The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has announced closures in the Mount Shasta Wilderness due to health and safety concerns affiliated with the Coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes as officials fear crowds will converge on the mountain looking to reach the summit.
The closure will pertain to all areas on Mt. Shasta above 10,000 feet.
“The risk presented by recreational use on Mount Shasta, above 10,000 feet in elevation, needs to be addressed knowing that use will continue to increase over the coming weeks with hundreds of out-of-the-area recreational users staying overnight at Lake Helen base camp in hopes of summiting the mountain,” wrote the Forest Service. “Lake Helen base camp and the Avalanche Gulch climbing route are confined geographical areas in which maintaining social distancing safely cannot be adhered to.Â “
Due to California’s shelter-in-place mandate, the search and rescue teams responsible for the Mt. Shasta area will not be at full capacity to perform missions in the near future. There are currently no Forest Service information and assistance programs in the area, creating a dangerous situation for anyone looking for recreation on the mountain. The growing fear of recreation visitors forced officials to close high-elevation areas of the mountain.
“Through recreation site monitoring over the last 4 weeks it has been observed that more out-of-state vehicles are beginning to recreate on the mountain and most likely will continue to increase,” observed the Forest Service.
This order is effective until April 30th, but the closure is likely to last much longer. Here is the closed are on Mt. Shasta: