Here is another suggestion that is easy to access and provides spectacular views of Northern California. If you make it to the top of 9000 foot Mt. Eddy, which is only about 7 miles from the trailhead, you will feel like you are on top of the world with panoramic views of Mt. Shasta to the east, Mt. McLaughlin to the north (in Oregon), the Trinity Alps, Castle Crags and even Mt. Lassen to the south. Camping opportunities lie within 3 miles of the trailhead at Deadfall Lakes.
This is an easy, level journey
along the southern slope of the "Eddy's" until you amble into a "U" shaped valley,
most likely glaciated the same time that the Trinity Alps were carved out some
10, 000 years ago. From the Deadfall Lakes area you can hike up about 2500-3000'
to the peak. It's not a difficult hike (in my opinion) with many switch backs
and only a short distance (1 mile) of really steep terrain. I recommend, however,
making this a backpacking trip rather than a day hike. The best part of this
arid landscape is the rocks, which start with granite in the beginning and blend
into green serpentine rocks as you ascend Mt. Eddy, squeezed deep from within
the earth's crust.
Best Part: geology, easy access, excellent views of Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps
Directions: (map) From I-5 just a few miles west of Weed, CA take the Steward Springs Exit (also the Edgewood/Gazelle Exit). Pass beneath the freeway to a "T," then take a right. Go less than a mile until you see a road on the left, which is not well marked but called Steward Springs Road. Follow this road toward Mt. Eddy. As you head up a canyon you will come to Forest Service Road 17. Follow this to the top of the saddle in the mountains. Here is a parking area where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses and the Deadfalls Lake trailhead begins.
Start the trail by heading east along the level trail covered by Jeffrey Pines (not to be confused with Ponderosa Pines that have smaller pine cones) with great views of the Trinity Alps. The trail is straight and easy to follow. When you travel about 1.8 miles you cross a permanent stream, which is a great place to procure fresh water. From there the "U" shaped valley is just around the corner veering to the left (about 1/2 mile) where you come to a junction. Some of the best camping is at the largest Middle Lake to the left, which is obvious when you continue up the hill, or you can camp at the Lower Lake just 500 yards below this junction. For the more adventurous try the Upper Lake about 1/4 mile above the Middle Lake. To reach Mt. Eddy summit, continue on the main trail until it comes to the old Sisson-Callahan trail, a historic mule trail connecting Mt. Shasta with the former gold town of Callahan. At the junction a faint trail leads to the left and up to the tallest peak around.
Mount Shasta Ranger District
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
204 West Alma Street
Mt. Shasta City, CA 96067
(A Wilderness Permit is not required but a California Fire Permit is needed, which you can get at any ranger station)