There is a short, but great hike in Shasta Valley to take you to Trout Lake. It has stellar views all around and highlights the high desert scenery.
To the north of the mountain Shasta Valley is a desert, contrary to what you see on tv or in magazines. Barely wooded, the valley is a stark contrast of green against the gold desert terrain. Lined to the east and west by the Klamath and Cascade ranges, the southern end of the valley is crowned by the snowy pyramid of Mount Shasta presiding regally over its domain. The desert landscape is from the valley position amongst Mt. Shasta. There is little precipitation to the north and the desert stays as is. Just a few miles away you have dense green forests so it is a big contrast. Despite the dry climate a lot of the land is privately owned and in the southeast corner has little public land. The remainder of the valley is privately owned with one little known exception. Just east of the town of Montague lies the Shasta Valley Wildlife Refuge, a park administered by the California Department of Fish and Game. This 4657 acre former ranch has no development except agricultural infostructure.
The hiking in the Shasta Valley Wildlife Refuge is much different than other places around Mt. Shasta because it is on a road or it is cross-country. Although it is different, there is the Trout Lake which is a secret amongst most fisherman. It has a beautiful view of Mt. Shasta and if you are lucky enough you can get a nice reflection on the water. The refuge has no main hiking trail so the Trout Lake Trail is the closest thing. It is not officially sanctioned, but the trail still manages to have incredible vistas. The hike is not long, but the amount of places to venture off to and see around the lake is limitless. A hike around Trout Lake is a great thing to do when the mountains are full of snow in the winter months.