The Last Days of Summer…

The last days of summer have offered some great hiking in the Mt. Shasta area.

September has been a great hiking month with all the wildflowers blooming and sunshine!

Relaxing on the top of Black Butte 6,325 ft.

Last Sunday, a friend and I decided to hike up to the top of Black Butte. This butte is actually a plug dome. Actually 4 plug domes are what created Black Butte also once known as Bear Butte, Sugarloaf Peak, Muir Peak and a few other names.

Black Butte Lookout

 The lookout was completed in 1931 and was destroyed in October of 1962 during the Columbus Day Storm. The top blew right off. The Columbus Day Storm also known as the Big Blow, ranks amongst one of the most powerful storms to hit the United States. In 1963 a new lookout was built and used until 1973.

Along trail to South Gate Meadows

Now is a good time to check out South Gate Meadows on Mt. Shasta. It’s a relatively easy hike. Around 4 mile round trip(depending how far you go). Hiking to South Gate requires a wilderness permit (fill it out at the trail head.) I saw two groups with dogs~remember no dogs are allowed in the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. It can end up being a pretty hefty fine.

Western Pasque

 It’s like being in fairyland with all the seed heads of the western pasque on the trails.

Konwakiton (Muddy) Glacier

This is the view from Upper South Gate Meadows. Being one of the smaller glaciers on Mt. Shasta-50 acres, it has created major chaos with mud and debris flows flooding out the town of McCloud back in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Shasta Red Fir Cone

 Shasta Red Fir is commonly called a Silver Tip on the Christmas tree market. It was discovered on Mt. Shasta in 1879 by a man named John Gil Lemmons. Notice how the cones grow upward. That means it’s a true fir.

Lingering Snow!

For those of you wondering about ski conditions~

This snowfield has potential for a turn or two. It’s a short hike from the Old Ski Bowl.

Here’s the scoop from the Climbing Advisory~Brewer Creek Trailhead:   The route is in good shape and if there are any September skiers out there, this is your best option for skiing Mt. Shasta.  The best skiing is found from the top down toabout 12,000ft….and of course, the “best” skiing doesn’t always mean it’s good skiing! 🙂 But hey, it’s September. Below, one will find dirty, sun-cupped snow down to +/- 9,500ft.. Always be on the watch for rockfall. Also, be mindful when returning to your car as many people become disoriented upon descending below treeline. This route sees sun first thing and softens quickly…get an early start to avoid postholing.

Hot Air Balloon Fair

If your wondering what to do this weekend check out the Hot Air Balloon Fair up in Montague~

Stop by and say hi to the Siskiyou Sheriff Search and Rescue Team at the Chili Cook Off.