A glowing April sunrise on Mount Shasta.
It’s been another great week (plus) here in Mount Shasta and the weather and conditions in the mountains keep improving. The snow is really starting to melt out so some excellent high country destinations are starting to open up. Spring really has set in up here and, in addition to the snow melting, the trees have been turning green. If there had to be a time to be social distancing, this is certainly a choice one. I am grateful this was not imposed on us during the winter! Just as in previous weeks, the one past has focused on waterfalls and thaw-engorged creeks and rivers. The real highlight was being able to visit a “lost” waterfall as well as some excellent cascades on the headwaters of Tamarack Creek. These are both in the Scott Mountains, I really underrated mountain range that has been increasingly drawing my attention the last couple of years. I think this summer is finally the summer to focus on them. Of course, Mount Shasta will always be the focus and it has offered some memorable scenes the last few days.
Naturally, my wife and I have gotten our kids outside a lot and they have been feasting on the magnificent scenery and waterfalls. Life is hard!
The highlight for me was the opportunity to hike with a friend to a long lost waterfall high in the mountains. I would estimate it’s height at 80 feet or so. The amazing thing, aside from the falls themselves, is that there was once a built and maintained trail leading to these falls. We found constructed trail, tree blazes and deadfall sawed and cleared off the path. This was all probably 75 years old (our guess) so it has not been maintained for a long time. The trail no longer appears on maps either.
A seemingly lost waterfall high in the mountains.
The other big waterfall destination for us was the series of cascades at the headwaters of Tamarack Creek. It is still pretty snowbound at the higher elevations but the warm weather and exposed rock meant easy climbing. The cascades drop a total of over 350 feet in a series of precipitous plunges. With waterfalls, great, superbly tractioned rocks, it is a giant playground perfect for a spring afternoon.
One of the most impressive sections of the Tamarack Creek cascades.
Another favorite spot of mine in spring is Castle Lake. I love the waterfall that pours into the lake’s southwest corner. The roar of the falls echoing through the lake’s cirque is magnificent.
The last great piece of water we explored was a rugged canyon with an energetic creek racing through the twists and turns of the narrow, rocky cliffs. This one has some nice waterfalls as well. I didn’t get good images but it will be the subject of more images and words in the near future.
All in all, it has been a fantastic week or so around Mount Shasta. The snow is melting, the water is flowing and the mountain is beautiful. Life is good, regardless of what the prevailing mood seems to be!
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