The Sacred Mountain Region offers broad panoramic vistas where you can see for miles, feeling at one with the sky and earth.

Sacred Sites and Vistas for the Spirit

Mt. Shasta Painting
"Mount Shasta: Old Ski Bowl"
Original watercolor painting by Kim Solga

The Sacred Mountain region, nested in the shadow of one of America's tallest and most beautiful mountains, has an abundance of sacred sites to inspire your thoughts and feelings. Here are but a few, easily accessible to the traveler, breathtaking in their offerings.

Broad Vistas
Overviews and lookouts are sacred worldwide. It is thrilling to look down upon the lights of a city, the crashing of ocean waves at the foot of a cliff, a canopy of verdant treetops.
In the Sacred Mountain region, you will be looking down upon the forests and meadows you enjoy on your meditation walks...vistas which now become different shades of green, brown, burnished gold, misty blue and purple in a broad palette of nature's colors. Revel in this new view of compelling beauty.

Everitt Vista Point
Drive up Mount Shasta on the Everitt Memorial Highway (just follow Lake Street up out of the center of Mt. Shasta City past the high school). After you drive approximately 8 miles, you will see the sign for the popular Everitt Vista Point 1/2 mile before you reach this destination. In the early Spring, the parking lot may still be snowed in, but there is ample parking space in the pull-out area adjacent to the highway.
The view west over the valley from your car is breathtaking, but if you walk through the parking lot and take the trail starting next to the restroom facility, you will soon come to a stone lookout which affords a panoramic view to the south. On a clear day you will see Mount Lassen and Castle Crags in the south, with the sweep of the Eddy Mountains and distant Marble Mountain Wilderness Area to the west.
The Everitt Vista Point lookout is the location of frequent "star parties" during the summer, where local astronomers bring their telescopes and binoculars for the celestial show. If you return for a visit, check the local newspaper, The Mt. Shasta Herald, to see if a star gazing event has been scheduled while you are in the area.

Castle Lake Vista Point
Drive over the Box Canyon Dam at Lake Siskiyou and take the Castle Lake turnoff which soon appears on your left. This beautiful drive is a county maintained paved road leading to Castle Lake. Approximately 1 mile before you reach the lake (6 miles from the dam) the road turns sharply to the right. Pull off to the left at this turn. A little roadway winds behind a stone outcropping, with plenty of space to park your vehicle.
Before your eyes you will discover one of the most dramatic views of Mount Shasta in our entire region! Dress is often cool at this altitude, and you will want to sit and watch the many moods of this natural treasure. Come here in the early morning to watch sunrise, or late in the day to enjoy alpenglow on the mountain as the sun sets in the west.

Black Butte
Black Butte, once known as Muir Peak, is a "plug dome" volcano located between Mt. Shasta City and Weed. It has sometimes been called a cinder cone, resulting from one of Mount Shasta's many eruptions...but is actually a separate volcano, complete with a well defined hiking trail to the summit.
Black Butte offers special challenges and rewards. The trail head is reached from bumpy Forest Service roads (stop at the Ranger Station in Mt. Shasta City for detailed maps and directions). The climb takes 2 to 3 hours. If you are one of many who is fit enough for a short mountain hike, but not quite ready for the challenge of mountaineering to the summit of Mount Shasta itself, the Black Butte hike is for you. The magnificant 360 degree view from the top will revive and refresh your body and spirit for years! Be sure to wear proper hiking shoes. This is more than a stroll. Take plenty of drinking water and wear sunscreen.

Castle Crags State Park
Castle Crags State Park features towering spires of ancient granite (granodiorite) that was formed some 170 million years ago far beneath the surface of the earth and later forced slowly upward through a blanket of serpentine. Castle Dome is the rounded spire (6000 feet) on the west end. Many of the shallow creeks that meander through the park flow over huge slabs of multi-colored granite. Because of its lower elevation and southern exposure, Castle Crags is one of the earliest places to hike in the late winter months. In late Spring when the umbrella plant, wild azalea and Pacific dogwood trees are in bloom in and around the creeks, it creates a magical picture unparalleled in this region. The hike up to the foot of Castle Dome is highly recommended for the physically fit!

To get there, take Interstate 5 to Dunsmuir then 6 miles south to the Castella/Castle Crags exit. Maps of the many groomed trails and information can be obtained at the park entrance, a short distance to your right. You may also drive past the entrance and explore the area on your own using your intuition as your guide. Castle Creek rushes noisily by parallel to the main road and is a great destination in itself.

Walk Softly on the Earth
Please show respect when visiting any of these sites. Leave no trace of yourself behind. Use common sense to insure your safety at all times. The user of this guide assumes all risks and responsibilities when visiting these places.

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all writing ©Joanne Steele
all artwork ©Kim Solga