the east side of Shasta the day before and expected to have a similar one here on the west side today. We arose, however, from the embrace of Morpheus to find the sun an incandescent orange orb in a sky infused with orange-brown smoke from wildfires burning to the south and east. We drove up to the Panther Meadow Trailhead (at 7,400 feet / 2,255 m) hoping to get above the smoke. No luck. The whole place smelled like an old campfire. But there was a certain strange beauty in what the smoke was doing to the color of the light and to our views of the mountain, so we pressed on. I suppose that’s an upside to getting old – you just get on with it because you’re not quite sure you’ll get another chance.Continue reading “South Gate Meadows (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 22-Jul-2020”
For our second foray in the Mount Shasta area, we once again relied on Hike Mt. Shasta to point us toward something interesting – in this case, the Brewer Creek Trail on Shasta’s east side. The promise (fulfilled!) of staggering glacier views was just too much to pass up. Getting to the Brewer Creek Trailhead entailed driving all the way around the mountain on a combination of paved, good gravel, and almost 4×4 dirt roads. The last three miles on long rutted switchbacks were particularly interesting. We arrived at the trailhead to find a pit toilet (with TP!), a kiosk, and various permit boxes. The free wilderness permit was self-issue and since we weren’t going above 10,000 feet (3,050 m), we didn’t need a $25 summit permit. The fact that this is a popular climber’s trailhead did lead us into doing a little unplanned cross-country travel.Continue reading “Brewer Creek (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 21-Jul-2020”
Remember business travel? How it was a necessary chore but one that now we (maybe) long for? The upside of those days was an accumulated a pile of hotel reward points that we planned to squander on some BIG TRIP of our own choosing. But, alas, no. 😦 So we spent some on our trip to the Oregon Coast in mid-June and the rest on a just completed multi-day trip to Northern California. But that’s only two hours from home you say! Yes, but we wanted to do a few hikes in and around Mount Shasta and didn’t want to spend four hours per hike commuting. So we made a surgically clean hotel room our basecamp for a few days. Which was good because the soaring afternoon temperatures made it really nice to have some A/C (and a shower). California has slipped back to only take-out or outdoor seating at restaurants, so we had some nice meals outdoors – just like camping but the cooking was way better. 🙂 There were other tourists around but not nearly as many as in a “normal” year, so it didn’t hurt that we were there to pump a little money into the local economy.Continue reading “Kangaroo & Bull (Klamath National Forest) 20-Jul-2020”
Well, the big thunderstorms came and went, leaving behind some much needed rain and (thankfully) no big wildfires. We thought to capitalize on the cool, but clearing, weather that followed the storm by hiking out to Boccard Point in the Soda Mountain Wilderness. If the sky cooperates, big views of Mount Shasta to the south can be had from there. Plus, we hadn’t been to the point together since 2016 and then it was snowing!
To make a day of it, we parked at the Hobart Bluff Trailhead and hiked south on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from there – passing a dozen or so thru-hikers along the way. Just before the PCT starts its descent to Baldy Creek Road, we dodged downhill to the southeast for a short distance to intersect the primitive trail out to the point. We were surprised to find a half mile of that trail obliterated by what looked to us like a recently cut fire break. If so, why now? The world wonders…
Past this damage, the trail was encroached on only by seasonal vegetation and was easy to hike (even though the still wet veg soaked our boots). The day had started out overcast but the clouds were starting to break-up and become picturesque by the time we gained the point. Big views for Shasta, Pilot Rock, and Soda Mountain. The sun joined us for the journey back, which we shortened by going cross-country over a gentle ridge to connect with the PCT near a small pond. A very good day to be outside. Seven or so miles on rich loamy earth, with cedar and pine aromas, senescent meadows, scampering chipmunks, and gorgeous views. 🙂RETURN TO FRONT PAGE
Tricky drive; short hike; spectacular views. Goosenest (8,280 feet) is an extinct (hopefully) shield volcano with a cinder cone on top, resembling a goose’s nest (actually it looks more like an albatross nest, but those aren’t that common in Northern California). It sits just north of Mount Shasta and affords amazing views of the north side of that peak and a 360º view across much of Northern California. The hike to these views is short (3.3 miles total – if you circle the crater) on a well-graded, well-maintained trail plus an obvious use trail. It even has an official trailhead with a sign and an information board. The trick is finding that trailhead, as we would discover as we followed conflicting (and sometimes incorrect) driving directions to (eventually) reach it. Continue reading “Goosenest (Klamath National Forest) 07-Oct-2018”
Up until 2008, our adventures were retained only as memories and on Kodachromes. While our memories may have faded (just a bit), the Kodachromes haven’t – and we have a lot of them. So we’re digitizing a select few to bring some of our past adventures into the 21st Century. This is one of those.
Well, the smoke has been blown away (mostly) and the wildfires that generated it are being brought further and further under control. However, it will take a big, wet storm to finally quell them all. Speaking of storms, the state’s October to December seasonal climate forecast for our area predicts stronger-than-usual storminess – with the first installment coming as early as later this week. Having had them deferred because of heat and smoke, we’re trying to squeeze in a few hikes before we’re hit by wet and cold. Thanks to the Hike Mt Shasta website, we’ve had China Mountain in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest on our list for awhile and today seemed like as good a time as any to go hike it.
A line of weather – the remnants of Tropical Storm Lydia – passed through our area earlier this week, bringing with it some brief, but much appreciated, precipitation. This moisture cut a lot of the smoke out of the air and gave crews a chance to get a better grip on the many wildfires still burning/smouldering in the surrounding forests. Temperatures were down too, which also helped with the wildfires. But air quality in the valley was still marginal, so, once again, surrounding summits were called upon for fresh air. After Mount Ashland, Aspen Butte, and Mount McLoughlin, the remaining nearest tall one was Mount Eddy, a 9,025-foot peak due west of Mount Shasta; one that we’d hiked previously in 2009 and 2015. It’s a popular moderate hike past lakes to big views (particularly of Mount Shasta) and one high enough to be above much of the remaining smoke. With the LovedOne once again volunteering at the library, I did this hike mainly for exercise in some fresh air.