Mt. Shasta is one of the largest mountains in California
, found in the northernmost portion of the state. It towers to well over 14,000 feet, making it almost as tall as Mt. Whitney
, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. However, unlike Mt. Whitney
, Mt Shasta
rises from lowlands on all sides, making it tower imposingly over a large area.
Mt Shasta is a volcano, one of the southernmost in the Cascades (Mt. Lassen is a bit further south, but lacks Shasta's imposing shape.) It has erupted in recorded history, and is now dormant, although eruptions are always possible. Other examples of this type of volcano include some of the most scenic mountains in the world, such as Mt. Rainier and Mt. Fuji. This type of volcano is prone to catastrophic eruptions, lahars nuee ardentes. (Mt St Helens experienced a 'small' one of the latter, if Mt. Rainier experiences this it has the potential to destroy much of Seattle.) Eruptions of this sort have happened to Mt Shasta in the past, which is evidenced by the rolling terrain around its flanks. Mt. Shasta is relatively young, only a few hundred thousand years old in its current state, although it may have reformed and exploded/collapsed several times before.
Mt. Shasta is extremely beautiful, in a mainly conical shape but with 2 peaks, one towering over the other. It is snowcapped all year long and flanked by glaciers near the peak. The mountain is sacred to several Native American tribes (among other people), and it's easy to see why if you visit the mountain. I've only seen it from afar, but during one extremely clear day i caught a glimpse of the summit from as far away as northern Sacramento.