Mount Shasta rises 14,179 feet above sea level and is Northern California’s ultimate adventure hub. With hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, climbing, and paddling, all in one place, it’s easy to understand why tens of thousands of visitors flock to Mount Shasta’s slopes each year. Shasta has something for every type of traveler, from forested trails and towering peaks to alpine lakes and rushing waterfalls. Beyond its reputation as an adventure hub where travelers come to conquer snow-capped peaks and camp in hundreds of miles of protected forests, Mount Shasta is also known as a spiritual center and considered an energy vortex by indigenous communities.
Located in the upper reaches of Northern California, just below the Oregon border, Mount Shasta is home to a thriving outdoors community that’s well worth a visit. Overshadowed by Lake Tahoe as the go-to NorCal mountain escape, Mount Shasta offers visitors an off-the-beaten-path adventure in the Cascades’ southern range. Mt. Shasta rises 10,000 feet over the surrounding landscape and is visible for hundreds of miles, standing as a beacon to adventurers and spiritual travelers alike.
To travel to Mount Shasta in your Escape Campervan, pick your van up at our Portland or San Francisco locations. – It takes approximately 6.5 hours to travel 381 miles to Mt. Shasta from our Portland Location. – It takes approximately 5.5 hours to travel 315 miles to Mt. Shasta from our San Francisco location.
Why Rent a Camper Van For a Trip to Mount Shasta?
The perfect blend of mobility and comfort: A campervan gives you unparalleled mobility and comfort. While an RV may have a similar level of comfort, you’re limited on where you can park and stay. A camper van offers the best of both worlds– camping made comfortable and easy meals on the go. Navigate winding mountain roads with ease, get to remote dispersed campsites, and enjoy all the freedoms of campervan travel.
Easy to drive: Unlike large, hard-to-maneuver RVs, our campervans drive just like normal cars, fit into regular parking spots, and are easy to use both in nature and in the city. Campervans are unrivaled when it comes to dispersed camping. Renting a campervan allows you to access remote campsites and trails in the Mount Shasta Wilderness without sacrificing the comfort your van provides.
Flexible Camping: Since campervans don’t require electrical or sewer hookups, you can camp in tent-designated campsites and remote dispersed sites. The Mt. Shasta area has hundreds of miles of national forests to camp and explore in comfort with an Escape Campervan.
Convenient and fun: With dozens of add-ons and several spacious models to choose from, our campervans make spending the night in nature easy and enjoyable. You can pack everything you need for a multi-day and multi-activity adventure with you in your van and not waste time setting up a tent or looking for RV-designated camping/parking.
No matter what kind of trip you’re planning, a campervan is the ultimate adventure vehicle for exploring Northern California’s Mount Shasta Wilderness. Renting a campervan from Escape Camper Vans means more time to explore and fewer headaches on the road.
Preparing for a Trip to Mount Shasta
Rain Gear: The weather can change quickly at high altitudes. Bring rain gear and plenty of layers for your time in Mt. Shasta.
Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and a sunshirt for hiking in the bright California sun. Don’t forget to bring these items in the winter as well, you can get a sunburn any time of the year, and the sun reflecting off the snow can result in an intense sunburn.
Layers: Northern California’s warm, sunny weather can turn cold quickly, even in the summer. Bring plenty of layers, even if you’re traveling in the summer. If you’re traveling in the winter, bring proper winter clothes and expect extreme winter weather.
Water & Food: A campervan allows you to take everything you need on the road. Add a kitchen kit to your campervan to make sure you have all the things you need to cook on the road.
A van makes dispersed camping easy. You can disperse camp for free on federal and BLM land. The Trinity-Shasta National Forests has dozens of dispersed camping options for those looking for a bit more seclusion than a traditional campground. There are plenty of apps to help you find a dispersed camping site on your route. If you’re considering booking a campsite either in a reservable site on federal land or a private campsite, make sure you book at least two months before your trip.
Navigation: Your ability to navigate is integral to your trip’s success. Download maps so they are accessible offline and bring portable chargers. You never know when you’re going to lose service.
Printed Maps: You never know when you’re going to lose service in the mountains. Take a printed road map of the park in case you lose service.
If you’re camping in Mt. Shasta, you’ll likely encounter wildlife. The Mount Shasta area has no shortage of wild animals, including Bald Eagles, Black Bears, Coyotes, Gray Foxes, Mountain Lions, and more. Always utilize bear-safe storage options when camping near Mt. Shasta.
Leave No Trace Principles
Whenever traveling in nature, utilize Leave No Trace Principles, meaning pack out everything you packed in, including food waste, trash, camping gear, and anything else you may have brought.
Which Camper Van is Best for Traveling in Mount Shasta?
Escape Camper Vans’ Portland and San Francisco locations offer a variety of van models to suit your travel needs, group size, and desired destination. These fully-equipped vans provide the ultimate mix of comfort and ease of travel. With a built-in kitchenette, solar panels, and a comfortable queen bed, there’s no better way to hit the road. From our Portland location travelers can choose between the Mavericks, Mesa, and Del Mar models. From our San Francisco pickup location, you can choose between the spacious Mesa, Mavericks, Del Mar, and Santa Cruz models, as well as our Jeep camper. Each van sleeps up to 5 people (with a rooftop sleeper). Browse our selection of vans to find the perfect model for your Northern California road trip, and make sure it’s stocked with everything you need for an epic adventure.
Must-See Sights, Events, and Places in Mount Shasta
Ski Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta is more than just a summer haven for adventure. It’s also one of California’s best-kept winter secrets. Mt. Shasta Ski Park is located 6 miles south of the massive stratovolcano and offers skiers and boarders three skiable summits of 6150, 6567, and 6880 feet.
Visit Pluto’s Cave
Pluto’s Cave is a partially collapsed lava tube on the northern side of Mount Shasta in the Klamath National Forest. You can access Pluto’s Cave using Pluto’s Cave Trail, an easy 1-mile trail that takes you to the cave’s entrance, where you can descend and travel for over a mile underground.
Take on Black Butte Trail
Black Butte Trail is a challenging out-and-back hike in the Mount Shasta area that ascends 1,811 feet in 5 miles. This trail offers incredible views of Mt. Shasta Volcanic Peak and is best accessed from May to November.
Hike, Bike, or Paddle Lake Siskiyou
This serene mountain lake located at the foot of Mount Shasta offers panoramic views of the mountain, a multi-use trail system, camping, boating, and more. The Lake Siskiyou Loop is a 6.5-mile trail that’s great for hiking, walking the dogs, or biking. There are boat rentals are available through the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort.
Hike to Faery Falls
Faery Falls is a stunning waterfall that’s easily accessible with a short hike. The falls are accessible via Faery Falls Trail, which is a 1.4-mile out and back that takes you directly to the base of the falls.
Camping at Mt. Shasta
Camping in Mt. Shasta is a true out west experience. Between Mt. Shasta and the nearby Shasta-Trinity National Forests, there are dozens of options for both dispersed camping and reservable campsites. Check out local dispersed camping rules here.
Ackerman Campground is a lakeside campsite that’s favored by fishermen. Located in the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, this Shasta campground is open year-round but accepts reservations from May 21st through September 10th.
Alpine View Campground is located within the Trinity area of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. This is one of the most accessible and lowest elevation campsites, great for kids and those with accessibility needs.
Antlers Campground is perched on a bluff above Shasta Lake. With sweeping views of the lake and easy access from I-5, Antlers Campground is one of the most popular camping locations in the area and fills up quickly.
Castle Lake Campground is a primitive campsite tucked away into the forest near the beautiful Castle Lake that offers 6 sites with fire rings and vault toilets. No reservations are needed. This campsite opens in July.
Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
When is The Best Time to Visit Mount Shasta?
Mount Shasta has a relatively mild climate with warm summers and snowy winters. During the summer, visitors can expect temperatures to reach the mid-80s during the day. Mt. Shasta experiences approximately 28 inches of rain and 75 inches of snow a year.
Best Time to Camp at Mount Shasta
Summer: Summer in Mt. Shasta is delightful. With daytime highs in the 80s and night-time lows in the 50s, camping in Mount Shasta during the summer is hard to beat. Summer is the peak climbing and hiking season for Mt. Shasta and is the most popular time to visit.
Spring: Spring in Mt. Shasta still sees plenty of winter weather and snowfall that typically lasts until mid to late April. Expect milder temperatures at lower elevation areas. Spring is considered a shoulder season and has significantly fewer travelers.
Fall: Early fall is great for camping, with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 40s, it’s a pleasant time of year to explore Mt. Shasta. By the end of fall, you can expect highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, with more rainfall and the occasional snowfall. Fall is also considered the shoulder season and sees fewer visitors than in the summer.
Winter: Mount Shasta sees a fair amount of snow at higher elevations, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. At lower elevations, winter weather is more mild. While plenty of travelers visit Shasta to ski, you won’t see summer-level crowds.
Reserve with Escape Camper Vans for your trip to Mount Shasta
There’s no better way to experience Mt. Shasta in all its glory than with a campervan. A campervan allows you to travel deep into the Trinity-Shasta National Forest and experience everything the Mountain has to offer. Pick your campervan up at Escape Campervan in Portland or San Francisco for an unforgettable road trip through Northern California.