“A steep, rugged trail with far-ranging views to a rocky, spectacular valley with views of Mt. Shasta and Shastina.”
— Anne Travels
If running above 10,000ft., Summit Passes ($25/person, valid 3 days) are required.
Features: River/Creek — Views — Waterfall
Dogs: No Dogs
Be extremely careful of loose footing, scree, and rocks on the upper reaches of the trail.
The trail begins at Bunny Flat. Head upward on the moderate, heavily-used trail through sparse pines. After 0.1 miles, turn sharply left following signs for the Horse Camp. Continue another 0.9 miles to another trail junction; stay right here, again following signs for the Horse Camp. From here, the grade of the trail steepens and becomes dustier as it heads uphill through the forest.
The forest breaks into meadows and views of Mt. Shasta just before the Sierra Club cabin at the Horse Camp, 0.7 miles later. Keep left and head around the cabin to pick up the trail to Hidden Valley (marked with a dubious rock sign). If unsure of the trail, ask the volunteer who often hangs out near the cabin, or find the trail closest to the north corner of the cabin.
The trail is flat for a short distance, then begins climbing at a truly alarming rate upward via switchbacks and vague trails through scree fields. Flags have been strategically placed to aid the runner in following the trail, although even the flags may be slightly sketchy at times. Views open up of the town of Mt. Shasta, Yellow Butte, Castle Crags, the Trinity Alps, and more.
About a mile beyond the Horse Camp, the trail turns to the right to begin traversing the hillside, still upward, above a rocky canyon. A couple waterfalls are visible in the canyon below.
At 3.3 miles from the trailhead, the trail suddenly enters a saddle in the hillside. This is the entrance to Hidden Valley. At the same time, jaw-dropping views of Mt. Shasta and Shastina suddenly open up above Hidden Valley. Run down to the stream, or opt to scramble around the valley for more spectacular views.
Note: Hidden Valley may be filled with snow late into the summer months, even after the rest of the trail melted months earlier.