Snowman's Hill s(u)


Gigantic Mount Shasta has populated slopes. One side is climbed by an interstate highway and even the railroad. Stores, traffic and tourists all converge at the town "Mount Shasta City", with the snowy namesake looming behind. From there it's another 1000ft higher to the top of this hill, which also serves as an access road to a ski area.

There two completely paved approaches on this road. But the profile below contains an unpaved SOUTH-2 approach, in order to illustrate a partially paved loop ride, that I tried.

1.(2340ft,mile00.0)START-END SOUTH-1 ALT: I5 exit south of Dunsmuir
2.(3360ft,mile08.5)profile truns from S Old Stage Rd onto Azalea Dr
3.(4470ft,mile14.0)TOP: profile turns right to Soda Creek Rd
4.(3840ft,39.0miles)profile turns right at this saddle
5.(2530ft,mile21.0)START-END SOUTH-2 ALT: just south of Siskyou Ave - Deer Haven Dr, Dunsmuir


Approaches

From South 1. North of Castella bicycles have to travel on I5 for a short distance. Then several miles before Dunsmuire a little traveled service road leads through a tunnel of green with houses, hidden deep in the shady woods. This service road on the east side of the road seems to end at one point. But taking a right into what looks like an RV park on something named 1st or 2nd Ave or Street, makes the green tunnel continue on the other side of the river into Dunsmuire.

Past this interesting collection of old houses fronting railroad tracks, the profile stays on the west side of I5  When looking at a map, it seems like there is alternative approach on the east side of I5, in the form of an old highway. In sections this road is paved and has a drainage ditch so wide, that it could be mistaken for a bike lane. But it does not continue through to Dunsmuir on pavement.

We are still below Mount Shasta City on the west side of I5. On the upper part of this section, past another chance to ride on the interstate instead ( - No Thank You ), the road becomes just barely what you could call paved and winds over every tiny wave in the landscape to pick up every tiny driveway in the woods. The road is now called Old Stage Road. After this little detour loop to the west, Old Stage Rd south comes into proximity of I5 and the railroad again. Several crossroads lend themselves to ride into Mount Shasta City. The profile picks Azalea Drive.


a view of Mount Shasta, while leaving Shasta City on Ca89

Exiting the town back towards the south, Mount Shasta shows a few more pictures of itself, and then disappears behind the trees, as Ca89 climbs steadily and without interesting views of any kind towards a summit. It is signed with the name "Snowman's Hill" and the elevation. That last part on C89 has the most traffic along the way, but also a wide shoulder without rumble strips. On top a road crosses. The left is paved and leads higher up Skipark Hiway. The right is unpaved and described as South 2 approach below.

From South 2. Signs along the way warn - or advertise -  a locked gate. That's just perfect for a peaceful bike ride. After traversing a short section of National Forest land, this logging road traverses through dense forest. The road crosses another prominent dirt road at a saddle. While the crossing road is downhill in both directions, the one I am one is uphill in both directions. The profile goes downhill to the right. According to the map a left here would lead into Castella. Continuing to the right, there are a few great views of the Craggs downvalley.


forest clear cut on unpaved South-2 approach, Castella Crags in the distance

The dirt road finally ends at another gate and a junction with a paved road and yet another dirt road . The paved road heads north, back up towards Mount Shasta. Continuing downvalley is possible by following the dirt road at this junction. It leads to a fork, forcing the choice between two power line trails, one to the left going steeply uphill, one to the right apparently promising a descent into Dunsmuire. This option even delivers what it promises, but not without a couple of steep ups and downs. The trail enters Dunsmuire, north of town, at the jct with a private driveway, becoming South Summit View Pvt Rd. Looking for this intersecion from the other side you have to turn uphill between Oak Tree Inn and Best Choice Inn. - It's easier to find from the other direction - much easier.

Dayride

PARTIALLY PAVED / UNPAVED

( < Lassen National Park rd Summit | FR19 Deer Mountain Rd s(u) > )
Snowman's Hill: Near summit of Snowman's Hill on South-2 approach > down dirt road as described in South-2 > Dunsmuire <> several miles around Dunsmuire including service roads on both sides of the road as far as possible without going onto I5 >> up I5 service road west of I5 > Old Stage Rd(shp) > Mount Shasta City > a few miles around Mount Shasta City > up Ca89 > Snowman's Hill s(u) > back to starting point: 44.8miles with 3280ft of climbing in 4:10hrs.
Notes: "only 45 miles with 3000ft", but considering the horrible weather with its 95 degrees and high humidity, that's pretty good for me.



 



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