Mount Shasta, California

Prominence: 9762 ft, 2976 m

Elevation: 14,162 feet, 4317 meters

True Isolation: 334.72 mi, 538.68 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 14,168 ft / 4319 m
SubpeaksThumb Rock (12,923 ft/3939 m)
Shastina (12,330 ft/3758 m)
Shastarama Point (11,135 ft/3394 m)
Peak TypeVolcano
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)41° 24' 32'' N; 122° 11' 42'' W
41.408982, -122.194926 (Dec Deg)
567288E 4584472N Zone 10 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
County/Second Level RegionSiskiyou (Highest Point)

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     Mount Shasta at
     Mount Shasta at Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Adam Helman Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Jim Sommerville Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Dale Millsap Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by John Roper Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Dean Molen Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Peter Maurer Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Peter Maurer Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Scott Peavy Trip Report for Siskiyou, CA by Ron Tagliapietra

Weather and Snow
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Lists that contain Mount Shasta:
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #3)
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #16)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #16)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #3)
     California 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #5)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #71)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 100 miles of Isolation (Rank #8)
     California Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #2)
     Triple Crown CoHPs (Rank #2)
     Apex (Toughest) CoHPs (Rank #3)
     Western Contiguous USA CoHPs (Rank #21)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #26)
     USA Lower 48 Drainage Basin High Points (Rank #8)
     Mazamas Sixteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #2)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #18)
     Cascade Volcanoes Peak Pin (Rank #2)
     USA Lower 48 Range4 High Points (Rank #11)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #3)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       California County Summits (Suttle)
       Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes (Smoot)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1948-08-09 by Frederick Johnson
     1984-08-16 by Frederick Johnson
     1992-08-20 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2008-06-08 by Ken Curtis
     2010-06-10 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2010-06-13 by Rob Hiemstra
     2010-07-11 by Patrick Kirchmann (GPS Track)
     2011-06-18 by Shawn Burrell (Unsuccessful)
     2011-06-26 by Dennis Poulin (GPS Track)
     2011-08-06 by Mike Jay
     2012-06-02 by Shawn Burrell (Unsuccessful)
     2012-08-25 by Rich Stephens
     2013-05-18 by Rich Stephens
     2013-05-18 by BMS 914 (GPS Track)
     2013-06-01 by Shawn Burrell (GPS Track)
     2013-08-01 by Rob Woodall (GPS Track)
     2014-06-01 by Tomoko Nakajima
     2014-06-14 by Kate Ledesma
     2014-07-05 by Rob Woodall
     2015-05-24 by J Thornton (Unsuccessful)
     2015-06-07 by Aharon Elston (GPS Track)
     2015-06-16 by Scott Greco

View ascents of peak by registered members (509 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Shasta
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Shasta
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Shasta


As anyone who has travelled I-5 north of Redding, CA will attest, the enormous volcanic cone of Mt. Shasta dominates northern California. Rightfully it should be the highest peak in either a range or a state, but Mt. Rainier edges it out by 249 feet as the highest peak in the Cascade Range, and a handful of Sierra Nevada peaks far to the south are the highest in California by a little. Still, the nearest higher peak is 350 miles away, and even the surveyor whose name now adorns California's highest peak, Josiah Whitney, once thought Shasta was the highest point in the United States.

Although higher than many ice-clad Cascade volcanoes, Shasta's southern latitude means it's glaciers are far smaller than, say, Mt. Rainier's. The south slope holds only long-lasting snowfields, and offers non-technical routes to the summit. The north and east slopes have California's only true glaciers, reasonably impressive, marginally crevassed ice streams such as the Whitney, Bolan, and Hotlum Glaciers. Shasta has a sattelite summit on its east side, a subsidiary volcanic cone called Shastina (12,330'/3758m) analogous to Rainier's Little Tahoma. Shastina is actually the fourth highest Cascade Range summit, after only Rainier, Rainier's Liberty Cap, and Shasta itself.

Not surprising given its commanding position overlooking all the "New- Agers" of northern California, Mt. Shasta is considered by many to posees special spiritual energy. Native American myths swirl around the peak, and UFO sightings are common. In 1991 Outside Magazine devoted a long article to the various paranormal phenomena associated with the mountain.

Climbing Notes:

Mt. Shasta offers a wide variety of routes, but by far the easiest and most popular is the non-technical south side route via Avalanche Gully. The Everitt Memorial Highway provides excellent paved access from the artsy town of Mt. Shasta up to 7720', the site of an abandoned ski area. You can start your hike here and climb up into the Ski Bowl, cross the Green Butte Ridge, and drop down into Avalanche Gully, or else park a mile from the end of the road at Bunny Flat and ascend the Gully directly from it's base. This option presents less routefinding problems, but adds 800 vertical feet to an already long hike.

The Gully is steep and full of talus--in early season, snow cover and crampons make the going much easier. The upper part of the gully contains the "Heart", a large, appropriately-shaped rocky area bordered by narrow snowfields. Atop the Heart Avalanche Gully ends at the Red Banks, a slabby rock formation that offers narrow, icy clefts as a way up to its moonscape surface. You can also climb the short, cliffy slopes on the right edge of the Banks if the clefts and their icefall spook you.

Once atop the Red Banks, the route to the summit is a straightforward hike made difficult only by the high altitude and a false summit called Misery Hill. The summit area contains a small vestigal crater and a few foul-smelling sulfur vents, reminders of the forces that created this peak. The view is superb, but, due to lack of any neighboring mountain scenery, more like the view from a high-flying airplane.

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A classic view of the east side of Mount Shasta in September. Photo by Ken Jones.
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Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   TopoQuest
Bing Maps   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 9762 ft/2976 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 9782 ft/2982 m
  Line Parent: Starlight Peak
  Key Col: Scarface, CA    4400 ft/1341 m
Isolation334.72 mi/538.68 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    White Mountain Peak  (SE)
Isolation Limit Point: 37° 38' 4'' N; 118° 15' 22'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges
Range3: Cascade Range
Range4: California Cascades (Highest Point)
Range5: Mount Shasta Area (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Klamath (HP)
Pacific Ocean

Sacramento (HP)
San Francisco Bay
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: Shasta-Trinity National Forest (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Mount Shasta Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapMount Shasta O41122d2 1:24,000
First Ascent1854
Route #1 Scramble: Avalanche Gulch
Trailhead: Old Ski Bowl Parking Lot 7720 ft/2353 m
Vertical Gain: 6442 ft/1964 m
Distance (one way): 4.1 mi/6.6 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

 Mount Shasta    Other Peaks
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Other Photos

Mount Shasta and the prominent "heart", surrounded by narrow snowfields, from the town of Mount Shasta (1992-08-20).
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Summit (2013-06-01). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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From the bottom of Red Banks at Thumb Rock looking east (2012-06-02). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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Helen Lake (2011-06-18). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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John, Shawn, and Steve (2014-05-24). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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5:15 AM Summit push (2014-05-24). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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View of Shastina with the sun coming up behind me (2014-05-24). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
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This is me atop the summit of Mount Shasta, taken at 9:14 am on July 5, 2014 (2014-07-05). Photo by Ken Akerman.
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Shot from the summit (2013-06-08). Photo by Mark Baum.
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On Mount Shasta Summit with some really trippy ice formations. (2014-09-29). Photo by Michele Hart.
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