Northern California September 20, 2016
This Just Might Be The Most Beautiful Hike In All Of Northern California
When life starts to become a huge downer, it makes a whole lot of sense to go on a hike. Why? Because that’s where you and God’s creation can take a little break and get filled up again. Human nature responds in great ways to walking through a forest, breathing mountain air and getting a little exercise to boot!
Here’s one hike from
Castle Lake to Heart Lake that may just be the most beautiful in all of Northern California!
Why this trail? One photographer captured our thoughts perfectly, "The golden hour view of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, Castle Lake, and Heart Lake from the summit of Castle Peak. The lakes are among numerous hiking destinations within a section of the Klamath Mountains known as the Trinity Divide, a rugged wilderness often relatively overlooked in favor of the more prominent nearby mountain."
Directions to the Trailhead: Reach the Central Mount Shasta exit off I-5. Head west and then south on South Old Stage Road and continue south on W. A. Barr Road. After 2.6 miles, cross the dam at Lake Siskiyou and then turn left .2 mile farther. Travel the paved road 7.1 miles to the parking area bordering Castle Lake. (Thanks Mount Shasta Trail Association!)
Depending on just who you ask, this hike is moderate to difficult. It all depends on how well you can do the steep elevation. At 600 feet in less than a two mile hike, you need to make sure you can handle the elevation, too.
The highest point of this hike is 6050 feet. The views are stunning. Did we mention you can bring your dog along, too?
One hiker shared, "Shasta Storms Summer storms rumble through the Mount Shasta area at sunset. Their collision with the mountains brought lightning (seen crashing over Black Butte in the distance) and heavy rains, but also some epic skies if you were out of their direct path. This is the northern-looking view from the ridge above Castle Lake, at the edge of Heart Lake, in the Klamath Mountains."
Dawn on Heart Lake is a heavenly spot. See that tiny speck of orange in the shot? That's one camper's tent. Yes, you can stay here. Just make sure to double check with the forest service.
The best part of this hike is that it's short enough to get to some of the most amazing views around and stay awhile to enjoy them. Mirror, mirror on the water...who's the fairest hiker of all?
There are hundreds of hikes to choose from in this part of California, but we're pretty sure hiking to Heart Lake is one of the best of them all.
Hurry up and take a hike here. This trail is only open for a few more weeks before it’s closed for the winter weather. And, make sure to check out other reviewers who have been here.
The trail can be tricky to maneuver according to some. But, others had no problem at all. Just one more reason to follow up with that due diligence. What a gorgeous place!