An unnamed lake below Mount Eddy in Deadfall Basin.
For the fourth installment of the PCT Spotlight, it is imperative to feature the hike to Deadfall Basin. This section of trail ranks in the upper echelon of Mount Shasta Trails, alongside other area classics like Heart Lake, Black Butte, and South Gate Meadow. The reasons for its renown are many and include excellent views, lush meadows, gorgeous mountain lakes and the chance to ascend Mount Eddy, where astounding summit vistas await.
The hike on the PCT to Deadfall Basin is an easy journey. The trail maintains a very gentle, steady grade for a few miles before arriving at the edge of the basin. However, despite the ease in getting there, it is one of the prettiest trails around. This part of the PCT is graced with numerous springs, which result in some extremely lush patches of meadow. Wildflowers are accordingly abundant. The trail also boasts many excellent views, most notably of the Scott Mountains, which lie to the west on the far side of the Trinity River. Once in Deadfall Basin, cliffs rise dramatically overhead and numerous lakes dot the landscape. Most notable are Lower, Middle and Upper Deadfall Lakes. From the upper lake, a trail continues on to the summit of Mount Eddy, which looms prominently over the basin.
This is a great section of the PCT. For hikers making the entire journey, this is the final portion of a roadless section that stretches north from Gumboot Saddle to Parks Creek Pass (the trailhead for the hike to Deadfall Basin). Most hikers, however, will hike south from Parks Creek and enter the basin from the north. Whether coming from the north or south, Mount Eddy has featured prominently from the trail for quite some time. Despite this, it is also when in Deadfall Basin that Mount Eddy presents its most inspiring visage. Here the mountain, the tallest in the entire Klamath Mountains, rises dramatically to a single point, showing off its multi-colored geology in spectacular fashion.
Though not a part of the PCT itself, the hike to the top of Mount Eddy deserves special mention here. After hiking through Deadfall Basin, a trail climbs up to the mountain’s summit. The view from this point is probably the most spectacular in the North State. The area it encompasses is immense, stretching from Lassen Peak in the south to deep into Oregon in the north. All around the peak are the numerous ranges of the Klamath Mountains, all of which are visible from the summit. Most prominent, though is the magnificent bulk of Mount Shasta, which lies only a few miles to the east, dominating everything.