Mt. Shasta: Bunny Flats

Center map

Mt. Shasta stands out

The drive up the five (I-5) took me through Redding, where I delivered on my threat to have a Double-Double at In-N-Out.

And since I had passed a Big Lots on the way, I decided—because of the low temperature forecast for the mountain—it was time to pop for some flannel sheets to add to my stack of blankets!


It was pretty flat for most of the way north of Mendocino until, suddenly, there were mountains and some rain. Lake Shasta was expansive and fantastic. I hate to say this but, I should have stopped for a day or two there (maybe next time)! There wasn’t a place to pull off and take a photo for you—you know I would have if I could.

These mountains aren’t small but, coming around a curve, the top of Mt. Shasta peeked through. And it is the standard-setter for the mountains ’round here! It towered above the mountains sitting to the south and her rocky top was enveloped with snow.

A very pretty sight!

Bunny Flats

The switchback road up the mountain next to Shasta (no small mountain in itself) twisted and turned for twelve miles, packed with ice and snow—with the road lined by plowed snow banks.

It was the first real test for the Sienna—and I’m pleased to report that it passed with flying colors.

[Note to self: the next minivan should have four wheel drive!]

Bunny Flats aren’t really all that flat! And you have to stop here because the road literally ends with a snow bank! The 7,000 foot height of Bunny Flats—where there are no campsites, just a large parking area next to the outhouse—offered a spectacular view of the mountains from whence I had come.

And the stars …the stars!

The blankets did okay.

The sad part is, it was too cold to put the new flannel on the bed once I was at altitude! So, I hunkered down with the blankets covering my head and warming my cocoon with my breath.

Clear skies!

And drop the temperature did: 17º overnight with a light wind, making the wind chill register in the single digits. When I awakened, all of my water—inside the Sienna—was frozen! No coffee at Bunny Flats today!

There were signs!

Oh, there are signs along the road getting there warning about dire conditions:

“No regularly scheduled snow removal from this point. Travel at your own risk.”

Possibly a bad idea.

Nonetheless, I went to Bunny Flats—and I got lucky. The two to six inches of predicted snow didn’t happen! I see this morning that it’s been delayed until this afternoon so, I left the high altitude and am now writing from Mt. Shasta City at its base.

This town could easily be somewhere in New England with its snow, quaint “downtown” area (lots of Christmas lights) and abundance of pickup trucks (I’ve seen only one car while here). This morning, I saw two officers walking the main street on patrol—each with a dog. Now, that is small town!

I think I’m heading to Yreka (Why-REE-kuh) now. It’s the last “big” California town on the map before Oregon and it has a Walmart Supercenter—for some propane canisters (I’m down to two).

Next stop:

The Klamath Falls National Forest! There’s a little campsite that has “Craggy mountain” on the horizon called “Tree of Heaven” campground. It’s situated on the Klamath River and not too far from Yreka.

I’ll be fully stocked with gas, propane and food (hopefully, my water will return to being a liquid) so, I might stay there a few days.

Stay warm and…

Happy trails my friends!

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