Castle Lake, Shasta National Forest, California to
Mount Bradley Lookout
is a 12 mile day hike, excellent to
view wildflowers, but best of all, Mount Shasta from
numerous angles for fabulous photographs!
|Mount Shasta 2011|
Driving Directions: We drove on I-5 to Central Shasta exit, then followed signs to Castle Lake. Go to Wikiloc Trails for GPS tracks; a small map is shown below.
The trail was mostly clear to follow but GPS helped us navigate since in some places it simply vanished. Long sleeves and long pants (convertibles) with good hiking boots and poles are recommended due to thick overgrown manzanita.
There were swimmers and fishermen and a crowded parking area when we arrived, but they filtered out quickly as evening approached and we found our first campsite by following the trail to the left toward a small creek crossing.
|TAKE THE BUG SPRAY! No Joke!|
Several campsites are available alongside this trail toward the east of the lake, but we veered left at a small fork and meandered until we found our more private site away from the lake and its visitors. The creek (possible water source) near us was through this little bushwhacking shown in the left photo above.
The trail ranges from rocky to meadows to forest to very old double tread and through unmanaged vegetation. We had luck with breezes to cool us despite a hot day and areas without shade.
Hike uphill through the forest and then you begin crossing the saddles and will find astoundingly beautiful views, one after another.
The heavy manzanita is difficult to wedge through especially if you are wearing a pack. It stood taller than us and caught on my pack, pockets, poles, shoes..... but onward to the promising views that are as breathtaking as any hiker imagines.
|Sneak previews of Shasta along the trail ahead.|
|More of Shasta tantalizing hikers onward!|
|Mount Bradley Lookout|
As we continued......
Upon our return to camp, having hiked this as an "out and back", we found a closer camp than before and settled in. The bugs must have bred while we were away...I was sure there were more of them!
Here are some shots of the lake (and flowers) before the breezes or people disturbed it in the morning:
Enjoy your hike and let me know how you fare!
I read an account of this hike in Trinity Alps Vicinity by Mike White. He offers a multitude of hikes in the area with directions and extensive details. Note that it can't be updated about trail conditions so check out your interests with the Forestry and the internet before you set out on your hikes.
Trinity Alps (near Redding, CA)
Strenuous and Difficult
Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents