Castle Crags - Vista Point to Castle Dome 5-22-23

Photos by Bob, Jerry, Linda, Randy and Rich - Video by Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

Monday started with low cloud cover in Ashland, but we broke through the clouds as we drove over Siskiyou Summit and had blue skies for the rest of our drive down to Castle Crags State Park (Exit 724). Like last year's first time hike in the Crags, we had a mix of veterans  and rookies on this special hike.

We got to Vista Point parking about 9:30, so just a 90 minute drive down from Ashland. We were surprised by the steady and chilly wind at the parking lot, so we put on our sweaters and jackets.

There's a short walk down from parking to the TH for the Crags Trail. It's about 3 miles up to Castle Dome with the first half up through shady forest. Going up through the forest, you cross the PCT, then stop for a view of snow covered Grey Rocks to the west, then just before leaving the forest there's the 0.2 mile trail to shady Indian Springs off to the left.

Next up is the sign for Castle Crags Wilderness and the first view of Mt. Shasta to the northeast.

Once out of the forest, you start climbing the rocky trail up to North Dome. (Best to keep a slow steady pace on the rocky sections of the trail).

There were plenty of stops for breathers, wardrobe adjustments (as the wind disappeared as we hiked higher) and, of course, water breaks.

We reached the base of Castle Dome about noon and found our friends Randy and Linda waiting for us there!

We could hear the roar of rushing water and found a snow fed stream plummeting down a south facing crag.
After lunch, we continued up about 200' up to our ultimate destination for the best views of Mt Shasta.

There's a crawl space under a slanted boulder that takes you out to a cable protected cliff for a panoramic view of big white Shasta to the east and also more crags to the north.

The temperature on top was a very pleasant range from mid 60s to low 70s with a slight breeze. We had climbed 2,200' to about 4,800'. We were careful heading down over slanted rocks and gravel and some dead fall.

We finished tired but exhilarated by accomplishing this epic hike.

Six of us celebrated at an outdoor table at Yak's in Dunsmuir post hike. We had hiked 6+ miles in the majestic Castle Crags.