Added by Lindsay Cameron

Distance: 2.8 miles roundtrip. Duration: 2 hours. Elevation gain: 600 m (2,000 ft). Beautifully scenic. Parking and access are free. Camping is free, no reservations.

Mount Shasta is an incredible mountain in Northern California that offers a great variety of activities. The Gray Butte trail is one of the more beautiful trails in the area, and it's not too long (2.8mi, ~2h). We arrived at Shasta by late afternoon, so it was a great hike to do when golden hour hit, before we set up camp.

The trail starts just past Panther Meadows Campground. If you follow the short trails through the campground, it will take you through Panther Meadows and over a creek. From the meadow, you will travel through a sea of Shasta red firs, through a hemlock grove and up the mountainside. Eventually the hemlock gives way to a scree-top, termed Artist's Point, which gives a stunning view of Shasta's peak and the northern California wilderness.

It is a pretty easy hike (although the air is a bit thinner). It finishes around 8,119m and is beyond beautiful. Golden hour was stunning, so if possible, I highly recommend checking it out. Bring a camera!

If you plan on camping and doing photography, Bunny Flat has a meadow across the road that has a great clearing to take photos of the Shasta Peak at night. Panther Meadow Campgrounds has a good meadow beside it too (Panther Meadow) also with a great view of the Peak.

Sand Flat and Bunny Flat offer dispersed camping areas. Panther Meadows has 10 camp locations and fills up quickly, so get there fast if you want to camp there.

Other notes:

  • A wilderness permit is required for day hiking AND camping. You can get a wilderness permit at Bunny Flat (there is a little building/station there, you can't miss it). You will have to pass the Sand Flat and Bunny Flat campgrounds to get to the trailhead at Panther Meadows Campground. Pick one up on the way.
  • All waste must be packed-out, including human waste. You can get human waste bags at the Bunny Flat station. There is also a restroom at the Bunny Flat station, but that's the only one we came across on the mountain.
  • If you plan on doing other hikes at Shasta, a $30 summit permit is required if you go over 10,000ft. You can get this permit at the Bunny Flat station as well.
Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Mount Shasta, California

Mount Shasta City Koa

Mount Shasta, California

LOGE Mt. Shasta

Outdoor Community Spaces After washing and tuning your bike for tomorrow’s ride, sit out on the lawn for live music with a view of Mt. Shasta. Grab the grillables and cook for the whole crew or chi...

From $119/night

Fowler Public Camp Road

Fowlers Campground

Overview Fowlers Campground is located on the Upper McCloud River five miles east of McCloud, California. The campground is nestled in a mixed conifer and oak woodland. The campground offers paved ...

From $15/night

Castella, California

Girard Ridge Lookout

Overview Girard Ridge Lookout was constructed in 1931 and used by the Forest Service on a regular basis until 1981. It is one of the few remaining historic lookouts on the Shasta-Trinity National F...

Nearby Adventures

  • Camp at Panther Meadows

    The Panther Meadows Campground is located in the timberline on Mt. Shasta. The free campsite has 10 sites with a fire ring and a table. The elevation of the campground is 7,500 ft, making it the highest campground on Mt. Shasta. Summer nights can ...

  • Climb Mt. Shasta via Avalanche Gulch

    The Avalanche Gulch route is the second easiest, non-technical route to the summit of Mt. Shasta after the Clear Creek Route, but is by far the most popular. Many people complete this climb in one day from the trailhead, but you also have the oppo...

    11 miles 7200 ft gain

  • Climb Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek Route

    The least technical route to the summit of Mt Shasta begins at the Clear Creek Trailhead (elevation 6390 ft). Please note that although this is a less technical route, this is still dangerous and there have been deaths on Mt. Shasta because of fal...

    12.4 miles 7927 ft gain

  • Winter Summit Black Butte

    Note: February thru early March are great times to climb it for a winter ascent without snowshoes. If there is no snow seen from the south (e.g. on I-5 heading north to Mount Shasta City), don't be too worried. As long as there is snow on the surr...

    5 miles 2000 ft gain