Southgate Meadow and Gray Butte - Mt. Shasta 9-6-23

Photos by Francie and Liz

Ashland Hiking Home

On Wednesday September 6th we had 5 from our group who were joined by Rich who wanted to do a scouting trip for the Monday hikers. We drove down to Mt. Shasta and up Everitt Memorial Highway to Bunny Flat where I filled out a wilderness permit for the group. Then we headed up near the old ski bowl and parked at the Southgate Meadows Trailhead that is a little over 7800 feet in elevation. We started out slow because it had been awhile since we had been up at altitude.

Along the way, we saw more Western Pasque flowers in the seed head stage than I had seen in a long time. We also say Catchfly, flowers from the aster family and various other flowers. When we got to The Gate, the sign says it is .50 of a mile to Southgate Meadow. My Garmin watch tracked it closer to 0.80 of a mile. The meadow was lush and green and had some Monkey Flowers and White Bog lilies. There were also other PYFs (Pretty Yellow Flowers). I am sure Liz knows the name of them all. We decided to take a snack break, then head back to the Gate.

We kept an eye on the gray clouds that were moving fast overhead. We hoped to avoid any rainfall or lightning. From the Gate, we took the trail that passes below Red Butte then heads towards Gray Butte. When we got to the connector trail, Rich decided to head down to Panther Meadows. We took a quick snack break before heading up the last mile to Gray Butte.

We had a good view of one of what I believe is the Coyote Butte Chair lift for Mt Shasta Ski Park. As we continued up, most of the darker gray clouds had blown over, but Mt Shasta remained hidden in the clouds. When we reached the top, there was a nice family with a young boy who was about 7 years old who was enjoying his time out in the wilderness. Someone in the group was nice enough to take a family picture of them on the top. We discussed with them where we had come from and they decided to take the trails we had come up on.

After lunch, we took in views of the town of McCloud, Mt Shasta city, Lake Siskiyou and Lassen Peak. We then went back down to the connector trail and headed to Lower Panther Meadow. Many of the flowers were past their prime bloom time but it was still beautiful. We then headed uphill to Upper Panther Meadow then out to the road where we walked a little over .30 of a mile to the car. It was a nice day for a 7 mile hike.