My primary purpose for hiking to the top of Mt. Eddy was to photograph Mt. Shasta. Enjoying the beautiful Deadfall Meadow Trail along the way was an added bonus.
Just under nine miles total, the hike in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest travels through flower-filled meadows, past alpine lakes, and up above tree line to the 9,037-foot summit. Captivating views of Shasta, the Trinity Alps and the Deadfall Lakes appear in every direction.
Seeing Mt. Shasta from the summit was worth the journey. The volcano loomed high across a valley where the I5 freeway passes through Weed. Mostly covered in snow, the peak of Mt. Shasta stands 14,179 feet tall. It’s the 5th-highest mountain in California and the 2nd highest in the entire Cascade Range after Mt. Rainier in Washington.
Shasta is a magnificent mountain – in my opinion one of the more photogenic peaks in California. It has that classic volcano cone shape that stands out against the sky because there are no other mountains in the background. On the day I summited Mt. Eddy, a few clouds clung to the side of Shasta but it was mostly a clear, blue-sky summer day.
The view from Mt. Eddy is unbeatable because it is higher than any of the nearby Trinity Alps, and the tallest point in Trinity County. Interestingly, Wikipedia states that Mt. Eddy is the tallest peak west of I5 through all of Washington, Oregon and California. The Deadfall Meadows trailhead is at 7,475 feet, creating about 2,500 feet of elevation gain on the hike.
Most hikers arrive at the trail from the east, heading in from Weed and the I5 freeway. You can also reach the trailhead from the west, coming from places like Weaverville or Callahan and Etna. Technically there are two trailheads to reach the summit of Mt. Eddy. Both start on Forest Road 42N17. The trailhead closest to Weed utilizes a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, while the Deadfall Meadows Trail – which begins roughly a mile west of the PCT junction on 42N17 – is shorter but with more elevation gain.
I took the Deadfall Meadows Trail, enjoying the bountiful wild flowers filling the landscape for the first half mile or so. On the way up you pass the four Deadfall Lakes. There are several great campsites next to these lakes and good opportunities for swimming on a warm day. The final stretch to the peak is barren of trees, opening up views for miles in every direction.
Being close to the Pacific Crest Trail, the trails aren’t empty. Even on a weekday, I shared the summit with eight other people. and passed several others coming down on my way up. AllTrails.com ranks the Mt. Eddy hike as the 7th-best in Trinity-Shasta National Forest, with a difficulty level of “moderate.”
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