Heading off to Mount Shasta this past October for a few days was a last minute decision and we loved every minute of it. It’s such a beautiful time of year to visit the Mount Shasta area because the snow hasn’t yet arrived, the leaves are changing to vibrant oranges, yellows and reds and because it’s off-season, it’s not as crowded as it can get during the peak months of summer.
Mount Shasta is part of the Cascade Mountain Range, located in Siskiyou County in Northern California which is only about 45 miles from the Oregon border. Mount Shasta is the cone of an extinct volcano rising to a height of over 14,162 feet above sea level, and is one of the largest volcanic peaks in the continental United States. Some say that angels, aliens and their spaceships as well as the survivors of Ancient Lemuria, which sank under the waves of the Pacific Ocean a little over 12,000 years ago, are all a part of Mount Shasta.
As surreal as that may sound to some of you, lightworkers, teachers and clairvoyants trek to Shasta often to absorb the energies from this magical and mystical mountain. Some go so far to say that the place connects us to the Confederation of Planets and is a major light-grid so to speak of this planet. See the Spiritual Side of Mount Shasta section for more details.
We stayed at the Mount Shasta Resort so be sure to read our review, which included its on-site restaurant Highland House. It was conveniently located for all the things we wanted to do, which largely included hiking and spending time in nature and visiting the esoteric, artsy and spiritual shops in downtown Mount Shasta and nearby towns. Let’s explore some of the fun things to do if you head to the Mount Shasta area, particularly in the fall.
Mount Shasta’s Natural Beauty
The main reason people head to Mount Shasta is for its natural beauty. It is surrounded by forests and mountains and the view of Mount Shasta itself is breathtaking. It is also known as a destination that houses many spiritual retreats throughout the year.
People love to fish (common fish to be found include bass, brown trout, crayfish and rainbow fish) at Lake Siskiyou which is roughly three miles west of Mount Shasta itself. Fed by five clear, mountain streams, Lake Siskiyou’s 430 acre recreational waters are held by Box Canyon Dam at the south end. Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort on W. A. Barr Road, offers a boat ramp with marina, boat rentals, and free fish cleaning station.
Hedge Creek, Mossbrae & McCloud Falls
The waterfalls in the immediate area are breathtaking and both offer lovely day hikes and walks. Hedge Creek Falls is hidden from a frontage road and it’s a great place for a quiet walk in nature as well as for a picnic away from the noise. We took a path which takes you behind the falls — think of it as a bit of a cool womb-like cavern (as it has been described) where there is plenty of mist in the air. On a hot day, it’s wonderful (and apparently popular) to sit right under the falls. It was a bit chilly when we were there, so we didn’t opt to get that close, but there are plenty of side paths and views where you can truly breathe it all in without getting wet.
There’s also a nearby path which leads to a lookout area of the Sacramento River. You can easily get here from Mount Shasta by taking the first Dunsmuir exit — there’s a parking area right across from the frontage road which is near the Hedge Creek Park.
Mossbrae Falls is equally exquisite, which is only about a mile or a half hour walk above the banks of the Sacramento River. All of the falls are relatively close to Mount Shasta itself, so all make for great day trips. The falls here are around 50 feet high and 150 feet wide which fluctuate depending on the season of course. The air here is apparently charged with negative ions so people come to not just bathe in the natural beauty but for healing purposes as well. Apparently negative ions are known to initiate a biochemistry that increases our serotonin levels — it’s also incredibly serene and relaxing here.
The lighting is better if you opt for an afternoon hike since Mossbrae Falls faces the west. This is also fairly close to Dunsmuir — in fact, you can get there a bit easier from downtown Dunsmuir than from Mount Shasta itself. It was actually very close to the Mount Shasta Resort where we stayed. It’s a wonderful place to go and relax for an entire afternoon.
We spent even more time at McCloud Falls, which is also a stone’s throw away from downtown. While it isn’t as vast as Mossbrae Falls (nor does it have the sweeping views from every angle), it’s got it’s own charm. We also sensed a special energy we couldn’t see or touch, but was obviously present. We noticed a couple of hikers when we were there but after we passed them, there was no one to be seen for the rest of the day. In other words, we had the area to ourselves on that lovely October day.
The colors were vibrant and the falls ever so beautiful in the backdrop of all of it. We hiked into the woods a bit that circled around the falls itself. The McCloud River was formed from the springs from Panther Meadows, which is has its own magic. The river apparently drops about 6,000 feet from its headwaters and it spills over to create the lovely McCloud Falls on its way down to its delta in Shasta Lake. The cliffs in this area are known to house the American Dipper bird and there’s plenty of other wonderful bird life to be found as well. It is known for these birds — you can see them plunging in and out of the cascades so bring your zoom lens.
Burney Falls, which we didn’t have time to explore, was called the eighth natural wonder of the world by President Teddy Roosevelt. Apparently Burney Falls is also sacred to the Ilmawi, Atsugewi and Achumawi bands of the Pit River Tribe as well as other First Nation peoples with territories near the area.
We also didn’t have time to get to the Stewart Mineral Springs, which is known to be an ancient and sacred place. It’s on the list for our next trip to Mount Shasta. Nearby, there is also a Native American purification sweat lodge. The ‘red spring,’ has high iron content and magnetic energy, which is said to also be sacred to the Divine Feminine. There are also caves in the area, such as Pluto’s Cave, which is a series of lava tubes, apparently one of the most ancient lava tube caves still in existence. Some people say that Pluto’s Cave is an inner-Earth gateway entrance — it’s known for its pyramid buttes and etheric temples with intense energy (say some). It’s roughly a 20-30 minute drive north on I-5 and then Highway 97, followed by a short drive on A12 to get here. There’s a short foot path to the cave once you arrive.
We felt a surge of energy at Castle Crags which we only stopped for a short window. It’s not far off the main drag heading into Mount Shasta however you can opt to go deeper into the peaks and mountain layers which only increases the beauty of the views. If you love to hike, head to Dog Trailhead which is a short drive south on I-5 for around 16 miles (Castella Exit). The trailhead is not far past the Castle Crags State Park entrance — this is well worth doing. The forest area around here is absolutely stunning as are the majestic spires of Castle Crags themselves (Dolmites…which rise to over 6,500 in elevation).
Panther Meadows could arguably be in the Spiritual Side to Mount Shasta section, however truth be told, nearly all the natural wonders of the area should be. Friends showed us a video they took of the creek at Panther Meadows, which highlighted a ‘light’ of sorts flurrying about, a bit like a fairie. I might not have believed this however we saw a similar image appear on another friend’s iPhone video as well.
This is a must visit if you go to Mount Shasta. We headed there with a guide however were only able to get part of the way in because believe it or not, there was already snow along the trail and all were concerned we wouldn’t have time to make it there and back before dark. The path wasn’t easy walking and was rather wet with new fallen snow, even if the layer wasn’t yet that deep. Panther Meadows is known to be one of the most ancient outdoor temple sites in the area. It is common to hear people report seeing gnomes, faeries and other elementals in the area and during the summer months, you’ll be greeted with a meadow of wildflowers and butterflies.
There’s a relatively easy hike called Panther Meadow Loop, where you can get a great view of the mountains, including Mount Shasta. It takes about 45 minutes and is only 1.5 miles — it’s a rocky path but well-marked and the trailhead starts 12.5 miles up Everitt Memorial Highway to where you see the trailhead marking.
A truly invigorating place is a nearby picnic area and lake, full of fresh air and refreshing cold waters. Known by locals as a magical ‘go to’ natural wonderland, Castle Lake is a pure crystaline glacially formed lake — our friends who go to Mount Shasta regularly said not to miss this gem of a spot and so we didn’t. Formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago, Castle Lake is held by a pine-covered granite bowl. The lake makes up 47 acres and is 120 feet deep next to a steep rock wall. Above the lake, you can see the beautiful spires of the Castle Crags State Park Wilderness Area. There were a couple of boaters there when we had our afternoon picnic along the shores, and they were fishing for brook and rainbow trout.
We were fortunate enough to spend the day with one of Mount Shasta’s local guides: Sahari Lotus and her fabulous partner Barry. She’s more than just a guide — she’s a mystic, clairvoyant, reader and healer, as well as a meditation leader and shamanic drummer who helps you attune to the Ascended Hosts of Mount Shasta herself.
There are areas around the lake where you can picnic (not just on the shores, which we opted to do) but at included picnic tables amidst the forest furs and pines as well.
People apparently go to Castle Lake to reflect and meditate because of its serene energy and crystal clear waters, also known for purification. People kayak here, hike in the mountains and woods around the lake or picnic as we did. Sahari also played the Shamanic drum while we were there, which created a very meditative state for all of us — let’s just say that it was hard to leave after her magical drumming here.
Below, Sahari in her element, during a meditation and drumming session along the shores of Castle Lake. She’s not only truly gifted but authentically beautiful in every way and we loved her energy and contribution to our Mount Shasta memory. She knows the area well and can lead you to lesser known hot spots as well as call in the energies and deities that can invoke a spiritually surreal yet grounded experience. Her drumming is outer worldly and beautiful – enuf said!
Getting to the magical Castle Lake is pretty easy and straight forward — you simply take Lake Street West over I-5 and hang a left at the Stage Road “T”. After hanging a right on W. A. Barr Road and passing Lake Siskyou, you take a left at Castle Lake Road and it’s at the end of that road roughly seven or so miles up. There are places to park here and a public rest room near the parking area as well for planning purposes.
Not far from Castle Lake is a special place known as Heart Lake, but it requires a hike to get there, which we didn’t have time to do on this trip. There’s a trailhead that leaves from Castle Lake Parking Lot and it’s straight up, but on a relatively gentle grade. Heart Lake is apparently also reachable from the Pacific Crest Trail apparently – ask locals as they all seem to know about it.
Closer to town and for the less adventurous is the renowned Sacramento Headwaters, which is right in Mount Shasta City Park. It’s the birthing place of the Sacramento River and its water is meant to be pristine, pure and super healthy. It is world renowned and locals head here with empty bottles to fill. Drinking from these pure and healthy waters is a wonderful way to purify, cleanse and align yourself — we brought our own bottles here just to experience and taste the magical waters of these historical headwaters.
This is the main reason to head to the park btw — there are two bridges which cross the stream, just a little ways down from the Headwaters. There are secluded spots to sit and meditate or just BE near here as well despite the fact that you’re in a central park — depending on what time of day you go, you could have a very solo experience. Locals will head here for a picnic under a tree and it’s a great place to go with kids.
Abundance nature on all sides…..
Fairy Falls and the ruins of a resort from the 1800’s called Ney Springs are also interesting places to visit. Not far from Castle Lake is a place Sahari wanted us to visit for a ceremony of sorts: Faery Ring. We sat amidst trees in the forest for another Shamanic drumming session and meditation, our second of the day.
Another renowned place for beautiful energy is a place called Ascension Rock. You’ll find it by heading north on Everett Memorial Highway as if you’re going up to Black Butte. You need to know where to pull off and park — not difficult — but better with a local. Luckily, we had Sahari and Barry with us and so I hiked in with my eyes looking up to the blissful sky for most of the way until I felt the intense vortex energy in the middle of it all.
We sat at the base of Ascension Rock for a meditation of sorts, just to listen to the energy speak to us. There’s a special presence here which can’t be denied whether you consider yourself spiritual or not. People have reported feeling a connection to ascended masters like Saint Germain, Jeshua, Kwan Yin, Mother Mary, and the Maha Chohan. Some say that this magical mountain is the root chakra of the planet while others say it is a portal with unique and powerful vortexes, a bit like mystical Sedona.
Black Butte & Old Ski Bowl
If you want to head all the way up to the Summit of Black Butte at 6,325 feet, you will get a spectacular view of the surrounding area. You’ll see the breathtaking Mount Shasta to the east although it was overcast when we were there. Mt. Eddy and the Klamath Mountains are to the west. The trail to the summit was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930’s which apparently provided access to a Forest Service fire lookout built at the summit. Pack animals were apparently used to bring supplies to people at the Summit.
Then, there’s Mount Shasta’s Old Ski Bowl which is far as you can get by car. There’s also a trailhead which leaves from here. The Old Ski Bowl Trail offers great views of some Mount Shasta’s craggiest terrain, as well as excellent vistas to the south of the McCloud area, the Sacramento River Canyon and the Castle Crags. Although it was warm when we left Mount Shasta around mid-day, by the time we got to the top, there was a little snow and the temperature was cold enough to warrant a winter coat.
Snow or no snow, the views are breathtaking at the top. Even in the Autumn, the winds were quite strong, so we’d suggest packing layers so you’re prepared for the cooler temperatures at the top.
Mount Shasta Herself
Then, there’s the wonder of Mount Shasta herself. The views and awe-inspiring wonder of her majestic size and aura speak for themselves so I’ll let the visuals speak for themselves. See how many ‘faces’ she has to offer. Below are shots we took of her beauty at different times of the day and on different days during our four day stay. Locals believe Mount Shasta was inhabited by the spirit chief Skell, who descended from heaven to the mountain’s summit.
Spiritual tourism and attractions have been thriving here since the 1960’s and its prominent vortex energy and natural beauty combined are likely why so many events and retreats happen here. There is some concern among certain locals however that those who lead these events need to respect the land they walk on a bit more than they do and that means in some cases, staying away from certain areas which are really sacred.
Driving around the area, especially in the fall, offers its own magic.
The Spiritual Side to Mount Shasta
Truth be told, Mount Shasta is world renowned as a sacred place with dynamic energy and vortexes abound. It remains a top destination for spiritual seekers and is one of the reasons why there’s so many spiritual retreats held here year round. Below is a campground area we visited on the way up to Black Butte — friends attended a Goddess retreat that was held here over the summer. The space is called Shasta Camp United Methodist.
There is a main building amidst the trees where people hold events and retreats and another one where the caretaker lives. Additionally, there is a building for public rest rooms and a small (bare bones house) with three bedrooms and one bath. It’s so bare that you’re better off camping but it is very reasonable to rent and simply put: the outdoor space is beautiful.
While Mount Shasta is known for spiritual and meditation retreats and the guys from Stargate have a home here, where they too throw events, the nature and the vortexes in the earth themselves are what calls so many people to the area. Many people believe that a lost continent called Lemuria is hidden beneath the mountain, along with its capital crystalline city, Telos. People have also noted seeing and feeling faeries and other elementals in many places in and around the Mount Shasta area, with Panther Meadows being a prime spot as noted above.
There’s so much raw natural beauty to Mount Shasta itself and it looks so different depending on the lighting, the cloud coverage (or not) and the season. This ice-topped volcano has healing and transcendent qualities to it as do all the natural attractions around it such as all the noted ones below under the Natural Beauty section. Every one you talk to has a special and unique story about Mount Shasta’s magic including those from Native Americans. From their own legends and myths to those which come from other ascended masters and teachers, there is no shortage of attention give to this mystical place not far from Oregon’s border.
Remember that Mount Shasta borders the territories of the Shasta, Wintu, Achumawi, Atsugewi and Modoc tribes, so all of their spiritual myths, stories and ancestral roots are part of the mountain as well. Sacred ceremonies have been done on this land since the early days of human settlement. Because of this energy, the town of Mount Shasta and nearby towns have lots of spiritual shops and boutiques as well.
Gateway Peace Garden
Another great spot we visited which had its own unique spiritual presence is a place called Peace Garden. It’s official name is Gateway Peace Garden but it has been shortened to simply Peace Garden by many.
The Gateway Peace Garden is open for quiet visitation and meditation everyday from sunrise to sunset and is located at 834 Ski Village Drive along the principal road that connects the Sacred Mountain of Mount Shasta to the town. The entry trail begins at the Peace Dove address sign at 834 Ski Village Drive and parking is available under the large oak tree at the trailhead.
“Peace within ourselves is a prerequisite to World Peace.”
The message of the Gateway Peace Garden is “World Peace Through Inner Peace” and its mission is to steward a Consecrated Garden where one may experience a moment of Peace within the setting of Nature, and then carry that feeling of Peace into their daily lives and into the World. In other words, “Peace within ourselves is a prerequisite to World Peace.” The belief and feeling is that “the Garden joins the many Peacemakers whose sincere efforts are bringing humanity towards Oneness and closer to World Peace and that the Garden is just one flower that manifests the seeds of Peace that will take root around the World. Below are some magic shots we took during our time there, which btw, was not shared with anyone else.
What’s lovely about Peace Garden is not just the incredible energy and intention which is part of the land itself, but that there are so many aspects of personal expression throughout the area. Around every turn and corner, there is a new sitting area waiting for you to just BE with it. New statues, new deities, new words of wisdom, new symbols, new energies, new seats, chairs, flags, rocks and aspects of spirituality, each one delivering its own unique imprint and meaning on a new visitor. And, each visitor adds his or her own essence and energy to Peace Garden itself.
The result is this wonderful mish mash of love, connection and peace, all woven into one.
With every piece you come across in the garden, it is invoked with love, intention and a purity you can just feel. There’s no need for words and silence was exactly our experience for the 2.5 hours we spent here.
While many folks may not have heard of Stargate, many spiritual seekers know that they have a headquarters so to speak in Mount Shasta. We had an opportunity to meet one of the founders and main channels Prageet, who is an English born, internationally renowned channel and his close friend Varid. Prageet has worked with his guide Alcazar and their creation, the Stargate, for about 25 years now. Stargate is a conscious, sacred-geometrical structure that creates a powerful, multi-dimensional energy field – an energy that can take participants into a deep meditative state within moments. It did for us and several others we personally know who have participated in some of the Stargate retreats.
According to the folks at Stargate, the energies of the Stargate can create past life remembering and re-activation of psychic abilities. It can enable participants to access wisdom and knowledge from other dimensional realities, and to actually feel – and in some cases see – benevolent, high energy Beings such as those from the Angelic Realm, Ascended Masters, and various Star Families – beings that exist in other dimensional realities and around our Universe. As we said, it’s a very mystical and spiritual place.
For those interested in learning more, see links to their website and workshops under the Resources section at the end of this article.
Downtown, Shops & Nearby Quirks
Downtown Mount Shasta has a number of cute cafes, stores and spiritual boutiques to visit — you could spend a day and a half exploring the shops alone. Nearby Dunsmuir, although it doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife and social opportunities, has a couple of cute shops and a bar that has live music occasionally as well. It’s worth a meander through Dunsmuir as well as the other nearby towns.
Above, Berryvale seems to be a bit of an institution in downtown Mount Shasta — the store has organic produce and plenty of healthy options, from homemade juices and soups to organic options (canned, boxed and fresh) as well as gluten free crackers and bread.
The store SOUL CONNECTIONS is the largest spiritual store along the main drag of Mount Shasta — it is large enough to spend several hours in here and the prices are pretty good, especially for Black Obsidian, which is in abundance in this area. Sacred Seed Crystals is another popular choice, as is the Silk Road Chai Shop, Crystal Matrix Gallery, Crystal Keepers, Mount Shasta Arts and Healing Center, Rainbow Angels, Sacred Spirit Ministry and Tamara’s Healing Garden. There are others too, such as the Shambhala Center and the Yoga Center.
Well renowned is THE CRYSTAL ROOM, which is a combination of an art gallery and a high end crystal and gemstone store, which offers very high end crystals as well as crystal bowls. You can get demonstrations on crystal bowls here and play them yourself as well. It’s a magical place that shouldn’t be missed.
Here’s a short video we created of our experience in Mount Shasta this fall.
- Sahari Lotus Tour Guide–Mystic Mountain Tours of Shasta
- Office Phone: 530.925.5214
- Sahari’s cell: 406.599.8415.
- Stargate and Stargate Experience Academy
- Mount Shasta Tourism Board aka Visit Mount Shasta
- Soul Connections
- The Crystal Room
- For restaurants, we recommend Lily’s, Mike and Tony’s if you love pizza, Mount Shasta Pastry for carb lovers, and Phuket Thai Cafe.
- For hotels, we stayed at the Mount Shasta Resort (our review here)