"Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California." -Joaquin Miller
USGS Picture showing the sheer mass of Mt Shasta
Standing 14,000ft in Northern-est California, Mt. Shasta stands like a gatekeeper to the Cascade Range. Mt Shasta looks exactly like the way a child would draw a mountain- almost perfectly conical, snowcapped, with glaciers gently flowing down its flanks. It is no surprise that it's mythical qualities have lingered long into the 21st century. Theodore Roosevelt, US president, naturalist and explorer once said, "I consider the evening twilight on Mt. Shasta one of the grandest sights I have ever witnessed." What makes Shasta unique is its mass and prominence- it stands alone, rising over 10,000ft higher than its surrounding terrain. Also, it is a massive mountain, large enough to literally create its own weather. So, it goes without saying that the views from afar and atop are phenomenal. The national forest has also done an excellent job in keeping the mountain a true wilderness. Not just for the climber, Mt Shasta offers day hiking or just simple admiration of California's largest volcano.
Mt Shasta is so isolated that is can create its own weather, often the surrounding areas can be completely clear while the summit is shrouded in clouds
Mt. Shasta is located in Northern California near the city of Mt Shasta. I-5 will take you right past the mountain and offer great views. From the city of Mt Shasta, take the Everitt Memorial Highway up the mountain to Bunny Flat. From here, you can ascend the mountain via the "Avalanche Gulch" route (despite the foreboding name, its the easiest way up!) However, this is a real climb and crampons and ice axes are needed all year. However, in the summer it is possible to hike up to Helen lake and enjoy the good mountain air without any gear. I will be posting a comprehensive guide to climbing Mt Shasta in the near future!