Date: June 10, 2018
Place: Shasta Dam, Lake Shasta National Recreation Area, California
Coordinates: 40.712570, -122.415922
Length: about 5 miles (from the dam trailhead to Chamise Peak trailhead)
Level: moderate to strenuous
A century and a half ago prospectors came looking for gold in the mountains near where today is the city of Redding. The river was down below and fetching water a hard work so they dug a ditch to bring water from the high sources to the little mining settlements along the river. In the modern days this ditch was converted to a lovely hiking/biking trail that stretches from the Shasta Dam all the way down to Redding.
Last June I was planned to take my family hiking group on a camping trip in the area and the Ditch Trail was high on my list of hikes to take them on so some days earlier I went there to go on a solo prep hike.
The blooming toyon welcomed me as I started down the trail.
|Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia|
Alongside the trail bloomed the Saint John's Wart in large numbers. Not the native species, however, but an invasive European one.
|Klamathweed, Hypericum perforatum|
|Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis|
|Wild Mock Orange, Philadelphus lewisii|
|Snapdragon Skullcap, Scutellaria antirrhinoides|
|Spicebush, Calycanthus occidentalis|
|Vine Maple, Acer circinatum|
I followed the powerless with my gaze - they originated at the hydroelectric power plant of the Shasta Dam. I had now full view of the dam, a massive wall of cement and very impressive piece of engineering holding the huge Shasta Lake behind it, loomed over the valley.
Manzanita bushes were dominant of the hillside. I love the sight of the old red bark peeling off to reveal the fresh green one. Very delicate.
|Oleander, Nerium oleander|
|Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa|
|Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor|
|The Ditch Trail|
|Whitestem frasera, Frasera albicualis|
And orchids are always a reason for celebration, although the one I saw was broken at the top.
|Flat-spurred Piperia, Platanthera transversa|
|Chamise Peak Trail|
|Lassen Peak viewed from Chamise Peak Trail|