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Shasta & Lassen

Old 05-30-17, 11:28 AM
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Rider51
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Shasta & Lassen

While I realize most people in No Cal are based in the Bay Area, I wanted to start a thread on the area of far northern California, specifically the Cascade mountains of Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, and the Modoc, Shasta, and Lassen National Forest areas. This is one of my favorite places to visit in the state by bike, and the peaks have tough, challenging climbs to ride. Specifically through Lassen Park from the South (either way, really) and the Everett Memorial Highway on Shasta.

There's also a terrific single lane paved road called Old McCloud Road that goes from the town of Mt. Shasta to the ski area on Shasta, which also drops down the Park Highway to Route 89, which can be ridden for a loop (89 is a highway, but traffic isn't bad).

The ride through Lassen National Park from the 36/89 junction, over the pass, and down to Manzanita Lake is 38 tough miles, one way. I never had the gumption to do an out & back of all 76 miles in one day, but have ridden both ways through the park. Incredible scenery! Leave your car behind if you really want to experience this great national park.

There are also a lot of really quiet roads between the two peaks, plus to the east of there. The Harris Spring (old Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway) is one, as is Lookout Hackamore Road. There's a road off 139/140 that was once named A1 that my dad showed me once (by car) that was red. I'll be darned if I can find it on a map now, but talk about remote. The Warner Range east of there is also very quiet.

The entire thousands of acres would also be great to visit by gravel bike, or MTB as well.
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Old 06-01-17, 04:28 PM
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I work in that area a lot, and am planning to ride a good section of the Bizz Johnson Trail from Susanville in early July. I've also always been tempted to ride around the Shastina/Yreka area north of Weed. Every road is wide, and isn't heavily traveled.
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Old 06-01-17, 04:45 PM
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It was snowed in two weeks ago when I was around there. When did you do this?
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Old 06-02-17, 03:47 PM
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blt
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I don't know if they will do it again this year, I haven't seen confirmation, but an awesome event at Lassen National Park the past few years has been the Vehicle Free Day -- the day before the road through the park opens, they allow bikes, peds, scooters, etc. but no motor vehicles. It is pretty awesome. The road is free of cars for 27 miles each way, from Manzanita Lake on the north to Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center to the south, a nice 54 mile round trip with some pretty good climbing. They even did it once in the fall a couple of years ago when the snow held off long enough to actually be able to plan the closure.

The biggest problem is it is hard to plan in advance because they don't announce it very far in advance of road opening -- they don't know for sure when the road will open until it is near time to open. Last year it was on June 11 (a June 12 road opening for cars, but it wasn't announced until June 3. Since 2010, the latest the road opened for cars was July 16 (in the snow year of 2011) and the earliest was May 3, in 2015. Going back to 1980 the latest road opening was July 21 (in the heavy snow year of 1995) and the earliest was April 28 in 1990.

Well, it is going to be June or July this year, my best guess for this year is sometime in July, especially since there are plenty of trees to clear this year along with a lot of snow, and I hope they have another Vehicle Free Day. It really is a great way to enjoy the road through the park.
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Old 06-02-17, 05:52 PM
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We have done the Castle Crags Century ride for several years. It starts and ends in Mt. Shasta City. It is one of the best run organized rides we have ever done and is just is a beautiful ride. Love riding (and fishing) in your area.
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Old 06-03-17, 01:03 PM
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I'm planning a fishing trip via train and bike up there later this summer.
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Old 06-19-17, 11:41 PM
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I'm generally unenthusiastic with the out-and-back style riding up there. I would love to find a loop that goes over Lassen, but I doubt it can be done without a cross bike, or a really long day with few water options. Same thing around Shasta; gravel on the Eastern half calls for a cross bike.

One loop that's fascinated me is Castle Crags. I think some of this was recently paved? Going clockwise from Castella, take Castle Creek Road, climb to PCH and W A Barr Road, back down to Mt. Shasta town, then follow Hwy 5 back to Castella. 52 miles and 6K feet. Has anyone ridden this?
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