Mt. Shasta Wilderness


This photograph shows a camp on the flank of Mt. Shasta in the Mt. Shasta Wilderness Area.

Mt. Shasta's upper slopes are designated as the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. The United States Congress designated the Mt. Shasta Wilderness in 1984 and it now has a total of 36,981 acres. Mt. Shasta is a snow and glacier capped volcano that rises 14,179 feet, dominating the view in all directions. On a clear day, the mountain can be seen from the floor of the Central Valley over 100 miles to the south.  Mt. Shasta is the highest peak on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, second highest peak in the Cascades, and fifth highest in the state. It has an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles, which makes it the most voluminous volcano in the Cascade Range. This magnificent mountain has been a focal point of history, science, art, literature and mythology of the region. Long before settlers arrived, Mount Shasta was a important place in the lives and mythologies of Native Americans. Then in the early 1800's, it guided explorers, fur trappers, gold seekers and settlers traveling trails to California and Oregon. The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors and presidents.

Although the last documented eruption occurred in 1786, geologists classify Shasta as an active volcano. There are seven glaciers that drape the mountain's slopes and their outstanding views attract many human visitors armed with crampons and ice axes. No trails lead up Mount Shasta, but trails provide access to the Wilderness and the foot of the mountain. The Avalanche Gulch Route (six miles) is considered the easiest, but the elevation gain is over 7,000 feet, and at least 8 to 12 hours should be allotted for the round-trip. The glaciers are cracked by crevasses and are more visible in late summer and fall. On the south slopes, rockfall becomes a danger after midsummer. Major storms off the Pacific Ocean can send high winds and snow across the mountain any time of year. Sound preparation is a must.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center is an excellent source for current climbing conditions and avalanche advisories, or you can contact the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station @ (530) 926-4511.
Fees Standard Mt. Shasta Summit Pass: $25 per person above 10,000 feet on Mt. Shasta. Valid up to 3 days from the date of purchase. (A Shasta-Trinity Annual Pass can be substituted for this standard pass). People under 16 years of age are not required to purchase a Summit Pass. Mt. Shasta Annual Pass: $30 per year, is valid for the calendar year (to December 31). For visitors who anticipate frequent visits, or plan on staying for several days, this pass provides an affordable and convenient alternative to purchasing multiple summit passes. Horse Camp: $5 per tent, per night. The Sierra Club Foundation's facilities are open to the public and include campsites, seasonal fresh water, emergency shelter, Leave No Trace information, and a composting toilet. Donations help Foundation staff to continue a more than 80 year-old tradition of stewardship and service on Mt. Shasta.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Mt. Shasta, McCloud
Operated By: USDA - Forest Service: Mt. Shasta Ranger Station, 204 West Alma, Mt. Shasta, Ca 96067, 530-926-4511
Information Center: Mt. Shasta Ranger Station
204 West Alma Street
Mt. Shasta, Ca  96067
(530) 926-4511

General Information

Directions: From the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station, head east on Alma Street (towards the mountain). Cross the railroad tracks and turn right at the signal onto Mt. Shasta Blvd. Continue two blocks to the next signal at Lake Street and turn left. Stay on Lake Street. You will climb a hill and veer to the left. You are now on Everitt Memorial Highway. Stay on this road through the four way stop, past the school (on the right) and over the railroad tracks. You will leave town and begin driving up the mountain. In 12 miles, you will arrive at Bunny Flat Trailhead.


Camping & Cabins

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Dispersed Camping

On Mt. Shasta the two most popular sites are Sand Flat and Bunny Flat. Bunny Flat has a toilet but no water. There are several user-created sites located on the south side of the highway. This is one of only a few specially designated dispersed sites that allow campfires with a valid campfire permit when restrictions are in effect. Bring extra water (5 gallons) to douse your fire. Sand Flat is located approximately a mile below Bunny Flat. Take either of two dirt access roads about a mile into the remote flat. This is a good location to get away from the traffic along the highway, but it is also very dusty during the dry season. Please drive slowly to help minimize dust affecting other visitors. This area is also good for larger groups, although you will need to provide for your own sanitation needs (rented toilets are a good idea for larger groups) and furnish garbage containers. Directions: From the town of Mt. Shasta, take Lake Street east toward the Mountain. The name will change to Everitt Memorial Highway. Drive approximately 12 miles and look for the Bunny Flat Trailhead and camping area on the right side of the road. To find Sand Flat, turn around and head downhill .7 mile to the upper access road for Sand Flat, or 1.5 miles to the lower access road.


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Nature Viewing

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Winter Sports

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