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The Mountain Talks

In Siskiyou, we may be known for adventure, but we’re also home to one of the most spiritual mountains in the world – Mount Shasta. Often called the “Magical Mountain,” visitors travel from all over to experience its transcendent nature, believing the Mountain speaks to them, and it has been like this for centuries. Of Mount Shasta, the naturalist John Muir said: “I was fifty miles away, afoot, alone and weary, yet all of my blood turned to wine and I have not been weary since.”  Author Joaquin Miller aptly describes Mount Shasta: “As lonely as God and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of California…The immigrant coming from the east beholds the snowy, solitary pillar from afar out on the arid sage-brush plains, and lifts his hands in silence as if in answer to a sign.”

In honor of how the Mountain “talks” to those who seek, a new speaker series ala Ted Talks will be happening in McCloud during the first weekend in November, and will deliver the opportunity to spend three days of learning, exploration and fun under majestic Mount Shasta. The event speaks to those who value life-long learning, love of nature, sustainability, health & wellness, conservation, music, storytelling, and the arts. But for those seeking additional adventure out in nature, here are a few other other spots in Siskiyou that have also historically demanded reflection and celebrate the natural beauty of this sacred Mountain’s region.  Come early, stay late and take a deep dive into total self-enrichment!


A series of three misting falls that are encompassed in granite, each with their own personality and connected by a single trail. Lower Falls are tame while Middle Falls exude a spiritual feel where a soul can hark back to the days when the Wintu Indians must have found deep peace on one of the huge rocks at the scene. Intense Upper Falls aren’t as photogenic as Middle Falls but are arguably the most breathtaking and certainly carry the most water force. The entire area that has been historically sacred to Native Americans, and still many believe the falls have a magical ability to clear any emotional disturbance, leaving you renewed and refreshed. 


Panther Meadows is known as one of the most ancient outdoor temple sites on Mt. Shasta. Many Native Americans consider the springs that run throughout the meadows to be sacred power points. Visitors often come to the area for its power, medicine and tranquility.  But tread lightly – the delicate ecosystem should also be treated with reverence.  Also accessible from here is South Gate Meadow Trail, one of the most soul-rejuvenating trails on the Mountain.


A beautiful meadow watered by spring-fed streams located just east of downtown, Sisson Meadow and the boardwalk that winds through it is a wonderful place for a meditative walk with great views of Mt. Shasta.


Before the snow makes access difficult, the beautiful Heart Lake and Castle Lake are amazing spots for reflection. In fact, the actual reflection of Mount Shasta in Heart Lake might be one of the most favorite vistas in all of Siskiyou.  But both of these mountain lakes provide the silence, dramatic views and solitude that often inspire humanity’s deepest ponderings.


Take the easy mile or so hike just outside the city of Mount Shasta to experience this magical 50-foot cascade!  Located along the historic Ney Springs Canyon Trail, you’ll pass a former resort location along the way that has since been taken over by nature. The Falls themselves provide lots of Instagrammable photo ops.  For a complete list of other spring flows or to build a weekend waterfall itinerary in Siskiyou, visit here.


An exceptional 136-acre art installation and war memorial located just outside of Weed with impressive sculptures, monuments, and grave markers to explore and reflect upon.  Several paths weave through the trees, where you can take a long quiet walk, drive the paths, explore the labyrinth, or do a little of both. 


Medicine Lake in the Modoc National Forest in northeastern California was formed 100,000 years ago with a volcanic eruption that left a caldera in which the lake formed. This is an area which is of spiritual importance to the Pit River, Modoc, Klamath, Shasta, Karuk, and Wintu. The highlands region surrounding it is still used for vision quests, gathering healing herbs, and other traditional ceremonies.

How will the Mountain talk to you? Book your trip today!

Travel Update: For the latest on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) click here