Mt. Shasta - Panther Meadow to Gray Butte 8-28-19

Photos by Dan, Jerry, Keeley and Linda

14 of us headed south to hike in the Mt. Shasta area.  This is a hike that was last completed in 2013.  There is a photo below of those that hiked it in 2009 - three of whom still hike with us. 

We arrived at the parking lot and headed up our normal trail, planning to go clockwise on this loop trail.  We made it through a spectacular meadow, full of flowers and stopped to admire a spring, which was bubbling up through some black sand.  Then, as we headed up our normal route, the Forest Service had decided to close it, so back down and on the road to the middle parking lot (not a good sign). 

As we approached the second parking area, there was a sign that read “TRAILHEAD,” and we decided this must be right, but it wasn’t, so back on the road and to the upper parking lot we hiked.  The third attempt was correct and we were finally on the right trail. 

We hiked up to the first ridge under the watchful eye of Mt. Shasta.  Then down the other side to connect with the trail to Gray Butte.  Along the way, we passed several springs that flow right out of the rocks and create a green patch for several 100 feet, complete with flowers.  It was quite spectacular sitting in the middle of a barren rock landscape that could have been on the moon.

By now the clouds were getting dark and the temperature was dropping.  Most of us decided to go for lunch on top of Gray Butte, despite the looming clouds.  As we approached the top, there was some rumbling and after a few minutes on top, the hail started, then rain and finally some thunder and lightening.  Someone saw a lightening bolt hit Mt. Shasta, so we all decided it best to head back down into the forest.  The storm passed in about 10 minutes, but it did provide some excitement along the way. 

Everyone made it back to the cars in good shape and we headed home.  Some of us took refreshments at Caldera, noting the 90 degree weather in Ashland vs the 70 degree weather near Mt. Shasta.  I thank the entire group for having patience as I rerouted out hike. 

Keeley

Track download: Panther Meadow to Gray Butte 8-28-19.GPX

Ashland Hiking Home

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Z01 Pretty 6-7 Mile Hike on Mt. Shasta.jpg
Z01 Pretty 6-7 Mile Hike on Mt. Shasta.jpg
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Z02 This Map for long way around to Gray Butte.jpg
Z02 This Map for long way around to Gray Butte.jpg
Z03 Lenticular Clouds leaving Mt. Shasta as we arrived.jpg
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