Home Adventures Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek

Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek

by Paulina Dao

Hike: Mt. Shasta
Where: Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Trailhead: Clear Creek
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 9 hours
Length: 12~ miles out and back total to summit
Gear: Icebreaker Tech T Lite shirt, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, REI Sahara Pants, Black Diamond Ultra Distance trekking poles, CamelBak Aventura Pack, and Ahnu Sugarpine Boots
Cost of Parking: Free, but summit permit is $20 per person

Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, you got the best of me this time, but I’ll be back. Just you wait and see. Friday afternoon after work, the boyfriend and I drove up to the Clear Creek trailhead to camp out and hike up Shasta the next morning with a Meetup group. We ended up getting in later than expected after driving around in the middle of the forest squinting at all the little forest road signs. We attempted to sleep in the car to save time instead of setting up tent, but it became insanely hot. Cars and people trickled in noisily and slowly after 11pm.

We started our adventure at 6am. Coming from sea level and hiking with lack of sleep made our progress extremely slow. The first few miles of the hike are fairly moderate with a gradual incline to Clear Creek Meadow. Clear Creek Meadow seemed to be the destination of choice for overnight attempts at the summit; we ran into tons of quiet and empty tents next to a clear, babbling spring. After Clear Creek Meadow, the fun really begins.

Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek August 2014 Review Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek August 2014 Review Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek August 2014 Review

The trail winds up, and up, and up Mt. Lassen, trekking through tons of loose volcanic rock and fine sediment. Every step was literally an uphill battle at a snail’s pace. Two steps forward, one slippery step down. Finally, we decided our progress was too slow to make it up and down safely and turned around at 11,635′, our highest point yet. Our progress down the mountain was slow too, despite fun scree skiing. My legs felt like jello, and shook every time I stood still. We made it back around somewhere between 3-5pm? I was too tired to remember.

Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek August 2014 Review Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek August 2014 Review

Needless to say, I am fairly disappointed since I knew I could do it, no matter how long it took. I’m the type of person who will go, go, go and push until I keel over and die. I’m still in the process of learning to say it’s okay to try it again another day. So, for now, Mt. Shasta’s summit will remain on my to do list, but I will be back to check it off!

Also, my SD card decided to eat my photos and regurgitate them, so apologies for the awful photos, but these are the only ones I have left. Means I just have to go back and take more.

Last updated on February 23, 2016.

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Justin Fricke August 13, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Do you think your outcome may have been different if you guys had an extra day to camp out Clear Creek Meadow, acclimatize a bit more, and then make a summit bid?

Just wondering because I’ve yet to summit a 14er myself.

paulina February 7, 2015 - 11:41 pm

So apparently I’m really bad at seeing/responding to comments. Definitely would have been better to have an extra day to camp out in Clear Creek Meadow. We got in really late the night before and we were running on very little sleep. I don’t do too well with elevation so acclimatizing would have really, really, really been nice! Weather was wonderful though!

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