Towering over 5,000 feet higher than any nearby peak, Mount Shasta appears to be "a massive object emerging from hyperspace", when you first notice it. The snowline of the volcanic cone seemingly hovers in mid air amidst the sky and forest.
A POETIC MOUNTAIN
Poet Joaquin Miller said, "Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California."
Naturalist John Muir remarked, "When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since."
MCCLOUD RIVER FALLS
There are a few good stopping points nearby, including the towns of Mount Shasta, Dunsmuir and Weed. Camping anywhere on the mountain is beautiful.
Often overlooked is the town of McCloud, with its charming small main street, Siskiyou Brew Works at the red barn, and campground along the McCloud River Falls trail. All three waterfalls are worth seeing.
But you will never forget a frigid plunge in the epic middle waterfall, which you may have all to yourself. A thundering wall of water at your back, no crowds in sight... pure joy in your heart. Magazine cover worthy.
(Cover courtesy of Backpacker Mag. @backpacker.com)