I accidently found this route after somehow not finding the Deadfall lakes trail that came out of the parking lot. About 90% of the hike is off-trail, but the solitude and scrambling to the ridge to the top were suberb.
Start by going north on I-5 through the town of Weed. Shortly after the town exit the highway at Exit 751 or Edgewood/Gazelle road.
· Go W, under the freeway, to a the 'T' intersection
· Take a R, towards Gazelle (I thought those were in Africa!)
· .5 mi: Go L onto Stewart Spring Road; take this good, windy paved road for awhile
· 4.5 mi: Take a slight R onto poorly signed Forest Road 17, where the road forks (a sign on the R-side of the 'Y' indicates "Commercial Use; Permit Only;" follow this road, of fair quality for the most part, as it winds its way up the flanks of the mountain. You'll eliminate several thousand feet of energy-burning elevation gain from your journey & enjoy some nice views along the way. As one gets further along, the road becomes 1 - 1.5 lanes wide- be mindful of vehicles traveling the opposite direction (esp. going around corners).
· 13.8 mi: Park at the saddle for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)- you're there!
This route is a little shorter than the traidtional route, however, there is probably a little more elevation gain due to the numerous ups ands downs of the ridge. I figure that is is probably 8-9 miles and 3,100 elevation gain.
Now remember, the bulk of this route is off trail and you will not be on the Deadfall lakes trail at all during the ascent. Start your trip by following the faint road just left of the actual trailhead. You will know it by the two faint tire tracks in the dirt. Take this for a little bit and you will hit an old gravel road. At this point, you can do what we did and follow the road up and to the left where it will eventually dead end. At the end of the road, head up and to the right through the forest. You will notice many old logging roads up here. Yo uwill soon top out on a small hill and see a meadow below you and the beginning of the Northwest ridge south of you. The first high point on the ridge you see is the first false summit you will encounter. Head down into the meadow and make a B-line through the forest towards the peak. Make sure not to head too far left when walking up through the forest. After a while, the trees will open up and you should be able to make out the first false summit. Head up to the summit however you like. We chose the ridge over the scree slope we were and very happy that we did.
Now the fun begins. After you top out here, you will see another higher point on the ridge. Scramble over to the highpoint. This is another false summit. When you reach the top, you will finally be able to see your ultimate goal, Mt. Eddy. Here you will find some easy class 2 scrambling, maybe a little bit of class 3 depending on the route you chose as you descend for the last time. As you can guess follow the ridge down and up to the summit. From the base of the peak the remainder of the route is class 1 and 2. This route gives you a great view of Shasta for about a little over a third of the acsent. Once on top, I highly recomend taking the designatted trail back to the trailhead.
All you will need are your basic hiking needs; Water, food, backpack and sturdy shoes.
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