Until you actually see Mt. Shasta for yourself, it is literally hard to describe with either words or pictures. We jokingly refer to it as “the greatest mountain in the U.S. that nobody has ever heard of”. Shasta is #46 on the list of 88 peaks in the continental U.S. that exceed 14,000 feet. Unlike most of the others “Fourteeners” however, Shasta stands alone – providing visitors with an unobstructed single view of her 14,179 feet of magnificence! You simply can’t comprehend the enormity of Shasta until you see her in person!
Driving north on I-5, and depending on the conditions, you can initially perceive the mountain for the first time over 100 miles away – somewhere around Corning, CA. At first, you think it must be a cloud, and then you realize you’re looking at the peak – a view that steadily grows as you approach Redding. From there you begin a steady alpine climb toward the mountain herself, catching tantalizing glimpses of her white flanks as you wind your way up through the foothills.
Once on full display, you are struck with the absolute enormity of this mountain. Set apart from a range of other comparable summits, Shasta rules over her entire domain like a silent, timeless sentinel. We found ourselves consistently staring at the mountain – literally entranced with the site. And the view is just the beginning.
In this blog we will break out many of the specific activities that you can do on the mountain as their own specific entries. For now, know that almost any mountain-centric activity is available, from hiking and climbing, to snowboarding and heli-skiing. Horseback riding? Check. Waterfalls? Check. Camping and communing with nature? Check. The list goes on and on.
A great starting point to plan your adventure on the mountain can be found on Robin Kohn’s website: The Mt. Shasta Guide. I have read Robin’s book cover to cover several times and it seems like every time I do, I add another “to-do” item for an upcoming trip.
Like the town of McCloud, Mt. Shasta sits at the center of your adventures in the area. The two are forever linked, and represent a literal and figurative “hub” of your vacation.