|Trailhead location||Mt Shasta, Everett Memorial Hwy|
|Length||4.0 miles (round trip)|
|Elevation gain / max||800′ / 7,900′|
|When to go||July – Oct|
|Other restrictions||10 persons per group maximum|
South Gate Meadows trail offers stunning high-altitude views amid unique alpine meadows high on Mount Shasta. Conservation of this ecosystem is vital, and these trailheads can be quite popular – please help by staying on trail at all times.
Please note that dogs are not allowed in Mount Shasta Wilderness, which you will enter on this hike. Additionally, a maximum group size of 10 must be observed while in the Wilderness.
The best place to access trails to South Gate Meadows is the South Gate Meadows Trailhead at the site of the Old Ski Bowl lodge. There is plenty of parking.
The trail follows a small portion of the route that was created by E. D. Stewart (a buddy of Justin Sisson) in the 1880’s, surveyed in 1884 and included on the USGS 1897 “Shasta Special” topo map. The trail is primarily just above timberline. It climbs gently from the trailhead through a saddle before heading through “The Gate”, the dramatic barren gap between Sargent’s Ridge on The Mountain and Red Butte.
There are small meadows along the way and there are often a multitude of Anenome Occidentalis aka Western Pasque Flower in these “barrens”. After 1.1 miles the trail joins the trail coming from the Panther Creek Campgrounds and Gray Butte before passing over the small ridge in the middle of The Gate. The trail then passes through a thin forest at timberline before entering “South Gate” after about 1.8 miles from the trailhead.
In the meadows stay on existing trails: if it is green don’t tread on it! The primary trail goes along the small alpine babbling brook for about 0.2 mile to a cascade coming down the rocky slope. You are in the headwaters of Squaw Valley Creek, the primary creek passing through McCloud.
Cell service is not reliable: Download your maps beforehand and have a printed copy. Bring plenty of water to drink along the way, a hat and remember you are in the thinner air at 8000 feet.
Mount Shasta Ranger Station,
Shasta-Trinity National Forest,
204 West Alma, Mount Shasta, CA 96067
Directions to the Trailhead
From the I-5 Central Mount Shasta exit, travel .7 mile east on Lake Street and then follow the curve as the road becomes Everett Memorial Highway, which runs another 15 miles to the South Gate Meadows Trailhead at the site of the Old Ski Bowl lodge.
Not the trail you were looking for? Check out our guides for other great trails nearby.