Shasta McCloud Management Unit (SMMU)

(Mt. Shasta and McCloud areas)

(Caroyln Napper, District Ranger) - The Shasta-McCloud Management Unit is based in Mt. Shasta and contains the Mt. Shasta and McCloud Ranger Districts. This unit encompasses 390,840 acres.

Recreations on the unit centers on the two designated wilderness areas of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags. Dominating the landscape for several hundred miles in all directions, Mount Shasta looms 14,162 feet, a beautiful snow-cloaked massif, second only to Mount Rainier in height among the famous Cascade Range volcanoes. No trails lead up Mount Shasta, but trails provide access to the Wilderness and the foot of the mountain.

Significant features of this unit include Lake McCloud, Lake Siskiyou and a number of small alpine lakes. Lake McCloud was constructed in 1966 as a hydroelectric reservoir on the McCloud River. It has since become an angler's haven producing fine catches of rainbow and German brown trout. The 430-acre Lake Siskiyou is a favored destination for sailing and fishing, boasting the best trout and bass lake in Northern California.

Sheer granite cliffs, towering spires reaching up to 7,200 feet, and steep canyons hide five small alpine lakes in Castle Crags Wilderness. Covered with fields of brush and a few wet meadows in the heads of several creeks, the vegetation on the east, west and north slopes consist of pine, Douglas fir, spruce and cedar. More than 300 species of wildflowers have been identified in the wilderness, including the Castle Crags harebell, which blooms nowhere else on Earth.

The Wilderness shares its southern border with Castle Crags State Park. You'll find 27.8 miles of maintained trails starting from nine trailheads. The Pacific Crest Trail rambles for 19 miles through the area.