OverviewWhaleback, sometimes referred to as The Whaleback or Whaleback Mountain, is an 8528 foot peak with three summits(the middle one being the highest) just north of Mount Shasta in northern California and is a part of the Cascade Range. There is very little written about this mountain anywhere and one would be hard pressed to find any literature that talks about a trail to the top...because there isn't one. That being said, bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a good pair of trekking poles when hiking Whaleback, you'll probably need them.
From the top there are wonderful views of Mt.Shasta, Shastina, Ask Creek Butte, Haight Mountain, Mt.Eddy, and Mt. Mcloughlin is Southern Oregon.
Getting ThereFrom Weed, Ca. drive north on Highway 97 for about 17 miles to the "Deer Mountain Snowmobile Area" and turn right-this road is Forest Service road 19. Take 19 about 6 miles to the Whaleback road turnoff-otherwise known as 42N24. Take 42N24 about 4 miles as you wind your way up through the lower flanks of Whaleback on a very easliy traveled surface. After four miles you come to one of two possible starting areas. The first is the unmarked road on your right(42N24A) that is blocked off to motor vehicle traffic and the second option is at a gate about 500 feet up the road. From the corner of of 42N24 and 24A (N41.53751/W122.12469) you can walk down 24A about a 1/3 of a mile to a wide spot in the road on your left, there you will see an old jeep trail(N41.53914/W122.13411) heading south toward Whaleback's northern shoulder. You can follow this trail up quite a ways before it starts to head down hill to I don't know where. At this point I headed straight up Whaleback's shoulder(N41.53595/W122.13881), and I mean straight up. There is no trail, nothing to follow, it's just straight up for about 600 vertical feet to the northern summit crater rim. From this point head south along the crater rim for about an 1/8th of a mile to the middle summit and the high point of your journey. After you sign the summit register and take your pics you can either go back down the way you came up or shoot straight down the east side of Whaleback as I did until you run into 42N24. Once reached you can easily find your way back to where you parked.
While on the summit I learned from reading other entries that my descent route off the east side had actually been others' ascent route when they climbed the peak,and this is the second route I spoke of. You can park at the forest service gate and head due west from this point until you basically top out. However, it is my opinion that the east face ascent would be much harder than the northern shoulder ascent because the east side is all volcanic sand and rock and is much steeper in places as you get towards the summit.
Red TapeNo real red tape. Just don't drive up roads that prohibit motor vehicles.
CampingI suppose you can camp on top if you wanted to. But there are no water sources except for snow in the early season, plus the hike isn't that involved as to require an overnight stay.
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