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Shasta/Clear Creek


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My 12 year old and I are heading up the Clear Creek route this weekend. Plan on heading into the springs (~9,000'??) Sat and spending the night before heading up early Sunday. We've been up Adams together but that's as high as we've been.


Any route or altitude considerations anyone would like to share? Specifically, how's the hike into the springs, how are bivy/tent sites there, water, route finding before daylight from camp, etc. I understand wind may be our greatest demon. Any info is much appreciated.

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The following is from this site: http://www.shastaavalanche.org/reports.htm


Clear Creek Trailhead: The trailhead is open and there is water running at the spring. The route is mostly scree. The routes on the East side are notorious for getting climbers disoriented on the descent. Pay close attention to what drainage you are supposed to descend, so you do not descend the wrong route. We recommend filtering, treating or boiling your water. Please camp at least 100’ away from the springs or creek and tread lightly by walking on the rocky areas avoiding fragile plants.

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My 13 yo daughter and I attempted it twice this month , she pooped out at 12500 the first time , the second time we experienced up to 80 mph winds reaching 13300, didnt want to get blown off the icy summit plateau so we turned .


Anyway , the road is up to trailhead is a little rutted but doable with car . Just hike up the wooded then open area trail up to 8000 ft , the trail starts to turn left and drop down a little gully ( the left of Wintin ridge ) stay on trail , and eventually you will see springs on right of trail . Awesome clear water !! pick any area to camp , not much for sheltered sites here , we used the brush, trees for protection. There are some rockwall sheltered areas up higher next to the Watkins Glacier but we didnt want to drag gear up there .


We followed the path up to the Watkins Glacier which will be to your slightly left going up but not into Mud Creek canyon which is below Konwakiton Glacier. We cramponed up for this but I assume the glacier might be melted out a bunch by now , so its scree all the way to above the Wintin Glacier and onto the summit plateau ,take a left on plateau and you will see the little summit ridge , be sure to look at the fumeroles up there pretty cool ! Have fun !


I might try Hotlum Bolam ridge this weekend if the winds calm down , 40 mph on summit on todays NWS Mount Shasta forecast , it said 25 mph the day we had 80 mph so its a crapshoot . BTW annual summit pass is 25 bucks at ranger station so you will save if you decide to come back within the year , no parking pass required now at TH .


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Thanks very much for the good info. Can you estimate the distance and elevation gain to both the place you and your daughter camped and the higher spots at Watkins Glacier? Also, is water available at Watkins?


Yeah, I've heard a lot about the wind. My kid weighs 80lbs, I'd like to not have to tether him to me!


So no parking pass required huh? I'll pick up the 3 day pass on the way tomorrow, doubt we'll get another chance this year.


Again, many thanks.

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Glad to hear the info is helpful , my nike altimeter watch is +- 200 ft depending on barometric pessure , I dont update the watch to current baro press.


The TH is approx 6700 ft , where we camped is 8700 ft, to the left above the springs... the sheltered areas next to Watkins , I assume its 9300 ft . Took us less than 3 hours to campsite ,probably 2.5-3 miles ,great veiws of the canyon on the left, parallel with trail.


Didnt see any running water around Watkins Glacier , the springs is your best bet , fill up there , crystal clear , however we didnt boil it but we survived ! LOL I know its ideal to camp higher but I think you have to be at least 10K for a longer duration of time to really acclimate, so we drank LOTS of water to help ,also an aspirin helps thin the blood out in the am before heading up.


Also on the annual pass, its good for a whole year from date of purchase ,not Dec 31st. Under 16 yo ,no summit pass required . I want to try skiing Clear Creek next May/June , terrain looks awesome. I am leaving for HB Ridge in the am, should be fun on the ice ....Have a great time !

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Thanks yet again for your info although I didn't receive it until our return. Hope your trip up HB was successful and fun.


We camped just above the springs. Got up at 3am, hiking by 4 and made the first 3000' or so effortlessly to the pancake-like boulders just under the steep rise to the summit plateau. Then the work began as we ascended a bit too far to the south up a real loose section. Real exhauseted by the time we reached 13,000'. I was becoming doubtful but my boy was insistent upon continuing. Up we trudged to the summit arriving at 11am. The summit approach from Clear Creek leaves you wondering until you wind around to the west and see that it's damn near wheelchair accessible up the well worn path! Calm and warm but very smoky all around from the fires up north. Only a very few people up our route, dozens up AG. Stayed on summit a half hour then headed down making our camp by 2:30. Broke camp, hiked out and drove back to Eugene arriving at 9:30pm, exhuasted.


No altitude issues other than shortness of breath. My kid is very pumped at getting over 14,000'. Would like to try Rainier next spring.


The fumeroles below the summit were cool. Hard to imagine that night that Muir spent there over a 100 years ago.


Shasta is quite a place - so glad we made it.


See ya.

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Conrats to you and especially your son , wow what an accomplishment ! My daughter is gonna be jealous ! LOL shes tried 3 times.


Anyway the HB route is awesome , more physical demanding due to steeper slope , 45 deg most of the way . The road to the TH is rough , averaged 10 mph over the 8 mile road from Hwy 97. Took 3 hours to reach the high camp , nice trail and the glacier creek was just a few steps from the campsite , about 10 sheltered sites there. Excellent views of the glaciers , ridges and crevasses allowed easy route planning the day before.


Left at 5 am , saw only 2 other people on the way up resulting in a wilderness approach. Mostly snow with a few risky areas of ice above the bergshrund going up the ramp so be AWARE as you cant see the shrund when youre close to it. The scree and talus from Rabbit Ears to the summit ridge was easy , handclimbed over a few boulders for fun. Summited at 10 am , beautiful day with just a breeze and no wind at the summit however saw BUSLOADS of people coming up from AG , LOL. The descent was easy except I tried to glissade down the path below the shrund but the snow was too firm so I skied in my boots in the sun cups. Reached TH by 330 pm, got to Eugene around 815 pm.


I looked for you guys at the summit but didnt see any other kids ,you mustve been on the plateau as I left ...the trail goes to the north end of the summit ridge and it joins the HB path....I put a post on the DC route conditions thinking of soloing Mt Rainier this month but theres 2 snowbridges getting dangerous so I prob will wait till next June and go up Emmons , the White River /Glacier Basin is awesome ! Doing the Cascade Volcano tour , completed 8 of them so far . Shasta is awesome as you can climb it in various ways w/o all the dangers like Mt Rainier . Take care





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