REDDING, Calif. — Recreation Special Uses Administrator Jennifer Womack of the Shasta McCloud Management Unit has announced findings of her visitor survey for the Everitt Memorial Highway. These findings are summarized below and will be discussed in greater detail during a presentation scheduled for November 7 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Sisson Museum, located at 1 North Old Stage Road in Mt. Shasta, CA.
“Recreation continues to play a large role in the lives of many people living in the North State, however the type of recreational activities people pursue has changed over time,” explained Womack. “The purpose of this study was to determine what recreational activities are pursued at different locations along the Everitt Memorial Highway on Mount Shasta, how visitors evaluate the quality of their trips and their opinions about management and facilities.”
The study involved stopping vehicles and asking visitors to complete a brief 15-minute questionnaire on randomly selected days over a period of one year, from March 2017 through February 2018. Forty-two percent of the survey respondents were local residents.
Among Womack’s key findings about the types of recreation use along the Everitt Memorial Highway were about the sites most visited and the most popular recreation activities. It was no surprise that Bunny Flat was the most visited site during the year. “This makes sense because it is the terminus of the Everitt Memorial Highway during most of the year, has a great view of Mount Shasta and is the main trailhead for people climbing Mount Shasta,” said Womack. The other most visited areas included Old Ski Bowl and Panther Meadows.
About 40% of the respondents reported some level of crowding, with 20% specifically related to crowding at Bunny Flat. “Many of the crowding concerns at Bunny Flat revolved around parking congestion, especially on weekends and holidays, and added congestion caused by snowmobile trailers.”
The top outdoor activities that occur on Mount Shasta include hiking, sightseeing, metaphysical/spiritual/meditation activities, driving, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, camping and mountain biking. Overall, the majority of the survey respondents did not have many concerns or problems with their trip. “The general consensus about facilities was that they met visitors’ present needs and they enjoyed their trip, however improvements will become necessary for current and rising future needs,” explained Womack.
“The study provides us a tremendous amount of information which will enable us to better manage the area,” stated Shasta McCloud Management Unit District Ranger Carolyn Napper. “The upcoming meeting is an attempt to share the information with the community and hear from them on what they see as key areas for us to focus on for the next several years. We realize how important the mountain is to all users and we strive to ensure that the public has an outstanding recreational experience, whether they are a local resident or visiting from afar.”
More information regarding recreation on Mt. Shasta can be obtained by calling the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station (530) 926-4511, or by visiting the forest website at: www.fs.usda.gov/stnf.