Lemuria lost continent: Three ways to enjoy legendary Mt. Shasta

Updated: May 25, 2016
Lemuria lost continent: Three ways to enjoy legendary Mt. Shasta

Like the intrepid John Muir, I was in awe when I first set eyes on Mt. Shasta. The massive volcanic mountain, about an hour’s drive south of Ashland, is not your average peak. As Muir wrote way back in 1874:

“When I first caught sight of it I was 50 miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”

Mt. Shasta is incredibly stark, rising and standing alone as a majestic triumph of nature. Right next to Shasta is Shastina, a smaller but also impressive volcano, adding to its beauty and grandeur.

Mt. Shasta is so geographically distinctive that it can create its own weather. This can often happen when the lens-shaped lenticular clouds form near the mountain’s summit, adding another layer of beauty and mystery to this 14,180-foot peak.

It is no wonder that Mt. Shasta has been a Native American spiritual site for millennia. Klamath tribal lore speaks to the god Skell who fought Llao, the god of the Below World, by throwing hot rocks at Mount Mazama (Crater Lake). This is the ancient history of the eruptions of both volcanoes.

Today, religious pilgrims continue to flock to the slopes of Mt. Shasta. Various groups, including students of the Ascended Masters and I Am teachings, study what is believed to be a lost civilization that lives on Mt. Shasta. The story of the sunken continent of Lemuria lives on and many mystics believe that Lemurians now reside in tunnels and on the surface of Shasta as they slip in and out of the fifth dimension.

Mysticism aside, the real draw for me to the mountain is that it serves as a year-round destination for fun. Whether you’re looking for an adventure from the mild to extreme, it’s got something for everyone.

Climb the mountain — I hiked up Mt. Shasta several years ago and it was an exhilarating experience, but it required a lot of planning, the appropriate gear, and a permit from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It’s not an easy trip and you need to be in good shape. While there are several climbing routes, the most popular is from Bunny Flat and passes by the historic Shasta Alpine Lodge. If you make it to the top, you are rewarded with expansive views of the Trinity Alps, Marble Mountains, Castle Crags and the peaks of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada.

Ski the Mountain — The Mount Shasta Ski Park has 425 acres of ski terrain, with 32 trails, and 1,435 vertical feet. There is a great tubing facility at the ski area, and it is a fun place to take kids. After a massive avalanche took out the original ski bowl, the current runs have operated at the new location since 1985. If you are looking to get off the beaten path, the backcountry ski routes on Mt. Shasta are also a regional destination and provide nearly limitless opportunity for skiers.

Wildflowers and Camping — Viewing wildflowers on Mt. Shasta is spectacular, and numerous meadows offer summertime high-alpine experiences that are great for families. Panther Meadows is an easily accessible destination about 1.5 miles from Bunny Flat. A walk-in campground near timberline (7,500 feet), Panther Meadows Campground offers 15 sites and serves as a launching point for beautiful wildflower walks.

If you visit Mt. Shasta, make sure you watch the weather. My favorite story of Mt. Shasta is “Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta” by John Muir. Muir tells the story of surviving a blizzard by taking refuge in scalding hot, but very shallow geothermal springs near the summit.