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

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 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.

Trail Town Celebration — Just a Few Days Away!

Banner on Mt. Shasta Blvd

On July 21st in downtown Mt. Shasta, we’ll be celebrating the launch of Mt. Shasta as an official Pacific Crest Trail Town!

One of the great things about the Pacific Crest Trail is the many wonderful towns it passes near–communities that offer rest and resupply to long-distance hikers on the trail, and provide access to not only the PCT but a variety of other trail-based outdoor recreation for the public. Come join MSTA and the Pacific Crest Trail Association on July 21 to celebrate this new PCT trail town and learn more about the PCT and other outdoor recreation opportunities near Mt. Shasta and in Siskiyou County. Events will include…

8:00 a.m.
A Guided Hike on the PCT

Experience the Pacific Crest Trail! Meet across from The Tree House Hotel on Morgan Way at 8 a.m. to carpool to a nearby trailhead for a short, easy hike along the PCT.

12 Noon to 9 p.m.
Activities and Booths
Family and Kid-Friendly!

  • Hiking Gear & Camping Demos
  • Crosscut Sawing
  • Pack Animal Demos
  • Leave No Trace Info
  • Local Trail Recreation Info
  • PCT Photo Booth
  • Prize Drawings
  • Food and Beverages for Sale
  • Much more!

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Live Music and Dancing

  • Wind Fields
  • Secret Society Handshake

All events are FREE and open to the public.

Hike to Seven Lakes Basin — Saturday July 14, 2018

The Mount Shasta Trail Association invites the public to join them on a spectacular hike along the Pacific Crest Trail ridge overlooking the pristine lakes of Seven Lakes Basin as well as Mumbo Basin.  The hike is scheduled for Saturday, July 14th. The hike will go from above Gumboot Lake to Echo Lake and Helen Lake.

This gentle to moderate 6-mile roundtrip walk has superb long-range vistas in all directions. Participants will be able to see panoramas of the Trinity Alps, Trinity Divide, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Eddy, Lassen Peak, Magee Peak, Burney Mountain as well as the granite cliffs of the Castle Crags.

Meeting place is 111 Morgan Way, the street in front of the Best Western Treehouse in Mt Shasta.  Meet at 9:00 am where participants will form carpools. Bring lunch and water, sun protection and a bathing suit for a refreshing swim. Expect to be back by 3:00 pm.

For more information, call Joan Roemer at 926-0647.

View from the PCT