|Mount Shasta Wilderness|
|Location||Siskiyou County, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Mount Shasta City|
|Area||38,200 acres (155 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
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.
The Wintun Glacier is located on Mount Shasta and is the lowest-elevation glacier in the state, lying at 9,100 feet (2,800 m) elevation and extending to the summit.
The smaller volcanic cone of Shastina (12,270 ft) lies one mile (1.6 km) west of Mount Shasta and was formed after the ice-age glaciers melted.
The wilderness protects both pristine forests and areas that were intensively logged and roaded in the past. Although less than half of the mountain remains roadless, Mount Shasta Wilderness is still the premier destination for a variety of activities from mountaineering, day-hiking, and backpacking to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ski mountaineering. It is valued for the many scenic, geologic and recreational attributes including glaciers, lava flows, hot springs, waterfalls and forests of Shasta red fir, sugar pine and other conifers.
Being a high, solitary and very large mountain with a base diameter of 17 miles (27 km), Mount Shasta can create its own weather patterns which hikers must be aware of. Also, falling rocks are a major danger above timberline. The best time of year for hiking Mount Shasta is June and July, when routes are still snow-covered. Although there is no designated trail to the summit, many cross-country routes ascend to the mountaintop and all require experience in traversing ice and snow.
There are ten trailheads giving access to the wilderness and several short trails leading up the slopes of Mount Shasta with the so-called Shasta Summit Trail (or Avalanche Gulch) being the most popular. This trail, although the "easiest" of the routes, still requires the use of ice axe and crampons. There are four major glaciers and three smaller glaciers radiating from the summit in addition to lava flows on the northern flank composed of andesite and basalt.
A parking permit is required as well as a free wilderness permit and, if attempting a hike above 10,000 feet (3,000 m), a Summit Pass for each climber must be purchased. Human waste must be packed out, and all principles of Leave No Trace etiquette employed. Some restrictions include no dogs in the wilderness, a limit of 10 people in a group and no wood campfires.
Forested areas include pure stands of red fir as well as mixed conifer forests of white fir, Douglas-fir, sugar pine, incense cedar and at higher elevations, western white pine. The lava flows on the northeast flank have mountain mahogany and juniper. Underbrush consists of pinemat manzanita, greenleaf manzanita, tanoak, chinquapin, and snowbrush. From 8,000 feet (2,400 m) to timberline are krummholz forms of whitebark pine.
Wildlife include the ubiquitous black bear, coyote, ground squirrel, deer, golden eagles, prairie falcons and red-tail hawks.
Common wildflowers are Shasta lily, miner's lettuce, showy phlox and mountain violet among others.
Notable rare plants in the Mount Shasta Wilderness and surrounding area include Mt. Shasta arnica ( Arnica viscosa ), Siskiyou Indian paintbrush (Castilleja miniata ssp. elata) and Shasta owl's clover (Orthocarpus pachystachyus). The Siskiyou Indian paintbrush is hemiparasitic, meaning that the plant obtains water and nutrients from the roots of other plants, then manufactures food by photosynthesis. The Shasta owl's clover (Orthocarpus pachystachyus) of the family Scrophulariaceae is critically imperiled and was believed to be extinct. First described in 1848 by Harvard University botanist Asa Gray, the plant was not collected again until 1913. Known only from two reports from the Shasta Valley of northern California, it could not be relocated despite repeated searches of the moist meadows and vernal pools where it was thought originally to have been found. In May, 1996, botanist Dean Taylor of the University of California, Berkeley, rediscovered the evasive plant on the higher, drier ground of a sagebrush-covered hillside. But even in this habitat the wildflower appears to be extraordinarily rare. Taylor was able to find only eight individual plants of the owl’s-clover.
The Sierra Club maintains a private 720-acre (2.9 km2) parcel called Horse Camp within the wilderness. It is used as a base camp for summit attempts, and offers a shelter called the Shasta Alpine Lodge, dedicated in 1923 and built from surrounding volcanic rock and Shasta red fir wood. Horse Camp is staffed during the climbing season from May to September, has a seasonal spring for water and is a traditional destination of many elementary school trips from Siskiyou County schools. Also at Horse Camp is the half-mile-long Olberman Causeway, a stone walkway built in the 1920s by the first caretaker, Mac Olberman from rocks of the surrounding area.
Adkinson, Ron Wild Northern California. The Globe Pequot Press, 2001 ISBN 1-56044-781-8
Mount Shasta is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California. At an elevation of 14,179 feet, 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, 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.
The Klamath Mountains are a rugged and lightly populated mountain range in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon in the western United States. As a mountain system within both the greater Pacific Coast Ranges and the California Coast Ranges, the Klamath Mountains have a varied geology, with substantial areas of serpentinite and marble, and a climate characterized by moderately cold winters with very heavy snowfall and warm, very dry summers with limited rainfall, especially in the south. As a consequence of the geology and soil types, the mountains harbor several endemic or near-endemic trees, forming one of the largest collections of conifers in the world. The mountains are also home to a diverse array of fish and animal species, including black bears, large cats, owls, eagles, and several species of Pacific salmon. Millions of acres in the mountains are managed by the United States Forest Service. The northernmost and largest sub-range of the Klamath Mountains are the Siskiyou Mountains.
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.
The Trinity Alps are a mountain range in Trinity County and Siskiyou County in Northern California. They are a subrange of the Klamath Mountains located to the north of Weaverville.
The Shasta–Trinity National Forests are federally designated forests in northern California, United States. Combined, they are the largest National Forest in California and are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2,210,485 acre combined-forest encompasses five wilderness areas, hundreds of mountain lakes and 6,278 miles (10,103 km) of streams and rivers. Major features include Shasta Lake, the largest man-made lake in California and Mount Shasta, elevation 14,179 feet (4,322 m).
The Red Buttes Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Klamath and Rogue River national forests in the U.S. states of Oregon and California. It comprises 19,940 acres (8,070 ha), approximately 16,190 acres (6,550 ha) of which is located in California, and 3,750 acres (1,520 ha) in Oregon. It was established by the California Wilderness Act of 1984 and the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984.
The Rogue–Umpqua Divide Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the Rogue River – Siskiyou and Umpqua National Forests in the Klamath Mountains of Oregon, United States. It was established by the United States Congress in 1984 and comprises 33,200 acres (13,400 ha).
The Sky Lakes Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the Rogue River–Siskiyou and Fremont–Winema national forests in the southern Cascade Range of Oregon in the United States. It comprises 116,300 acres (47,100 ha), of which 75,695 acres (30,633 ha) are in the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest and 40,605 acres (16,432 ha) are in the Fremont–Winema National Forest. It was established in 1984 under the Wilderness Act of 1964.
The Siskiyou Wilderness is a federal wilderness area designated by the passage of the California Wilderness Act of 1984. Originally, the land area was 153,000 acres (620 km2) The Northern California Wild Heritage Act of 2006 added 30,122 acres (121.90 km2) for the current total of 182,802 acres (739.77 km2). All of the wilderness is in Northern California and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The wilderness spans three national forests: the Rogue River–Siskiyou, the Klamath, and the Six Rivers.
Castle Lake is a glacial lake located in the Trinity Mountains, in Siskiyou County of northern California. It is west of Mount Shasta City and Mount Shasta peak.
The South Warner Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area 12 miles (19 km) east of Alturas, California, United States. It encompasses more than 70,000 acres (283 km2) of the Warner Mountains. It is within the Modoc National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service. Elevations range from 5,000 feet (1,500 m) to 9,895 feet at Eagle Peak.
The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, United States. It comprises 30,000 acres (12,141 ha) within the Sierra National Forest and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the California Wilderness Act of 1984.
The Kaiser Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness protected area located 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Fresno in the state of California, USA. It was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the United States Congress on October 19, 1976. The wilderness is 22,700 acres (92 km2) in size, is one of five wilderness areas within the Sierra National Forest and is managed by the US Forest Service.
The Yolla Bolly–Middle Eel Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Yolla Bolly Range of the southern Klamath Mountains and the Inner Northern California Coast Ranges, in Northern California.
The Mokelumne Wilderness is a 105,165-acre federally designated wilderness area located 70 miles (110 km) east of Sacramento, California. It is within the boundaries of three national forests: Stanislaus, Eldorado and Toiyabe. First protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Mokelumne's borders were expanded under the California Wilderness Act of 1984 with the addition of 55,000 acres. The wilderness takes its name from the Mokelumne River, which was named after a Mi-wok Indian village located on the riverbank in California's Central Valley.
The Castle Crags Wilderness is a 12,232-acre (49.50 km2) wilderness area in the Castle Crags rock formations of the Trinity Mountains, and within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in northwestern California. It is located in Siskiyou County and Shasta County, 40 miles (64 km) north of Redding and south of Mount Shasta City.
The Marble Mountain Wilderness is a 241,744-acre (978.30 km2) wilderness area located 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Yreka, California, in the United States. It is managed by the United States Forest Service and is within the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County. The land was first set aside in April 1931 as the Marble Mountain Primitive Area, which comprised 234,957 acres (950.84 km2). It was one of four areas to gain primitive status under the Forest Service's L-20 regulations that year. In 1964, it became a federally designated wilderness area when the U.S. Congress passed the Wilderness Act.
The Russian Wilderness is a wilderness area of 12,000 acres (49 km2) located approximately 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Eureka in northern California. It is within the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County and is managed by the US Forest Service. It was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System when the US Congress passed the California Wilderness Act of 1984.
Horse Camp is a property on Mount Shasta owned by the nonprofit Sierra Club Foundation. It is a 720-acre (2.9 km2) enclave within the Mount Shasta Wilderness of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California, United States. It is located at approximately 7,950 feet (2,420 m) elevation at the lower end of Avalanche Gulch, the most popular climbing route on the mountain.
Orthocarpus pachystachyus is a rare species of flowering plant in the broomrape family known by the common names Shasta owl's-clover and Shasta orthocarpus. It is endemic to central Siskiyou County, California, where it is so rarely seen it was thought to be extinct until 1996, when eight individuals were located. The plant grows in an isolated wilderness but since it apparently only occurs on one single hillside it is considered very vulnerable to extinction.