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Mount Shasta

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As lone as God, and white as a winter moon,
Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary
from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California

Mt. Shasta by Frank LaPena courtesy of Frank LaPena
Mt. Shasta by Frank LaPena
© 2001 Frank LaPena

This famous quote by Joaquin Miller, noted nineteenth century American poet and novelist, captures the essence of this majestic 14,162-foot volcano that has been a focal point of history, science, art, literature, mythology and recreation of the American West.

Since long before Europeans and Americans arrived in the region, Mount Shasta has figured prominently in the lives and mythologies of Native Americans. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, the massive "Snowy Butte" guided explorers, fur trappers, gold seekers, and immigrants traveling the California-Oregon trails. Many important scientists, writers, and artists of the early American West were drawn to Mount Shasta, recording their experiences, studies, and impressions. Its imposing, otherworldly presence continues to inspire.


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