Mount Shasta Gateway Trail System

Mount Shasta Gateway Trail

With lovely views of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, Castle Crags and more, the Gateway Trail System makes for an excellent day hike.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Length:  10+ Miles Of Trail in the Gateway Trail System; Multiple Loops Possible – See Map Link Below
Trailhead(s):  Gateway Trailhead
Elevation Gain: Depends on Routes and Distances
Trail Type:  Out & Back – OR – Loop
Dogs:  Allowed On Leash
Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate
Permit Required?  No
Considerations:  Multi-Use System Used Also by Mountain Bikers, Runners, and Equestrians
Season:  Year Round


Located minutes from the town of Mount Shasta lies a fantastic trail network for hikers to explore.  With gentle elevation changes and great views, this gem winds its way through a beautiful tapestry of vegetation and rock.

The Gateway Trail System

The Gateway Trail System is a network of trails and roads sitting below Mount Shasta.  Open to hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and trail runners, this multi-user system is popular, but not overly crowded.

Easy Access

One of the main reasons The Gateway Trails are popular is that they are easily accessible.  Sitting just outside the town of Mount Shasta, the main trailhead is minutes off of Interstate 5.  For local hikers, bikers, and runners, it is mostly used for quick access to outdoor recreation and exercise.  Alternatively, for visitors seeking relatively flat ground for a less strenuous day, it is fantastic for exploring the area’s beautiful scenery while enjoying excellent up close views of Mount Shasta and Black Butte, as well as more distant views of Castle Crags and other mountain peaks.

Lots of Options

Further, due to the interconnection of dirt/gravel roads with purpose built trails, the Gateway Trail System gracefully handles the heavier summer usage it receives.  At three points, the main Gateway Trail intersects dirt/gravel roads.  At Marley Junction and Gateway Crossings, it also intersects additional trails. The map link below clearly shows the many options.

The Gateway Trail Hike

Starting from the main trailhead off of Everette Memorial Highway, the dirt trail is easy to follow.  Lined with lots of low vegetation and rock, the trail itself is neither overly rocky, technical, or steep.  At times the vegetation surrounding the trail is quite open.  When it is, it wows with striking “in your face” views of Mount Shasta.  Additional peeks at Black Butte are equally lovely, as are views of distant mountain ranges.  Since the trail never climbed above the tree line we stopped to admire the views whenever the trees allowed.  Our early June hike here also included quite an abundance and variety of gorgeous wildflowers.

Because the Mount Shasta area is breathtaking and has so much to offer, it attracts a lot of attention.  Many of the  trails in and around Mount Shasta are heavily used, particularly in the summer.  In contrast to our experiences hiking on some of these other trails, we met only a solo mountain biker on the Gateway Trail.  It was a refreshing treat to have the Gateway Trail nearly all to ourselves.  As such, we welcomed and appreciated the change of pace, solitude, and quiet we found on this trail.

Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.

Additional Information (Click below to follow link.)

Gateway Trail Slideshow

(Click image to expand.)

Gear We Use for Day Hiking

To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for day hiking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.

Mount Shasta Gateway Trail

Articles About Other Regional Outventures

Click below to learn about other regional outventures in this area.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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