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Northgate High Camp

Climbing Route(s): Hotlum/Bolam Ridge
Trailhead(s): Northgate
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Friday, August 3, 2018 - 8:30am
Climbing Ranger

General Conditions on Aug 3, 2018


A rocky, rough road from highway 97 will take you approximately 9 miles up onto the north side of Mount Shasta and to the Northgate trailhead. The climbing routes on this side of the mountain are still in decent shape, however for this hike, the high point was the standard base camp for most climbers climbing the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge route. It is about 4 miles, one way, from the trailhead to the high camp. The route meanders through the forest, eventually poping out of the treeline. The easy to follow trail will take you to the high camp bench at about 9,700 feet. From this point there is no trail to the top. A day hike to here is doable for almost anyone. To proceed further, mountaineering knowledge and skills are required along with the proper equipment such as ice axe, crampons and a helmet. Glacial travel skills are also necessary for some of the routes. Water is available at the high camp though we suggest treating it. It is required to packout your human waste and packout bags are available at the trailhead. Wilderness permits are required for anyone entering the MS Wilderness. Summit passes are required for ascending above 10,000 feet, regardless if you plan on going to the summit or not. 

Glacier conditions are good and most snow bridges are melted out. On these warm days, always be careful and watch for a few remaining snow bridges that might be soft and sagging. Rockfall is on high currently so look for exposed areas of the mountain as sources of potential rockfall. The smoke from fires in the area has been pretty bad, but does fluctuate on a daily basis. Some days you can get above the smoke on the mountain. Others, not so much. Check our webcam to get a feel for it.

If you have further questions, please give us a call, 530-926-4511 for the very friendly and helpful MS front desk personnel or 530-926-9614 to speak with a climbing ranger directly!

(All photos from Lori Crocoll)


  • Northgate Trailhead
  • Northgate trail, just below treeline
  • Northgate trail, just below treeline
  • Below the high camp, looking out toward the Shasta Valley, north
  • Looking up the final pitch of the hike to the high camp
  • Northgate high camp as well as the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge route in view