“Ascent to Helen Lake from the Bunny Flats Trailhead.”
— Ian Bohannon
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Wilderness permits are required and summit permits are required if you're ascending higher than 10k. Permits are not restricted and can be acquired at the trailhead. Summit permits are $25 and can be also be acquired at the trailhead. Camping is not restricted at the trailhead.
Need to Know
This trail can get extremely crowded. Be prepared for a line of climbers on holiday weekends. With a good snow season, skinning is possible from the Bunny Flat Trailhead, though hiking will likely be needed in the late spring. Horse Camp is a good rest spot 1.5 miles in. Feel free to fill up at the natural spring at Horse Camp.
This is by far the most popular approach to the Shasta Summit for skiers and climbers. Helen Lake is a popular first day stop for anyone summiting via the south face. Helen Lake offers amazing exposed views of the cascades and the Red Banks above the camp. This is a solid day trip for anyone not wanting to summit or camp overnight.