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10-27-22 CLOSED FOR SEASON: One may still access this trailhead and area of the mountain, but the gate is closed at Bunny Flat. Get your summit pass, wilderness permit and human waste wag bags at Bunny Flat or the ranger station in town. Add an extra 3 miles to your hike if accessing this trailhead from Bunny Flat.
The Old Ski Bowl (OSB) trailhead lies at 7,840 feet at the very end of the Everitt Memorial Highway (EMH) on the south side of Mt Shasta. This is a dead end road 14 miles long from the edge of Mt Shasta City where the National Forest boundary begins. Wilderness Permits, Summit Passes and Human Waste Pack-out bags are available here. There are no bathrooms or water. The closest bathroom is at the Panther Meadows walk-in campground or Bunny Flat. This trailhead accesses the Avalanche Gulch, Green Butte/Sargents Ridge, and Sargents Ridge routes. It isalso one of several access points for South Gate Meadows, Panther Meadows and Gray Butte trails. In the OSB itself, there are numerous trails, old roads and reminants of the actual Old Ski Bowl ski area from the 70's. The OSB is a cirque formed by glaciation during the Pleistocene. Green Butte, on the west side of the bowl, is one of the most prominent landforms. Along Sargents Ridge, an arete, the Thumb Rock cirques and Shastarama Point are also impressive features.
The EMH is plowed year round, however the gate is closed at Bunny Flat annually, November 1 through July 1 due to snow. While most climbers use the Bunny Flat trailhead to climb all routes on the south and west sides of Shasta, the OSB trailhead is also an option for Avalanche Gulch and Green Butte/Sargents ridge routes. For the Sargents ridge route, it is the trailhead to begin from. If you choose to climb Sargents when the gate is closed, you'll have 3 extra miles added to your approach. The OSB trailhead is almost a 1,000 feet higher than Bunny Flat, and while this is enticing for some climbers, remember that you'll have to negotiate traversing up and over Green Butte ridge if you're climbing Avalanche Gulch. Not technically difficult, but offers exposure to rockfall and potentially serious slips and falls during firm, smooth snow conditions.
The OSB is outside of the Mt Shasta Wilderness and thus snowmobiles are allowed in the bowl during winter and early spring. Do not be surprised to see and hear many snowmobilers in the area during the height of the winter and early spring season. Green Butte ridge is the west side of the wilderness boundary and it's possible that you'll have sledders highmarking the east side of the ridge if climbing that ridge route. Once the snow melts at Bunny Flat, they are not able to make it past the gate and up the pavement.
Given that the OSB is outside of the wilderness boundaries, it is a great area to take your dog for a walk. Please note however that the east boundary of the wilderness is not far up the South Gate Meadows Trail. Any trail entering wilderness is marked and that is your turn around if you have animals with you!
Enjoy this area, bring a picnic! Tables are available and are ADA accessible. The views are amazing!