Mount Shasta on New Years Eve 2012. One month later, the first image posted on HikeMtShasta.
Today marks five-year anniversary of the founding of Hike Mt Shasta. It is hard to believe that this website has been a part of my life for half a decade. It has led countless adventures, great exploration, a few surprising friendships and more fun than I could shake a stick at. Hopefully it has led to many of these same things for all of you who have been reading it and following along all these years. The whole purpose of this site has been to celebrate Mount Shasta, the surrounding area and the natural world in general. I sincerely desire the site to add to people’s love of and experiences in Creation.
Though five years is a significant landmark, I don’t really feel the need to write a significant post about the history of this site, considering I did something of that nature last June, when Hike Mt Shasta received its 1,000,000th hit. If you are interested in a bit of a retrospective, click here for that post. I am obviously a bit partial, but I do think it is a bit of an interesting read.
As with all things, Hike Mt Shasta has changed subtly over time. The first couple years saw a flurry of new trails posted on the site. Now that it is a fairly comprehensive resource, there has been less of that and the blog itself has absorbed more of my attention. While I do still have a few trail pages in the works, I am beginning to deemphasize that side of Hike Mt Shasta. Some may have noticed that I have removed the trails from the margin on the right side of the page. All those descriptions exist, but are now found in the drop down menu. Most of the blog posts I have written are also found in the “articles” drop down menu. In time, those descriptions may quietly disappear too. The site has far exceeded my expectations and, at times, I am concerned with what kind of impact making too many people aware of certain areas can have. I am not yet convinced that I need to remove that resource, but it is a tension that I do feel. Other places have been negatively impacted by too much information on the Internet and that is not my desire for the Mount Shasta Area (yes, I am aware of the irony. As I said, this is a tension that I struggle with).
The subject of wilderness in the age of social media brings me to another topic of change here. I intend for this to happen gradually, but I have been itching to write more on other parts of the Western United States as well as broader topics related to the outdoors, wilderness and the philosophy, theology and ethics of the natural world. While I still plan on writing about Mount Shasta and its environs, I going to branch out. I hope everyone will find benefit to these thoughts. This will be a gradual change. Also, I love hearing feedback on what works and what does not. Please let me know your thoughts on any of these matters or any of my articles!
Lastly, I hope everyone would consider supporting this site by purchasing my hiking guides. I have intentionally not monetized this website and the only adds that appear are those that support WordPress, rather than my own endeavors. Nonetheless, any support offered is greatly appreciated and will, in one form or another, end up back on the site for everyone’s edification. You can find the Amazon pages for the books by following these links: Hiking Northern California, Hiking Mount Shasta, Hiking California’s Wine Country.
So, thank you again to everyone who has been following along at any point over the last 5 years. It has been a blast to bring the beauty of Mount Shasta and all of Northern California to all who have been hungry to explore it, whether on the trail, for from afar, through word and image. I hope you will continue with me for another 5 years!
I love this town and this mountain! I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!
“… at times, I am concerned with what kind of impact making too many people aware of certain areas can have.” This agonizing about “instagraming” a favorite trail/hike into overuse is a much debated topic on Oregon Hikers (and likely elsewhere too). While I know this happens (think many hikes within 2 hours of a major urban area or some iconic (must selfie!) spot like the GOT), I also know that 90% or so of the trails in this area are under-utilized to the point of being forgotten (South Fork of the Rogue, China Mountain?). So I’d say keep your trails so folks will know they exist and will, hopefully, use them. You could prune the ones you think are too popular (Mount Eddy?) or are otherwise widely known, but keep the rest. Oh, and I did buy a copy of your Hiking Mount Shasta…
You are right about trails falling into disrepair from disuse. You would be surprised how many comments I get complaining I have ruined their favorite trail by telling other people about etc. It’s impossible to please everyone and they aren’t doing the work to keep those trails in better shape. Conversely, I have seen other trails in other areas overrun and I truly don’t want that to happen here. I think you are right, about the chances of that happening in this region, at this point in time, are minimal. That is why I still have posted. The day I see something getting out of hand, I will probably starting deleting pages.
Would you care to elaborate?
Congratulations! I have enjoyed following you and will continue! It is good to be able to find some of the lesser known trails. The hubs and I enjoy spending time in nature away from the crowds. One day, we are going to make it up to this majestic mountain with your book in hand!! 🙂
Keep on keepin on. I have never been to your neck of the woods, but always enjoy reading about it and seeing the beautiful pictures. I promise I will one day get to the Wichitas as well!
I really hope you make it up there. I know I would not have made it through 4 years of Dallas without the Wichitas. They aren’t vast, but they really are very, very beautiful and surprisingly wild. The other place that really sustained me was out in the Caprock. Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyons are the two best Texas state parks, in my opinion. The latter has a fantastic loop trail while the former has so much awesome off trail exploration potential, it is easy to feel like you are in southern Utah, both from the landscape and the isolation. Those places helped me out so much, I want everyone else to enjoy them as much as I did, so please pardon my always nerding out about them!
My whole family is from the panhandle originally, so I grew up in Palo Duro and you’re correct!
You already know my approving thoughts on your branching out! As far as the publicity issue goes, I feel it bears consideration and vigilance against times when one ought to keep quiet. I especially think one ought to be careful not to hype current conditions. But you post thoughtful words, lots on natural and human history, and subtle non-iconic images, all of which adds up to setting an example of educated, contemplative enjoyment of a place. The hiking portion of the internet needs more of that approach.
Jackson, this means a great deal to me. Thank for these remarks!