Guidebook Author John Soares Presentation in Mount Shasta, Monday, June 25

Hiking guidebook author John Soares will give a presentation on trails in the Mount Shasta area and beyond on Monday, June 25, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Mount Shasta Library, 515 East Alma Street in Mount Shasta.

John is the author of two new books released in the last few weeks. Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions contains 125 hikes from Redding to Yreka and from the Trinity Alps to Lassen Volcanic National Park, with some trails short and easy and others long and challenging. All-color 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California 4th edition, presents the best day hikes and epic backpacking trips from the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe north. Both are published by Mountaineers Books, one of the world’s major publishers of outdoor guidebooks.

A Q&A session and book signing will follow the visual presentation, and the books will be available for purchase.

The event is free, but seating is limited.

Here is the Facebook event page:

About John Soares

John started hiking as a little kid while growing up near Anderson, California. He backpacked in the Trinity Alps as a teenager and then expanded his range to explore other Northern California trails. His first hiking guidebook came out in 1992. He lived in Mount Shasta and nearby for seven years, and he currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he works as a writer for businesses and nonprofits.

Updated Guidebook — 100 Classic Hikes Northern California

Former MSTA board member and outdoor enthusiast John Soares has updated his guidebook on some great hikes in northern California. This book includes trails in the following areas: Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Klamath Mountains, North Coast and Wine Country, and San Francisco Bay Area.

This guide is loaded with beautiful color photographs and detailed maps to help you enjoy these trails.  A good addition to your bookshelf!

Here’s a link to more information on the guide and how to obtain a copy:  100 Classic Hikes


On Saturday morning, a group of 20 Boy Scouts and their leaders got together with five MSTA volunteers to give the Spring Hill Trailhead a facelift.  The weeds were about five feet high, but were cut down with weed whackers, brush mowers, string trimmers, and hand-pulling (in tight spots).  Blackberry bushes were cut back and a pile of illegally discarded yard debris was removed and taken to the dump.  Attached photos show the progression from high weeds to a nice, neat finish.

Thanks to Dave Affleck (one of the Boy Scout leaders) for organizing the morning, and for providing water and lunch.  Thanks to Mike Solano for free loan of the brush mower from Solano’s Rental Center.


On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, I attended “Shop Appreciation Day” at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park.  It was arranged for owners and employees of sports stores, as well as a few members of trail and mt. bike organizations to learn about the mt. biking possibilities at the Ski Park.


We loaded our bikes on the lifts, then sped down the Beginners’ Trail, the Flow Trail, and the Downhill Course.  There are loads of trail features, including big bermed turns, jumps, ramps, The Wall Ride, doubles, a teeter totter, and a massive curved ramp jump (many of which this old dude didn’t attempt).  The Flow Trail and Downhill Trail have been outfitted with sprinklers to keep the dirt firm and the dust down.  There are a number of other trails (Perimeter, Back-Side Douglas, etc.) which traverse larger expanses of the park that we didn’t have time to try, but we did have an absolute blast.

The Ski Park has invested a load of money and employee time to create a really fun experience for mountain bikers.  Please consider supporting this effort by buying a summer season pass ($130) or a day pass ($32) and seeing the park in a completely new way.  The park is open on Saturdays and Sundays from now until September.

Thanks to Taylor Russell (Bike Park Manager) and Richard Coots (General Manager) for the guided tours, lunch (with beer!), and their hospitality.  Yes, they served us beer and sent us back out there on the Downhill Course!  Thanks to the trail crew for all their efforts: James, Pat, Ben, and Chase.


The Mt. Shasta Trail Association held its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.  We offered a large variety of delicious catered food, terrific beer from Deschutes Brewery, and fantastic wine, all for free.  If you missed it, it’s most definitely not our fault, but you can start planning for next year’s meeting now.

Attendees enjoyed socializing with new and old friends, then were updated on numerous events and projects that MSTA is promoting.  PowerPoint presentations were given on the following:

  1. Progress on the much-anticipated Gateway Phase II Trail, a 45-mile expansion of the popular Gateway Phase I Trail network.
  2. Very exciting news on the work to create a safe trail to Mossbrae Falls. The trail would cross the river at Hedge Creek Falls (via suspension bridge) and then travel along the river about 20 feet below the RR tracks.
  3. The plan to make Mt. Shasta the first Pacific Crest Trail “Trail Town.” A celebration of this designation will occur on July 21, 2018.
  4. Rules and etiquette for trail interactions between hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
  5. Completion of the conservation easement on Rainbow Ridge by the Siskiyou Land Trust, which will conserve almost 500 acres of forest and opens up future trail opportunities. Trails on Rainbow Ridge may ultimately connect to the Lake Siskiyou Trail and the PCT.
  6. Planned expansion and improvement of the Parks Creek Trailhead, an important portal to the PCT.
  7. New collaborations between BikeShasta (Mt. Shasta Mountain Bike Association) and the Mt. Shasta Trail Association.
  8. Five suggestions for new trails that would link other important trails together and enhance the experience while traveling those trails.
  9. Numerous trail maintenance and trash clean-up projects accomplished by the trail crew over the past year.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing the meeting (and the free grub and booze), and want to get involved, send us an email to or a message through our website,  You can also join our trail crew for work projects.

Many thanks to Deschutes Brewery for the beer and Joe and Michael Wirth for the wine!

Fun Morning At Spring Hill Trailhead With The Boy Scouts

Please join the Mt. Shasta Trail Association and the Boy Scouts for a morning of maintenance at the Spring Hill Trailhead on June 2 at 9 am.  The weeds will be about 3-4 ft. high, so we’ll weed-whack, trim, rake and remove the debris.  If you have a weed-whacker or rake to bring, go ahead, but we’ll have a lot of tools.

The Boy Scouts are providing drinks during the morning, and sandwiches for lunch.  If a half dozen volunteers show up from MSTA, we’ll make short work of this.

Come on out and make some new friends.

If coming north on Mt. Shasta Blvd., turn right on Ski Village Dr., stop at the stop sign, and go straight about 50 yards and you can’t miss it.  If coming south from the freeway (N. Mt. Shasta exit), turn left on Ski Village and do the same.  If confused on the location, google Spring Hill Trail and look at the map.


Reminder — Annual Meeting Wednesday May 23, 2018

Improvised PCT Sign

Join us at 6:00 PM at the Sisson Museum for the Trail Association’s annual meeting where presentation will go over past accomplishments and future projects.  Beer, wine and appetizers provided!  Learn about the City of Mount Shasta being designated a Trail Town by the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and other exciting developments.

Guaranteed fun!

MSTA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 23, at 6 pm

Please join the Mount Shasta Trail Association on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Sisson Museum for our annual meeting.  We’ll review the considerable progress made on the following important projects:


  1. The Gateway Phase 2 Trail proposal, a 45-mile addition to the existing 10.7 miles of the existing Gateway network on national forest lands.
  2. Work to create a safe trail to Mossbrae Falls (yes, it’s mind-bending to think this might happen).
  3. Numerous work parties to maintain trails and clean up messes left by those who can’t be named.
  4. The plan to make Mt. Shasta the first official Trail Town on the Pacific Crest Trail.
  5. Further expansion and improvement of the City Park to Downtown Greenway Trail.
  6. Efforts to construct a permanent bridge across the Lake Siskiyou Delta and create a formal trail through the campground.


There will be short presentations by mystery guests on multiple topics—if they exceed their time limit, they’ll get the hook.  We want you to stay awake!


Beer, wine, and appetizers will be served at 6 pm, with socializing from 6 to 7, if you possess the skills.


Program from 7 pm to 8 pm.  Home by 8:20.  No lie.


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