This was a pre-hike for the 9/18 Mt. Shasta overnight. The road to the TH at Castle Lake is paved the entire way. This combined with the lake's relative shallowness (less than 2' deep over half of its 2,000' or so expanse) makes it a popular camping and wading destination for the Mt. Shasta locals.
Hal would categorize this hike as generally level. However, temperatures were in the 80s, climbing to 91o F in the afternoon which made the final 500' climb out at the end of the hike quite challenging.
The Castle Lake trail is basically up and down along the ridge, passing several smaller, pretty lakes. Greats views north and south from the ridge with spectacular views of the massive Castle Crags
The Mt. Bradley lookout is actually 120' lower than the previous high point on the ridge, but it provides grand views over Dunsmuir and points south.
If it is a nice cool day when we do this in September we will likely make it to the lookout. However, if it is hot, we will likely stop earlier on the ridge to conserve our energy for the return and evening festivities.