Dogs No Dogs
Spring · Views · Wildflowers
This trailhead is typically open (free of snow) from late June (July or August on heavy snow pack years) to late October. A free Wilderness Permit is required and can be obtained at the Old Ski Bowl Trailhead self-issue permit station. As you cross over the divide above the Old Ski Bowl, you'll enter into the Mount Shasta Wilderness and all rules and regulations for wilderness use will apply. Avoid running on the fragile meadows and practice Leave No Trace (LNT).
Need to Know
There are no amenities at this trailhead and no potable water sources. Pit toilets and drinking water can be found at the Panther Meadow Trailhead and campground.
Starting from the east side of the Ski Bowl Trailhead, this trail climbs to a divide north of Point 8332. The south face of Mount Shasta fills the horizon above you and there are expansive views out over the Shasta Valley. Once over the divide, the trail descends into and crosses a broad, seemingly barren valley west of Red Butte. Although it may look like a desert, this area is festooned with blooming Pasque Flowers in season.
After crossing the valley, the trail passes a junction with the Panther Meadow Trail and climbs briefly to The Gate, a low point on the ridge running northwest from Red Butte. Past The Gate, the trail descends briefly into another valley, then swings east and northeast into the lush greenery of South Gate Meadows. Sargents Ridge, Shastarama Point, and the bulk of Mount Shasta provide a dramatic backdrop for these lovely little meadows.
After having crossed a fair amount of what seems like dry and barren ground (it's not), the grasses and wildflowers in the meadow come as a pleasant surprise. The little creek running through the meadows is a delightful bonus feature. Please stay on established trails to avoid trampling the fragile plants that form these meadows.
After enjoying the meadows, you have the option of returning the way you came or returning via the Panther Meadow Trail to form a partial loop. Just note that if you return via Panther Meadow, you'll have to climb to reach the Old Ski Bowl Trailhead.
Shared By: Bruce Hope