The Crowning Glory of Chamise Peak

Hiking to Chamise Peak is beautiful. But stepping onto the top of Chamise Peak, is like taking a step into Heaven. The picturesque view of Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, and the majestic Mt. Shasta is absolutely gorgeous.

But first, you must get there.

Flanagan Trail takes you to Upper Sac Ditch Trail and Chamise Peak. Early morning is best this time of year. And in the early morning you’ll hear a rooster from below welcoming in the new day. Your hike through twisted manzanita brush, oak trees, and tall pines, is 2.5 miles, with a varying 6-12% grade A brisk walk can get you to the top of the 1,628 foot peak in an hour. It takes longer to let the scenic nature soak into your soul.

When you’ve hiked 1.3 miles, you’ll come to a bench where the trail splits to Upper Sac Ditch Trail. The trail to Chamise Peak gets slightly steeper in places from there and circles the peak until reaching the top. You’ll see views overlooking the valley to the east. To the west of Chamise Peak are scenic views of the Sacramento River, and the Sacramento River Rail Trail on the opposite side of the river. Peering between bushes, you’ll notice a curve in the river. There, the rail-trail disappears into the curved mountainside and passes through the historic train tunnel.

On my first trip, I hoped for a large rock or tree stump to sit on at the top. I cherished the thought of it being out of the sun. And there on top, in all it’s glory, were two towering ponderosa pines with a picnic table humbly resting in their shade. So peaceful – welcoming. I smiled and felt like I’d taken that step into Heaven. The views – oh my God – the peaceful views were beyond words.

On a clear day, there’s an incredible view of the 3 Shastas. You can also see the 3 Shastas viewpoint on Shasta Dam Blvd. There’s the magnificent Mt. Lassen to the east, and an even greater view of the Sacramento River flowing south through green hillsides.

I met a Redding heart surgeon and his wife on top the peak. They brought friendship and a drone to get some amazing pictures. Bodie and I followed the flight of the drone, as it captured, I’m sure, some spectacular views.

Time always comes to descend from the serenity of peace on the peak. Funny though, my dog Bodie never wants to leave. He just stands there looking at me as I begin my way down. I’ll stop to look at him, and wonder – does he feel the crowning glory of Chamise Peak?

Steve DuBois
For many years Steve DuBois has enjoyed taking photos of his dogs in interesting and unusual places. He created a photo book of his dogs especially for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he donated several copies. He loves that the kids enjoy seeing his dogs photographed in unusual ways. Steve says his dogs have been his photographic inspiration and motivation, but sometimes he tries his hand at nature shots, such as the photos he captured of the north state’s 2017 flooding, published here on A News Steve DuBois lives in Redding.
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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Carrie says:

    WOW! I can just feel the quiet and the peacefulness up at the top! So, so beautiful!

  2. Avatar Debbie Davis says:

    This is such a jewel right here in town. It never disappoints.

    • Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

      That’s one thing that amazes me, too, Debbie. It’s a jewel right here with easy access. It reminds me of taking the hike to Mt. Lassen peak. But it’s much easier. The distance is longer than the hike to Mt. Lassen peak, but it’s faster and much easier to hike.

  3. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Spectacular photos, Steve. I have only biked it a few times but you have now whet my appetite for a good hike. Thanks.

    • Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

      Thanks, Richard. That’s what I was hoping to do. And for those who can’t do the hike, I wanted to share the spectacular views with them.

  4. Avatar James Montgomery says:

    Nice. I’ve been along part of that on a bike, but did not go up to the top. Sorry I did not, now.

    • Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

      I hope you’re living near by, James, so you can make it to the top. I’ve met a lot of people up there from across the states and around the world. People want to see it. One elderly gentleman even told me it was on his bucket list.

  5. Avatar Sue says:

    You have whet my appetite too!!! :o)

  6. Avatar Candace C says:


  7. Avatar Judith Salter says:

    Can dogs be off leash? My dogs are my hiking buddies.

  8. Avatar erin friedman says:

    Putting this one on my to-do list. Thanks so much.

    • Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

      You’re most welcome, Erin. Enjoy. Now that we’re coming into our rainy season, I don’t know how much Mt. Shasta or Mt. Lassen can be viewed. But it’s still gorgeous and peaceful up there. The harmony of nature is so soothing. The hike is always rewarding.

  9. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you Steve! We did that hike before the trail was complete. I would love to hike it again. Thank for for all the photos.

  10. Steve Steve says:

    You’re most welcome, Joanne. Temperatures right now would make it a nice hike any time of the day. Enjoy.