Mount Shasta/Hotlum-Wintun Ridge

A Class 3-4 glacier climb on Mount Shasta's northeast ridge.

getting there

From I-5 just south of Mount Shasta, turn onto SR 89 south and follow it to McCloud. Just past McCloud, turn left onto Pilgrim Creek Road, drive 5.2 miles and turn left onto Widow Springs Road (also marked 41N15).  Drive 5 miles to the intersection with McKenzie Road (Road 31) and turn right. Continue 6 miles to Road 19 (Military Pass Road), avoiding Old Brewer Pass Road. Turn left and follow Road 19 for 0.1 mile and turn left (west) on Road 41N02. In 2.8 miles turn left onto Road 42N10, in 0.9 mile turn left at the T intersection, and in 0.1 mile turn right at the next T intersection. Continue 2 miles to the Brewer Creek Trailhead (7,300 ft).


Hike the Brewer Creek Trail which first heads south across the lower flank of the mountain for about 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Then it needlessly switchbacks upwards towards treeline. The trail peters out pretty quickly near treeline, but by then the route should be obvious.


Standing at treeline and looking up at Shasta, spot the large moraine just up and to your right. Brewer Creek flows just to the left (south) of this moraine, but likely will be under snow. Hike up the drainage, keeping south of the moraine. It steepens between 8,600 ft and 9,600 ft. At 9,600 ft there is a small bench with good camping among the rocks. There's usually running water here by mid- to late-spring.

From here climb to the snowfield south of the Hotlum Glacier, angling left towards the narrow spine of rocks that separates the snowfield from the Wintun Glacier on the left. Ascend on climbers' right of this rock spine until underneath a prominent buttress with a chute in the middle. From here, traverse left above the Wintun Glacier and ascend a very wide chute to the summit.


Descend the climbing route.


Standard glacier gear.


  • Guidebook: Best Climbs Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot (Falcon Guides 2012).
  • Consider bagging Lassen Peak along with Mount Shasta. It's 5-mile round trip day hike with 2,000 feet of elevation gain.
  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, M2G Advanced Glacier Ski
  • Elevation Gain: 6,919 ft
  • 14,169 ft
  • Land Manager: Shasta-Trinity National Forest
    Mount Shasta Wilderness, Mount Shasta Ranger District (STNF)
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Wilderness Press Mt. Shasta Wilderness
  • USGS Mt Shasta, CA

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Trip Reports
Lassen Peak Trail Guide

A trail guide from the National Park Service for hiking the the summit of Lassen Peak.

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