One hundred sixty miles of the 2,600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Mexico and Canada pass through Shasta County. The PCT passes some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of the southern Cascades through Shasta County, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Castle Crags State Park, and two National Forests.
Access to the PCT is easily accomplished at Lassen or either of the state parks. The Shasta Trinity National Forest and Lassen National Forest offer multiple trailheads in Shasta County. Hikes along the PCT can vary from a very long trek to short day hikes, with beautiful destinations and opportunities to resupply throughout.
From south to north, the PCT enters Shasta County in Lassen Volcanic National Park and traverses Lassen's backcountry, passing many lakes and streams at around six to seven thousand feet. The PCT intersects Highway 89 at Old Station, offering through-hikers an easy resupply stop as well as lodging, food, and other services. The Hat Creek Rim is next, which is a long hike with no water which is known to exhaust many through-hikers. The PCT then crosses Highway 299 and 89 again before entering McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. It then crosses miles of upper elevation conifer forest before entering picturesque Castle Crags State Park near another popular resupply spot in Castella.
Bikes are not permitted on any part of the PCT, but horses are welcome. The grades of the PCT are generally more gentle to accommodate equestrians. Through-hikers on the PCT develop their own culture and many neighbors of the trail become well-known 'trail angels' by the help they offer these long-distance travelers. However, the majority of users of the PCT are out for less than the full 2,600 mile trek, and Shasta County offers many different types and lengths of hikes on the PCT to some of its most beautiful scenery.
A map and information about the Pacific Crest Trail is located in the sidebar for your convenience, and be sure to contact the PCT Association at http://www.pcta.org/ to plan your exploration.