The steep granite slopes of Castle Crags tower above this Pacific Crest Trail hike through Castle Crags State Park, Castle Crags Wilderness, and Shasta-Trinity National Forest. You gain a lot of beauty for a modest effort, and you’ll likely also have solitude.
Northern California is a great place for a spring backpacking trip! Here are the best low/middle elevation trails in the Bay Area, Northern Sierra Nevada, Lassen National Forest, Klamath Mountains, redwoods, and North Coast. You can hike many of them year-round, even in winter.
The Clikapudi Trail offers vistas of the mountains surrounding Shasta Lake, opportunities to explore the the lake’s Pit River arm, and the tranquil beauty of Clikapudi Creek and its valley. Ghosts from a time long past share the Clikapudi Trail with hikers. The Wintu Indians lived in and around the area circumscribed by the trail, […]
Remoteness and lush creek-side vegetation lure hikers to the Sugarloaf Creek trail near Shasta Lake. Sugarloaf Creek runs year-round, and originates a few miles northwest of the trailhead. The trail itself parallels the creek, and always stays on the north side. The first mile or so of trail is in good shape, but the upper […]
Sims Flat along the upper Sacramento River has a hiking trail around the campground perimeter, and you can hike the west river bank in either direction to great swimming holes. There’s also good fishing! Sims Flat makes a great place to stretch your legs and take a nature break when you’re traveling Interstate 5 north […]
Ken DeCamp’s all-color Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps is a beautiful book covering 505 wildflower species. Here Ken discusses the book, his favorite Trinity Alps wildflower hikes, and the course of his career as a photographer and writer. Where to Purchase Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps: Including the Marble Mountain […]
Ever thought about backpacking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California? Philip Kramer, author of the new book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California Section Hiking from Tuolumne Meadows to Donomore Pass (Mountaineers Books, 2018) shares key information in this wide-ranging interview. Why Does Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Have Such […]
The Canyon Creek Lakes and Boulder Creek Lakes are likely the most popular backpacking destinations in the Trinity Alps, and for good reason. The trails have everything a backpacker wants: roaring creeks with waterfalls, verdant meadows, abundant wildflowers, deep, rock-ringed lakes, and towering granite peaks. This post provides everything you need to find the trailhead […]
Hiking/backpacking to Big Bear Lake and Little Bear Lake in the Trinity Alps is one of my favorite far northern California excursions. Trailhead access is easy, and I quickly get into beautiful sub-alpine granite wilderness. Note that the trail itself is relatively steep — you need to be in decent shape. (This post is based […]
I did a fantastic hike to Little Bear Lake in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. It started with a steep 3000-foot climb on the trail to Big Bear Lake, followed by a moderate 1-mile cross-country scramble over granite. Little Bear Lake in the Trinity Alps: My Video I love this lake and I had it all […]
Lower, Middle, and Upper West Park Lakes lie just a few miles from Mount Eddy and the Deadfall Lakes, yet few people hike the trails to these gems, even though they are fairly easy to reach. I did the West Parks Lakes as a day-hike in late August, the day after I explored the nearby […]
When can you first hike the trails Mount Shasta trails and Lassen Volcanic National Park trails this spring? Answer: it depends. Hiking Trails and Snow Levels I received an e-mail today from a gentleman living in the upper Midwest who is planning on spending two weeks this summer hiking the trails in the Mount Shasta […]
Whether you hike, backpack, snowshoe or cross-country ski, winter, spring, and early summer in the high country of Mount Shasta, you need to know the important skills for avalanche safety and to maximize the possibility you’ll survive if you do get caught in an avalanche. Mount Shasta Avalanche Safety Courses Enter the Mount Shasta Avalanche […]
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 […]
The Gray Rock Lakes lie in the Trinity Divide Mountains just west of Mount Shasta. A moderately easy trail leads to Lower Gray Rock Lake, Upper Gray Rock Lake, and Timber Lake, which all see few hikers while offering good swimming and camping opportunities. Gray Rock Lakes in the Trinity Divide Mountains I love hiking […]