Castle Crags, even after 31 years, remains a very special place for me. Upon moving here in 1981, it was the Crags that captured my photographic attention, not Mount Shasta. There is something very commanding about those granite spires rising more than 4000 feet above the valley floor. The complexity of this outcropping offers a lifetime of exploration and more. The Crags/Indian Springs Trail is a strenuous 2.7 mile trek (one-way) that gains 2250 feet in elevation and ends at the base of Castle Dome. For those of you able to make this hike, you will be rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views of the spires, the dome itself, as well as neighboring Mount Shasta. The Root Creek Trail is a moderate one-mile hike (one-way), largely through the forest canopy, which offers occasional views of the Crags themselves, before terminating at Root Creek. The Pacific Crest Trail also provides a variety of stunning perspectives.
Formed some 200 million years ago, Castle Crags is the result of many forces, including wind, rain, and glaciation, which have scoured and polished the granite spires we see today.
I never tire of spending time in Castle Crags. The photographic opportunities are infinite. I have witnessed Peregrine falcons mating in flight at the base of Castle Dome. I have seen a Northern Pacific rattler literally leap three feet through the air onto the trail and quickly coil, ready to strike. You never know what you might encounter here. Because of its relatively low elevation, the trails in Castle Crags remain open much of the year. Springs and creeks run full in the Spring. Wildflower blooms last into Summer and include azaleas, tiger lilies, Indian paintbrush, and wild iris. Black oaks, dogwoods, and vine and big-leaf maples provide colorful displays in the Fall.
To book a photo tour in Castle Crags, or a number of other area locations, contact me.
I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.
Until next time, happy image-making…