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The Clear Creek Trailhead is CLOSED for the 2017/18 winter season. Access to this Trailhead is limited November-May due to snow. Please pick up wilderness permits, summit passes, and packout bags at the Mount Shasta or McCloud Ranger Stations. Pilgrim Creek road is plowed allowing access to Clear Creek Road. Clear Creek road is not maintained in the winter.
The Clear Creek trailhead sits at 6,520 feet and accesses the Clear Creek, Konwakiton and Wintun Glacier routes. One can also view the incredible, loose and dangerous Mud Creek Canyon from this trailhead.
The trailhead is best approached from Highway 89. Follow the signs for 13.5 miles, 8 of those miles dirt, to the trailhead. Four wheel drive is usually not required unless heading in during early/mid spring. The road is rough in areas but overall a passenger, 2WD vehicle can make it in without problem.
The Clear Creek route is the easiest, non-technical ascent of Mt Shasta, granted that you stay on route. The traverse above the Wintun Glacier to the Summit Plateau wil present the "crux" of the climb and the steepest portion of the route. Rock fall has been encountered by some in this area also. While it is the easiest route on the mountain, don't let your guard down and still carry proper mountain equipment. This route has been the scene of many rescues due to "casual day syndrome!" Thus, the Clear Creek route should not be taken lightly; if one were to find themselves off route, glaciers, rock fall and other hazards can be found. A helmet, ice axe and crampons are still recommended for this route.
The established trail will take you to a set of natural springs that flow from the mountain at 8,480 feet. PLEASE NOTE: These springs and the ecosystem surrounding them are VERY FRAGILE. The flowers and grasses only get a very small portion of the year to do their thing! A big'ol set of boots and even bare feet can and will destroy these areas. The rangers take this very seriously. Please camp at least 100 feet away from springs and do not trample the edges of the spring when filling water. There are many nice bivy sites amongst the krummholz trees just before and past the springs. This is generally the standard camp for this route. Albeit a bit lower, it offers water and nice bivy sites.
The Clear Creek route is very loose in nature. Once the snow melts, which is usually pretty early in the season (April/May/June), the route is one long climb up loose scree. This side of the mountain has seen increased traffic over the years due to lack of snow and high rockfall potential on other routes early in the season. It has also become very popular for day hikers and backpackers not looking to summit. Rightly so as the views of this side of the mountain are spectacular, available water and a quiet, pristine place! Treat it with respect. Pack out all your food scraps, trash and human waste. Keep it looking good for all to enjoy!