If you want a grand view of the amazing, vast beauty of Shasta County and beyond, then grab the family, your camera, your dog and hike to the top of Chamise Peak! It will not disappoint! Located north of Redding and east of Keswick Reservoir, this moderate-sometimes-steep hike is only 2.4 miles to the top.
Flanagan is a dirt trail with an abundance of manzanita trees. You will also find pines, oak trees, and in the spring, beautiful blooming wildflowers. The trail is so doable, we saw people on bikes and also a couple of horses on our way up.
The first part of the trail has no view so you are shaded by all the trees, then the payoff comes as you round the bend. Suddenly there are breathtaking views of the southern end of the Cascade Range. Mt. Lassen stands out in all her beauty and at the right time of year, she will be covered with snow to show off even more. A camera is essential for this moment!
Within a few more yards of this spectacular view of the Cascades, you arrive at an intersection. Now you have a choice. You can take Flanagan Trail or Chamise Peak Trail. Flanagan leads to the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail, which is 1.3 more miles or Chamise Peak Trail, which will take you to Chamise Peak and is 1.2 miles. While you make your decision about which trail to take, have a seat on the bench, take in some water and snap your family photo. We chose to take Chamise Peak Trail on our hike.
With a climb of only 700 feet you reach the peak at 1,618 feet in elevation. A picnic table and spectacular views await you. To the north is Mt. Shasta, Shasta Lake and Shasta Dam also known as “The Three Shastas”. Looking southwest over the edge of the peak, you’ll see an amazing view of the Sacramento Rail Trail in the Sacramento River canyon.
Prepare for this hike by taking plenty of water since there are no water fountains, however, keep in mind, there are also no restrooms. Flanagan Trail to Chamise Peak is a nice nearly 5 mile hike round trip where you can take the whole family including your dog.
This “Best Of” article originally appeared August 21, 2014.
Renae Tolbert lives in Redding where she enjoys outdoor photography, writing short stories, biking and hiking. She considers herself a photographer first, writer second. Her passion is to bring joy and beauty into people’s lives by sharing what she sees through her camera lens. Her photography is available at Enjoy the Store where she sells prints and greeting cards. Her short stories can be read in the bi-monthly Joyful Living magazine.