|Elevation||14,179 ft (4,322 m) |
|Prominence||9,772 ft (2,979 m)|
|Parent peak||North Palisade|
|Isolation||335 mi (539 km)|
|Location||Shasta–Trinity National Forest, California, U.S.|
|Parent range||Cascade Range|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Shasta|
|Age of rock||About 593,000 years|
|Volcanic arc||Cascade Volcanic Arc|
|First ascent||1854 by E. D. Pearce and party|
|Easiest route||Avalanche Gulch ("John Muir") route: talus/snow climb|
Mount Shasta (Karuk: Úytaahkoo or "White Mountain") 14,179 feet (4321.8 m), it is the second-highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth-highest in the state. Mount Shasta has an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles (350 km3), which makes it the most voluminous stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. The mountain and surrounding area are part of the Shasta–Trinity National Forest.is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California. At an elevation of
Mount Shasta is connected to its satellite cone of Shastina, and together they dominate the landscape. Shasta rises abruptly to tower nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above its surroundings. On a clear winter day, the mountain can be seen from the floor of the Central Valley 140 miles (230 km) to the south. [ citation needed ] The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors, and presidents.
The mountain consists of four overlapping dormant volcanic cones that have built a complex shape, including the main summit and the prominent satellite cone of 12,330 ft (3,760 m) Shastina, which has a visibly conical form. If Shastina were a separate mountain, it would rank as the fourth-highest peak of the Cascade Range (after Mount Rainier, Rainier's Liberty Cap, and Mount Shasta itself).
Mount Shasta's surface is relatively free of deep glacial erosion except, paradoxically, for its south side where Sargents Ridge 10,000 ft (3,000 m) primarily on the north and east sides. The Whitney Glacier is the longest, and the Hotlum is the most voluminous glacier in the state of California. Three of the smaller named glaciers occupy cirques near and above 11,000 ft (3,400 m) on the south and southeast sides, including the Watkins, Konwakiton, and Mud Creek glaciers.[ citation needed ]runs parallel to the U-shaped Avalanche Gulch. This is the largest glacial valley on the volcano, although it does not now have a glacier in it. There are seven named glaciers on Mount Shasta, with the four largest (Whitney, Bolam, Hotlum, and Wintun) radiating down from high on the main summit cone to below
The oldest-known human settlement in the area dates to about 7,000 years ago.[ citation needed ]
At the time of Euro-American contact in the 1820s, the Native American tribes who lived within view of Mount Shasta included the Shasta, Okwanuchu, Modoc, Achomawi, Atsugewi, Karuk, Klamath, Wintu, and Yana tribes.
A historic eruption of Mount Shasta in 1786 may have been observed by Lapérouse, but this is disputed. Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program says that the 1786 eruption is discredited, and that the last known eruption of Mount Shasta was around 1250 AD, proved by uncorrected radiocarbon dating.
Although perhaps first seen by Spanish explorers, the first reliably reported land sighting of Mount Shasta by a European or American was by Peter Skene Ogden (a leader of a Hudson's Bay Company trapping brigade) in 1826. In 1827, the name "Sasty" or "Sastise" was given to nearby Mount McLoughlin by Ogden.An 1839 map by David Burr lists the mountain as Rogers Peak. This name was apparently dropped, and the name Shasta was transferred to present-day Mount Shasta in 1841, partly as a result of work by the United States Exploring Expedition.
Beginning in the 1820s, Mount Shasta was a prominent landmark along what became known as the Siskiyou Trail, which runs at Mount Shasta's base. The Siskiyou Trail was on the track of an ancient trade and travel route of Native American footpaths between California's Central Valley and the Pacific Northwest.
The California Gold Rush brought the first Euro-American settlements into the area in the early 1850s, including at Yreka, California and Upper Soda Springs. The first recorded ascent of Mount Shasta occurred in 1854 (by Elias Pearce), after several earlier failed attempts. In 1856, the first women (Harriette Eddy, Mary Campbell McCloud, and their party) reached the summit.
By the 1860s and 1870s, Mount Shasta was the subject of scientific and literary interest. In 1854 John Rollin Ridge titled a poem "Mount Shasta." A book by California pioneer and entrepreneur James Hutchings, titled Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California, contained an account of an early summit trip in 1855.The summit was achieved (or nearly so) by John Muir, Josiah Whitney, Clarence King, and John Wesley Powell. In 1877, Muir wrote a dramatic popular article about his surviving an overnight blizzard on Mount Shasta by lying in the hot sulfur springs near the summit. This experience was inspiration to Kim Stanley Robinson's short story "Muir on Shasta".
The 1887 completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, built along the line of the Siskiyou Trail between California and Oregon, brought a substantial increase in tourism, lumbering, and population into the area around Mount Shasta. Early resorts and hotels, such as Shasta Springs and Upper Soda Springs, grew up along the Siskiyou Trail around Mount Shasta, catering to these early adventuresome tourists and mountaineers.
In the early 20th century, the Pacific Highway followed the track of the Siskiyou Trail to the base of Mount Shasta, leading to still more access to the mountain. Today's version of the Siskiyou Trail, Interstate 5, brings thousands of people each year to Mount Shasta.
From February 13–19, 1959, the Mount Shasta Ski Bowl obtained the record for the most snowfall during one storm in the U.S., with a total of 15.75 feet (480 cm).
Mount Shasta was declared a National Natural Landmark in December 1976.
The lore of some of the Klamath Tribes in the area held that Mount Shasta is inhabited by the Spirit of the Above-World, Skell, who descended from heaven to the mountain's summit at the request of a Klamath chief. Skell fought with Spirit of the Below-World, Llao, who resided at Mount Mazama by throwing hot rocks and lava, probably representing the volcanic eruptions at both mountains.
Italian settlers arrived in the early 1900s to work in the mills as stonemasons and established a strong Catholic presence in the area. Many other faiths have been attracted to Mount Shasta over the years—more than any other Cascade volcano.[ citation needed ] Mount Shasta City and Dunsmuir, California, small towns near Shasta's western base, are focal points for many of these, which range from a Buddhist monastery (Shasta Abbey, founded by Houn Jiyu-Kennett in 1971) to modern-day Native American rituals. A group of Native Americans from the McCloud River area practice rituals on the mountain.
Mount Shasta has also been a focus for non-Native American legends, centered on a hidden city of advanced beings from the lost continent of Lemuria.The legend grew from an offhand mention of Lemuria in the 1880s, to a description of a hidden Lemurian village in 1925. In 1931, Harvey Spencer Lewis, using the pseudonym Wisar Spenle Cerve, wrote Lemuria: the lost continent of the Pacific, published by the Rosicrucians, about the hidden Lemurians of Mount Shasta that cemented the legend in many readers' minds.
In August 1987, believers in the spiritual significance of the Harmonic Convergence described Mount Shasta as one of a small number of global "power centers".Mount Shasta remains a focus of "New Age" attention.
About 593,000 years ago, andesitic lavas erupted in what is now Mount Shasta's western flank near McBride Spring. Over time, an ancestral Mount Shasta stratovolcano was built to a large but unknown height; sometime between 300,000 and 360,000 years ago the entire north side of the volcano collapsed, creating an enormous landslide or debris avalanche, 6.5 cu mi (27 km3) in volume. The slide flowed northwestward into Shasta Valley, where the Shasta River now cuts through the 28-mile-long (45 km) flow.
What remains of the oldest of Mount Shasta's four cones is exposed at Sargents Ridge on the south side of the mountain. Lavas from the Sargents Ridge vent cover the Everitt Hill shield at Mount Shasta's southern foot. The last lavas to erupt from the vent were hornblende-pyroxene andesites with a hornblende dacite dome at its summit. Glacial erosion has since modified its shape.[ citation needed ]
The next cone to form is exposed south of Mount Shasta's current summit and is called Misery Hill. It was formed 15,000 to 20,000 years ago from pyroxene andesite flows and has since been intruded by a hornblende dacite dome.[ citation needed ]
There are many buried glacial scars on the mountain that were created in recent glacial periods ("ice ages") of the present Wisconsinian glaciation. Most have since been filled in with andesite lava, pyroclastic flows, and talus from lava domes. Shastina, by comparison, has a fully intact summit crater indicating Shastina developed after the last ice age. Shastina has been built by mostly pyroxene andesite lava flows. Some 9,500 years ago, these flows reached about 6.8 mi (10.9 km) south and 3 mi (4.8 km) north of the area now occupied by nearby Black Butte. The last eruptions formed Shastina's present summit about a hundred years later. But before that, Shastina, along with the then forming Black Butte dacite plug dome complex to the west, created numerous pyroclastic flows that covered 43 sq mi (110 km2), including large parts of what is now Mount Shasta, California and Weed, California. Diller Canyon (400 ft (120 m) deep and 0.25 mi (400 m) wide) is an avalanche chute that was probably carved into Shastina's western face by these flows.[ citation needed ]
The last to form, and the highest cone, the Hotlum Cone, formed about 8,000 years ago. It is named after the Hotlum glacier on its northern face; its longest lava flow, the 500-foot-thick (150-metre) Military Pass flow, extends 5.5 mi (8.9 km) down its northeast face. Since the creation of the Hotlum Cone, a dacite dome intruded the cone and now forms the summit. The rock at the 600-foot-wide (180-metre) summit crater has been extensively hydrothermally altered by sulfurous hot springs and fumaroles there (only a few examples still remain).[ citation needed ]
In the last 8,000 years, the Hotlum Cone has erupted at least eight or nine times. About 200 years ago the last significant Mount Shasta eruption came from this cone and created a pyroclastic flow, a hot lahar (mudflow), and three cold lahars, which streamed 7.5 mi (12.1 km) down Mount Shasta's east flank via Ash Creek. A separate hot lahar went 12 mi (19 km) down Mud Creek. This eruption was thought to have been observed by the explorer La Pérouse, from his ship off the California coast, in 1786, but this has been disputed.
During the last 10,000 years, Mount Shasta has erupted an average of every 800 years, but in the past 4,500 years the volcano has erupted an average of every 600 years.
USGS seismometers and GPS receivers operated by UNAVCO form the monitoring network for Mount Shasta. The volcano has been relatively quiet for at least the past 15 years, with only a handful of small magnitude earthquakes and no demonstrable ground deformation. Although geophysically quiet, periodic geochemical surveys indicate that volcanic gas emanates from a fumarole at the summit of Mount Shasta from a deep-seated reservoir of partly molten rock.
Mount Shasta can release volcanic ash, pyroclastic flows or dacite and andesite lava. Its deposits can be detected under nearby small towns. Mount Shasta has an explosive, eruptive history. There are fumaroles on the mountain, which show Mount Shasta is still alive.[ citation needed ]
The worst-case scenario for an eruption is a large pyroclastic flow, similar to that which occurred in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Since there is ice, such as Whitney Glacier and Mud Creek Glacier, lahars would also result. Ash would probably blow inland, perhaps as far as eastern Nevada. There is a small chance an eruption could result in a collapse of the mountain, as happened when Mount Mazama in Oregon collapsed to form what is now called Crater Lake, but this is of much lower probability.[ citation needed ]
The United States Geological Survey monitors Mount Shastaand rates it as a very high-threat volcano.
The summer climbing season runs from late April until October, although many attempts are made in the winter.In winter, Sargents Ridge and Casaval Ridge, to the east and west of Avalanche Gulch, respectively, become the most traveled routes, to avoid avalanche danger. Mount Shasta is also a popular destination for backcountry skiing. Many of the climbing routes can be descended by experienced skiers, and there are numerous lower-angled areas around the base of the mountain.
The most popular route on Mount Shasta is Avalanche Gulch route, which begins at the Bunny Flat Trailhead and gains about 7,300 feet (2,200 m) of elevation in a round trip of approximately 11.5 miles (18.5 km). The crux of this route is considered to be to climb from Lake Helen, at approximately 10,443 feet (3,183 m), to the top of Red Banks. The Red Banks are the most technical portion of the climb, as they are usually full of snow and ice, are very steep, and top out at around 13,000 feet (4,000 m) before the route heads to Misery Hill. The Casaval Ridge route is a steeper, more technical route on the mountain's southwest ridge best climbed when there is a lot of snow pack. This route tops out to the left (north) of the Red Banks, directly west of Misery Hill. So the final sections involve a trudge up Misery Hill to the summit plateau, similar to the Avalanche Gulch route.
No quota system currently exists for climbing Mount Shasta, and reservations are not required. However, climbers must obtain a summit pass and a wilderness permit to climb the mountain. Permits and passes are available at the ranger station in Mount Shasta and the ranger station in McCloud, or climbers can obtain self-issue permits and passes at any of the trailheads 24 hours a day.
Climbing Mount Shasta can be done in one day; however, it is often completed in two days. Climbers can ascend from Avalanche Gulch and camp at either Horse Camp (elev. 7,900) or Helen Lake (elev. 10,400). Camping at a higher altitude also helps with acclimatization and often reduces the risk of altitude sickness.
Mount Baker, also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is a 10,781 ft (3,286 m) active glacier-covered andesitic stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the North Cascades of Washington in the United States. Mount Baker has the second-most thermally active crater in the Cascade Range after Mount St. Helens. About 30 miles (48 km) due east of the city of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Mount Baker is the youngest volcano in the Mount Baker volcanic field. While volcanism has persisted here for some 1.5 million years, the current volcanic cone is likely no more than 140,000 years old, and possibly no older than 80–90,000 years. Older volcanic edifices have mostly eroded away due to glaciation.
Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It lies 52 miles (83 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon and 98 miles (158 km) south of Seattle. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who surveyed the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Mount Bachelor, formerly named Bachelor Butte, is a stratovolcano atop a shield volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range of central Oregon. Named Mount Bachelor because it stands apart from the nearby Three Sisters, it lies in the eastern segment of the central portion of the High Cascades, the eastern segment of the Cascade Range. The volcano lies at the northern end of the 15-mile (24 km) long Mount Bachelor Volcanic Chain, which underwent four major eruptive episodes during the Pleistocene and the Holocene. The United States Geological Survey considers Mount Bachelor a moderate threat, but Bachelor poses little threat of becoming an active volcano in the near future. It remains unclear whether the volcano is extinct or just inactive.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is an American national park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found—plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and stratovolcano.
The geology of the Lassen volcanic area presents a record of sedimentation and volcanic activity in the area in and around Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California, U.S. The park is located in the southernmost part of the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Pacific Oceanic tectonic plates have plunged below the North American Plate in this part of North America for hundreds of millions of years. Heat from these subducting plates has fed scores of volcanoes in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia over at least the past 30 million years and is also responsible for activities in the Lassen volcanic area.
Lassen Peak, commonly referred to as Mount Lassen, is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range of the Western United States. Located in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, it is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, which stretches from southwestern British Columbia to northern California. Lassen Peak reaches an elevation of 10,457 ft (3,187 m), standing above the northern Sacramento Valley. It supports many flora and fauna among its diverse habitats, which are subject to frequent snowfall and reach high elevations.
Mount Jefferson is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, part of the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Oregon. The second highest mountain in Oregon, it is situated within Linn County, Jefferson County, and Marion County and forms part of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. Due to the ruggedness of its surroundings, the mountain is one of the hardest volcanoes to reach in the Cascades. It is also a popular tourist destination despite its remoteness, with recreational activities including hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, and photography. Vegetation at Mount Jefferson is dominated by Douglas fir, silver fir, mountain hemlock, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and several cedar species. Carnivores, insectivores, bats, rodents, deer, birds, and various other species inhabit the area.
Mount Thielsen, or Big Cowhorn, is an extinct shield volcano in the Oregon High Cascades, near Mount Bailey. Because eruptive activity ceased 250,000 years ago, glaciers have heavily eroded the volcano's structure, creating precipitous slopes and a horn-like peak. The spire-like shape of Thielsen attracts lightning strikes and creates fulgurite, an unusual mineral. The prominent horn forms a centerpiece for the Mount Thielsen Wilderness, a reserve for recreational activities such as skiing and hiking. Thielson is one of Oregon's Matterhorns.
Mount McLoughlin is a dormant steep-sided stratovolcano, or composite volcano, in the Cascade Range of southern Oregon and within the Sky Lakes Wilderness. It is one of the volcanic peaks in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, within the High Cascades sector. A prominent landmark for the Rogue River Valley, the mountain is north of Mount Shasta, and Crater Lake lies to the north-northeast. It was named around 1838 after John McLoughlin, a Chief Factor for the Hudson's Bay Company. Mount McLouglin's prominence has made it a landmark to Native American populations for thousands of years.
Mount Garibaldi is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Sea to Sky Country of British Columbia, 80 km (50 mi) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Located in the southernmost Coast Mountains, it is one of the most recognized peaks in the South Coast region, as well as British Columbia's best known volcano. It lies within the Garibaldi Ranges of the Pacific Ranges.
Medicine Lake Volcano is a large shield volcano in northeastern California about 30 mi (50 km) northeast of Mount Shasta. The volcano is located in a zone of east-west crustal extension east of the main axis of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range. The 0.6 mi (1 km) thick shield is 22 mi (35 km) from east to west and 28 to 31 mi from north to south, and covers more than 770 sq mi (2,000 km2). The underlying rock has downwarped by 0.3 mi (0.5 km) under the center of the volcano. The volcano is primarily composed of basalt and basaltic andesite lava flows, and has a 4.3 by 7.5 mi caldera at the center.
Mount Wrangell, in Ahtna K’ełt’aeni or K’ełedi when erupting, is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over 220 cubic miles (920 km3), making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the largest stratovolcano by volume in the Cascades. It is part of the Wrangell Volcanic Field, which extends for more than 250 kilometers (160 mi) across Southcentral Alaska into the Yukon Territory, and has an eruptive history spanning the time from Pleistocene to Holocene.
The Cascade Volcanoes are a number of volcanoes in a volcanic arc in western North America, extending from southwestern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California, a distance of well over 700 miles (1,100 km). The arc formed due to subduction along the Cascadia subduction zone. Although taking its name from the Cascade Range, this term is a geologic grouping rather than a geographic one, and the Cascade Volcanoes extend north into the Coast Mountains, past the Fraser River which is the northward limit of the Cascade Range proper.
The Mud Creek Glacier is the southernmost glacier on Mount Shasta in the U.S. state of California. It lies to the east of Sargents Ridge on Shastarama point near 10,915 feet (3,327 m) above sea level. The glacier is smaller than the northern ones on Mount Shasta such as Whitney, Hotlum, Bolam, and Wintun Glaciers. There are approximately 80 glaciers in California and unlike the glaciers in Alaska, Colorado and Montana. California’s existing current glaciers are not remnants of the Pleistocene, but instead relatively young approximately 1,000 years in age. The Mud Creek Glacier is one of at least 7 recognized glaciers on Mt. Shasta by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the rest being: Whitney, Hotlum, Bolam, Wintun, Konwakiton, and Watkins.
Shastina is the highest satellite cone of Mount Shasta, and one of four overlapping volcanic cones which together form the most voluminous stratovolcano in the Cascade Range. At 12,335 feet (3,760 m), Shastina is taller than Mount Adams and would rank as the third highest volcano in the Cascades behind Mount Rainier and Shasta were it not nestled on the western flank of its higher neighbor. Shastina has a topographic prominence of over 450 ft (137 m) above the saddle connecting it with Shasta and easily exceeds the typical mountaineering standard of 300 feet (91 m) for a peak to qualify as an independent summit, yet most lists of Cascade volcanoes omit it nonetheless. The name "Shastina" is a diminutive of Shasta.
Black Butte is a cluster of overlapping dacite lava domes in a butte, a satellite cone of Mount Shasta. It is located directly adjacent to Interstate 5 at milepost 742 between the city of Mount Shasta and Weed, California. The highway crosses a 3,912 ft (1,192 m) pass, Black Butte Summit, at the western base of the lava domes. The lava domes were extruded at the foot of the cone of Shastina following the period of its major eruptions about 9,000–10,000 years ago.
The geology of the Pacific Northwest includes the composition, structure, physical properties and the processes that shape the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The region is part of the Ring of Fire: the subduction of the Pacific and Farallon Plates under the North American Plate is responsible for many of the area's scenic features as well as some of its hazards, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides.
The Mount Shasta Wilderness is a 38,200-acre (155 km2) federally designated wilderness area located 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Mount Shasta City in northern California. The US Congress passed the 1984 California Wilderness Act that set aside the Mount Shasta Wilderness. The US Forest Service is the managing agency as the wilderness is within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The area is named for and is dominated by the Mount Shasta volcano which reaches a traditionally quoted height of 14,162 feet (4,317 m) above sea level, but official sources give values ranging from 14,104 feet (4,299 m) from one USGS project, to 14,179 feet (4,322 m) via the NOAA. Mount Shasta is one of only two peaks in the state over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) outside the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The other summit is White Mountain Peak in the Great Basin of east-central California.
Mount Rainier, also known as Tahoma or Tacoma, is a large active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, located in Mount Rainier National Park about 59 miles (95 km) south-southeast of Seattle. With a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m), it is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Washington and the Cascade Range, the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States, and the tallest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.
The Canadian Cascade Arc, also called the Canadian Cascades, is the Canadian segment of the North American Cascade Volcanic Arc. Located entirely within the Canadian province of British Columbia, it extends from the Cascade Mountains in the south to the Coast Mountains in the north. Specifically, the southern end of the Canadian Cascades begin at the Canada–United States border. However, the specific boundaries of the northern end are not precisely known and the geology in this part of the volcanic arc is poorly understood. It is widely accepted by geologists that the Canadian Cascade Arc extends through the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains. However, others have expressed concern that the volcanic arc possibly extends further north into the Kitimat Ranges, another subdivision of the Coast Mountains, and even as far north as Haida Gwaii.
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