Hike to Heart Lake and Castle Spire in Castle Crags with the Mount Shasta Trail Association on Saturday, September 11

by John Soares on September 6, 2010

Yep, I’m on the board of directors of the Mount Shasta Trail Association. Nope, I won’t be on this one because I’ll be hiking in the southern Sierra Nevada with my partner Stephanie.

But here’s the scoop for you:

The Mt Shasta Trail Association has added another dimension to the Heart Lake hiked planned for September 11th as it was described in last week’s Mt Shasta Herald. While one group will explore the Heart Lake area as originally planned, another group will continue on and go for a more challenging hike/rock scramble up to the base of “Castle Spire,” the prominent thumb-shaped rock the is visible on the horizon to the southwest from Mt. Shasta.

Participants for the Castle Spire hike need to be in excellent physical condition and have good agility. The round trip hike from the parking lot at Castle Lake is about five miles and is composed of periodic steep up and down sections both on and off trail. All participants should pack a lunch, camera, and lots of water. During the return hike the group will stop for a refreshing dip in either Heart or Castle Lake. Naturalist Mark Gibson (530-926-5966) will lead this hike.

The shorter, less demanding hike to Heart Lake is 2.2 miles round trip. This little alpine pond shaped like a heart, has shallow waters warmed by the sun. The pond leads to a small ledge and beyond to a plummeting valley that rises up to 14,162 foot Mt. Shasta. Call Joan Roemer (530-926-0647) for more info.

Participants should meet at 9AM Saturday, September 11, in the fish hatchery parking lot to form carpools. The fish hatchery is located a quarter-mile west of the main Mount Shasta I-5 exit (the middle of the three) on the way to Lake Siskiyou. Call Joan Roemer (530-926-0647) for more info.

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