Hidden Valley Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"An active volcano, Mt. Shasta towers over the landscape of Northern California and hides a secluded world of rock and snow on its southwest flank. Hidden Valley awaits. Mt. Shasta (14,142´) is part of the Cascade Range of volcanoes that extends from Northern California to northern Washington State, and includes such notable peaks as Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. With a volume of roughly 80 cubic miles, Mt. Shasta is substantial—the largest of the Cascade Range—and while its vents have been active for at least 100,000 years, the bulk of the current mountain has been constructed over only the past 10,000 years in a series of at least 13 separate eruptions. Hotlum Cone at the summit has erupted eight times during this period, covering the mountain and surrounding landscape with lava and debris flows. Its most recent eruption occurred in 1786 and there is no doubt that the mountain will flare again—current studies indicate that on average eruptions take place once every 250–300 years. The Hike follows the popular trail to Horse Camp from Bunny Flat before continuing on an open cross-country traverse over loose and rocky slopes to Hidden Valley, a secluded depression offering outstanding views of the mountain. Because Mt. Shasta is primarily a mountaineer’s playground and Bunny Flat is the principal trailhead for the summit, crowds will be thick during mountain-climbing season (roughly April through July). The period following climbing season is best for hikers as crowds reduce drastically and the snow preferred by aspiring climbers melts off the trail. No water is available at the trailhead. Horse Camp has a freshwater spring and provides the hike’s only water source."