Mountain and town
8 miles East of I-5, 63 miles North of Redding. Thought by some to be inhabited by beings from a lost city of the Pacific and once attracting 3,000 brightly-robed devotees of the oddball I AM Foundation of Youth to a ritual on its slopes, perpetually snow-capped Mount Shasta, its peak, 14,162 ft high, is one of the most haunting sights in California. The nearest I-5 comes to the mountain is when passing through the town of Mount Shasta – officially entitled Mount Shasta City despite its population of a mere 3,000 approximately – which serves as a supply base for the hikers and climbers aiming for the majestic mountain. Only the geological and historical displays of the Mt Shasta Sisson Museum (www.mtshastamuseum.com), on Old Stage Road, provide any incentive to pull yourself away from the hypnotic sight of the great peak.
For anyone sufficiently fit, and with some hiking or back country experience, climbing Mount Shasta is by no means impossible. It is an arduous full-day ascent, using very steep trails – usually only passable without the aid of specialist equipment during August – beginning at Ski Bowl and Horse Camp, both reached by road from Mount Shasta City. Unpredictable weather and the prospect of avalanches are just two reasons for taking up-to-the minute local advice from the nearest climbing/hiking supply shop before considering an attempt.
Find more in: Walking