Mile: 1498.5 to 1516.4 (17.9)
up/down: 5950/1750 feet
In the large expanse of volcanic mountains in the Cascades there are granite intrusions. One of the most obvious and beautiful is Castle Crags just south of Mt. Shasta. Picking up where we left off Saturday, we hiked around the south end and up the west side to the head of the canyon. It was a big climbing day but the views made it worth while.
View from camp at the end of the day
Our friend Jim dropped us at the PCT/Interstate 5 trailhead early. We can't thank Jim and Debby enough for putting up with us especially with Debby under the weather. Get well soon Debby! We'll be back to do some birding in the fall.
The trail gradually made its way over the south end of the Crags with the usual up and down, in and out of canyons. We had lots of water opportunities in the morning when it was cool then few in the afternoon. That's the way it's been lately. Finally over to the southwest side we started the long uphill ascent to the head of the canyon. Once there the trail turned west and followed the ridge line. Neither of us felt especially spunky today so when the opportunity to camp with an epic view is not only the Crags but Shasta too, we jumped at it. Our mileage is a little low today so we'll have to make it up tomorrow. We've done most of the big climb so miles should come easier tomorrow.
California Pitcher Plant, a carnivore!
Castle Crags on the right, Shasta on the left. Our route came from the bottom right and ascended the face of the Crags to the left.
We started a new county today, Siskiyou, and picked up lots of the expected species. The best bird was a family flock of Mountain Quail. Only one more county to get them in for a clean sweep for all of California.
And, 1500 today!