Mount Shasta Trail Challenge

This week’s 4th of July celebration is the kickoff of the Mount Shasta Trail Challenge — running through December 31st.  If you weren’t able to pick up a passport at the Street Fair booth, you can go to their website and download a PDF of the passport.  Here’s the link

10,000 acre Land Deal Along the Trinity Divide Benefits the Pacific Crest Trail

Bull Lake

Just last week it was announced that over 10,000 acres of private timber industry lands have been purchased for addition to the Shasta-Trinity and Klamath National Forests.  The land acquisition was spearheaded by our partners at the Pacific Crest Trail Association as these lands contain a 17-mile stretch of the National Scenic Trail that goes from Mexico to Canada.  These parcels are literally in our backyard as they are scattered from Castle Crags to Scott Mountain and contain a diversity of landscapes, geology and plants.

Here’s some links for more information on this great event:

PCTA

SF Chronicle

Gateway Trail Improvements

I know where I am, but where are you?

As part of the Trail Association’s ongoing effort to keep the Gateway Trails a quality experience, we recently installed nine “your are here” signs throughout the network.  So just when you think you are hopelessly lost, one of these signs will come to the rescue!

We also updated the map panel at the trailhead kiosk to now show the Foundation and Pig Farm Trails, and removed a proposed trail segment that wasn’t needed.  Enjoy!

Hike to Castle Crags — Sunday May 19, 2019

Castle Crags

The Siskiyou Science Festival and the Mount Shasta Trail Association invite the public on a strenuous and sometimes steep, 5.5 mile round-trip hike to the sky scraping granite spires called Castle Crags on Sunday, May 19th.

The elevation gain is 2,200 feet. Participants will first walk through the forest to Indian Springs and then hike out in the open, amid the granite slabs and pinnacles where the postcard views of Mt Shasta and the Crags become more and more spectacular.

Castle Crags are actually part of the Klamath Mountains, not the Cascade Range, and are much older. They were formed by granite magma slowly cooling underground  ( as a “pluton”) and subsequently becoming exposed at the surface through uplifting and erosion.

This is the same way that the granites of Yosemite formed. In fact, the Klamath Mountains  broke off from the Sierra Nevada about 60 million years ago. Mt Shasta, in contrast, was formed by relatively recent surface eruptions (within the last several million years) and its rock is andesite (a type of basalt).

Meeting place is 111 Morgan Way in front of The Best Western Tree House in Mt Shasta at 9:00 am. We will carpool  to Castle Crags State Park. Bring lunch, water, and sun protection and expect to return about 4:30 pm. For further questions call Joan Roemer 530-926-0647.

Save the Date — April 27th — Gateway Work Event

Our partners at BikeShasta are hosting a work day on the Gateway Trail system on Saturday April 27th.  Meeting place and time are Shastice Park at 9:00 AM.  Please come in appropriate work clothing with sturdy gloves; and bring water, snacks and sun protection.  Hand tools will be made available and work assignments and groups will be made.  Lunch is being sponsored by The Fifth Season at 1:00 PM at Shastice Park, while a group ride will happen at 2:00 PM.

It Takes A Village

John Harch and his “crazy old men”

If you missed it, below is an article from the Mount Shasta Herald newspaper by Tim Hold and published on December 5, 2018.

John Harch, inset, and a photo of Paul Schwartz cutting up a tree that fell on a Mt. Shasta area trail

A volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, they give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion.

The next time you’re out hiking in our region, maybe around Lake Siskiyou or up on the slopes of Mount Shasta, you might want to say a quiet thank you to John Harch and his crew of “crazy old men.” They’re the ones who give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion. They’re the volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, led by Harch, 62, a retired general surgeon.

He’s a man whose intense energy is leavened by a generous dollop of humor. “He’s got a magnetic personality,” adds trail volunteer Glenn Harvey, who’s 64. “He’s really good at getting people to come out and do all that hard work.”
Harch is also good at getting other organizations to come out and help with the trail work. At the Mount Shasta City Park in the spring of 2017 Harch and his “crazy old men” were joined by 20 volunteers from Wholesale Solar to spread chips on a trail. Harch and his Trail Association volunteers work with a local organization called Clean And Safe Mount Shasta to remove trash from abandoned transient camps and other litter dump sites in the region.

Last spring in Dunsmuir Harch led an effort to fix a portion of the river trail leading to the city park. Erosion had narrowed two portions of a trail carved out of a steep slope above the river, making it potentially dangerous for hikers. Harch’s crew, joined by several Dunsmuir residents, widened the trail at both locations and built rock steps at the steepest part, where it wound past the roots of a large tree.

Longtime trail crew member Mark Telegin, 70, takes pride in the work done that day, in what he calls “a beautiful blending of rock, roots and dirt.”

Volunteers like Telegin take their trail work seriously, spending a lot of time and thought in the placement of rocks for water diversions and steps so they’ll be there for years to come. Telegin himself has taken classes on trail maintenance by the Pacific Crest Trail Association in Ashland. He’s read manuals on the subject and gotten tips from park rangers at Castle Crags State Park, where he recently helped build a bridge over a small creek.

Telegin admits to being something of a trail fix fanatic, someone who can’t take a leisurely hike without at least picking up some litter or clearing some brush. He’s been a volunteer with the Trail Association since he retired as a railroad engineer eight years ago.

For big jobs, like the building of a new, 45-mile addition to the Gateway Trail on the lower slopes of Mount Shasta, the Trail Association uses contractors who come in with heavy equipment to carve out and clear hiking paths. But after that the volunteer crews are there year after year to make sure the trail stays clear, safe, and enjoyable to hike.
Looking to the future, Harch says, “I just want to remind folks that these ‘crazy old guys’ aren’t going to last forever, so if anyone is interested in joining our crew I encourage them to get in touch with me.” His email address is john@harchms.com.

Giving Tuesday a Huge Success!

A big “thank you” to all the donors who gave generously to the Mt. Shasta Trail Association on Giving Tuesday. Preliminary results show that we will receive over $11,000!  Your support will help us to continue our work on the Gateway Trail network expansion, a safe trail to Mossbrae Falls, and other big projects. The photo below shows the area where the Gateway expansion will be located.

View of Gateway Trail expansion area

Donate to the Trail Association As You Cyber-Shop This Holiday Season

For those of you that shop online at the Amazon website, here’s a way to make a portion of your purchase a donation to the Mount Shasta Trail Association.  What a deal!

Instead of logging on the the regular Amazon website, log on to the smile.amazon.com site and register the Mount Shasta Trail Association as your chosen charity and bookmark the smile page.  Then as you shop, 0.5% of your purchases will go towards trails in the Mount Shasta Area.

Fine print:  this is not an endorsement of Amazon by MSTA, but simply an opportunity worth sharing.

Hike to Deadfall Lakes and Mount Eddy — Saturday August 4, 2018

Cool, refreshing Deadfall Lakes

Once again, for the most amazing views, join the Mt. Shasta Trail Association on a day hike to pristine Deadfall Lakes and to the top of Mt. Eddy slated for Saturday, August 4th. This 10-mile round-trip hike starts out gently on the Pacific Crest Trail to the multiple lakes and then becomes challenging as we gain 2,250 feet to the summit at 9,025 feet.

Mt. Eddy was formed some 400 million years ago from peridotite, a volcanic form of serpentine. This type of rock, ultramafic, is high in magnesium and low in calcium, and as such the soils derived from this material constitute a harsh growing medium for most plants.

Like with other serpentine areas, the result is that some plants adapt to the harsh conditions, taking advantage of the relative lack of competition, and evolve to become endemic to the site. The iron contained in the rock rusts, giving it its reddish tint.

It is the highest mountain in the Eddys – a subrange of the Klamath Mountains – the highest point in Trinity County, and the highest mountain W of Interstate 5. The mountain was named after Olive Paddock Eddy, the first woman to climb Mt. Shasta.

From this majestic peak hikers will be able to see Lassen Peak, Mt. Mc Loughlin, the Scott Mountains, the Eddy Range, Black Butte, Castle Crags Spire and of course Mt. Shasta towering over everything in sight.

Participants will meet at 9 am at 111 Morgan Way, in front of the Best Western Tree House Motor Inn. Bring lunch plus snack and water and if interested, a bathing suit for a very refreshing swim. Hiking poles are recommended. Expect to return by 6 pm.

For questions call Joan Roemer at 530-925-9644.