Trip Report: Castle Lake

by Shasta Cascade on January 19, 2010

Castle LakeLast summer my family and I went hiking at Castle Lake. Our original intent was to hike up to Heart Lake, which is located above Castle Lake.  Heart Lake is listed by outdoor writer Tom Stienstra as one of the top ten spectacular viewpoints in California.

However, in the rush to leave the house I forgot to bring the topographical map. There isn’t any official trail to Heart Lake; so you have to go cross-country to get there. Also, because Heart Lake is higher than Castle Lake, you can’t see it until you’re almost there.  (In the photograph, Heart Lake located just over the ridge in the upper left corner).

Therefore, you have to know where you’re going.

We parked our car and headed along the left side of Castle Lake.  We crossed a small stream that is the water supply for the lake and passed a group camping area.  Almost immediately, we saw a small wood sign on a tree at the begining of a trail that im I thought I had a good idea of the map in my mind, but when it came down to it, I just couldn’t remember it’s location. We trudged through waist-high brush for a couple hours before giving up and heading back to Castle Lake.

When we returned home, I looked at the map and saw that we had been really close. When the weather warms up, we’ll try it again. Meanwhile, enjoy these summer pictures of Castle Lake.

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