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.


The Mount Shasta Trail Association and the US Forest Service are currently engaged in a 45-mile expansion of the beloved Gateway Trail system adjacent to the city of Mt. Shasta. The existing trail network consists of 11 miles of non-motorized, multi-use trails (hiking, trail running, biking, and equestrian). This new and ambitious project will add routes extending higher up the slopes of Mount Shasta and will include a connection to the Ski Park and south end of the city. The system will have many incredible vistas and a wide variety of terrain for every type of trail enthusiast. The availability of these new trails will benefit locals who love the outdoors, and will attract numerous visitors to support the economy of Siskiyou County.
The work so far has included project conception, flagging of the proposed trail, and extensive environmental analysis. There is strong community support and enthusiasm for this venture. It is hoped that actual construction can begin in the next 12-18 months.
Cost estimates for this development are nearly a million dollars. While a significant portion of the funds will come from grants (e.g. $420,000 from The McConnell Foundation), we need individual, grassroots support to reach completion. If you can see value in this endeavor, please help by donating to the Mt. Shasta Trail Association on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Go online to www.northstategives.org/mountshastatrailassociation
The photos (above) show an aerial view of the Gateway II Expansion area, beauty on Gateway I, and a geezer enjoying a vista area which will be included in Gateway II.

Siskiyou Science Festival Sacramento River Trail Hike — Sunday May 20, 2018

The Siskiyou Science Festival along with the Mount Shasta Trail Association invite the public including families on a hike set for Sunday, May 20th along the Sacramento River Trail.

This gentle 4.5-mile round-trip hike will start outside of the Castle Crags Park in Castella, go through a tunnel under the railroad tracks, cross over a suspension foot bridge and follow along the east side of the Sacramento River. The hike can be modified to 2.5 miles round-trip for those wanting a shorter hike. From this scenic path hikers will see whitewater, bedrock and rocky beaches. Several creeks flow into the river along the trail; crossed with bridges of different designs. The area is moist and green.

At the end of the trail is the site of the historical Castle Rock Mineral Spring Bottling Works. In the late 1800’s this famous water was shipped all over the country and abroad. The Venezuelan Consul in Panama City had a standing order of 50 cases per month! Eventually financial ruin from the 1906 earthquake ended plans to develop and subdivide the area. The company ultimately went bankrupt after the 1929 stock market crash. In 1934 the State of California purchased 925 acres of the Castle Rock Springs property, creating the beginnings of Castle Crags State Park. In 1895 George Washington Bailey operated a resort and hotel across the river from this site, known as Bailey’s Castle Rock Springs Hotel. A foot bridge provided easy access from the hotel to the spring. people traveled great distances, mostly by train, to visit the resort and try their famous mineral water, said to contain healing properties.

Meeting place is 111 Morgan Way in front of the Best Western Tree House at 9 am. Participants will carpool. Bring lunch and water. Expect to return at 2 pm.  For questions, call Joan Roemer at 926-0647.

Sacramento RIver

Giving Tuesday 2016 Recap

Amanda Hutchings, John Schuyler, John Harch, and Audra Beylik

Thanks again to all the generous donors that helped the Trail Association on Giving Tuesday.  $7,169.82 was raised to support trails in southern Siskiyou County and Castle Crags State Park.  This (now) annual event was coordinated by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation.  2016’s donations far exceeded established predictions.  You are the best!

Early History of the Forest Service and Fire Fighting — Friday May 6, 2016 — Sisson Museum

This Friday, May 6th at 7:00 PM, the Sisson Museum will be presenting two films about the history of fire.  The Greatest Good will tell when and why the USDA Forest Service was organized.  The second film, The Big Burn, will explain how wildfire policy was developed after the new agency had to face devastating fires in 1910 and what it has meant for our forests.

Both films are very well done and they tell the stories in an engaging way.  You will want to see these films!

This is a fundraiser for the museum so it can continue to tell the stories of our area.  Support your museum and have a great time too!

The photo below shows the aftermath of the 1910 fire and the tunnel where Ed Pulaski and his men sheltered hoping to survive the infernotunnel1910.


Annual Meeting Recap

For those of you that were unable to attend the Trail Association’s Annual Meeting last week, here’s a recap of what was presented.  The event was also captured on video by the Siskiyou Media Council, so watch for announcements on how to view the video.

Projects worked on in 2015

  • Addition of the Pig Farm and McConnell trails to the Gateway Trail system.
  • Development of interim trails and creek crossing to facilitate the Downtown to City Park Greenway.
  • Improvement of the Spring Hill Trail parking area and trailhead.
  • An Earth Day work event at Castle Crags State Park.
  • Repair and replacement of bridges and bridge railings at Castle Crags SP.
  • Maintenance of the trail from Bunny Flat to Horse Camp.
  • Construction of Garden Greenway trails at the Siskiyou Land Trust headquarters.
  • Establishment of the 100 Miles of Trail Special fund with the Shasta Regional Community Foundation.
  • A successful Giving Tuesday that generated $5,600.
  • Establishment of a MSTA Facebook page.

Projects Planned for 2016

  • Construction of the Chalet Trail along the shoreline of Lake Siskiyou.
  • Completion of the Shastice Bike Park.
  • Further improvement of the Downtown to City Park Trail, including fuels reduction work.
  • Locate and begin environmental analysis of a Gateway to Ski Park trail network.
  • Continuation of the 100 Miles of Trail Campaign.
  • Continue to work with partners, including the Forest Service, State Parks, BikeShasta, Siskiyou Land Trust, Rotary, Great Shasta Rail Trail Association, and Siskiyou County.


Photo by Audra Gibson (SRCF)