Mount Shasta is a city in Siskiyou County, California, located at around 3,600 ft (1,100 m) on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. The city is less than 9 miles (14 km) southwest of the summit of its namesake volcano. As of the 2000 Census the city had a total population of 3,624, with approximately 3,000 additional residents living immediately outside the city limits.
Located in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Mount Shasta is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors use Mount Shasta as a base to engage in trout fishing in the nearby Sacramento, McCloud and Klamath Rivers, or come to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors also engage in nearby skiing (both alpine and cross-country), or bike or hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
The site of present-day Mount Shasta City was within the range of the Okwanuchu tribe of Native Americans. During the 1820s, early Euro-American trappers and hunters first passed through the area, following the path of the Siskiyou Trail. The Siskiyou Trail was based on a network of ancient Native American footpaths connecting California and the Pacific Northwest. The discovery of gold at nearby Yreka, California in 1851, dramatically increased traffic along the Siskiyou Trail and through the site of present-day Mount Shasta. Pioneer Ross McCloud built one of the first lumber mills in the area, near the site of the present Sisson Museum. The completion of a stagecoach road between Yreka and Upper Soda Springs in the late 1850s led to the building of Sisson's Hotel, as a stop for weary travelers, and as a staging ground for adventuresome tourists intending to climb Mount Shasta.
The 1887 completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, built along the line of the Siskiyou Trail, brought a dramatic increase in tourism, lumbering, and population into Mount Shasta. This early development continued to focus on tourism and lumbering. The early 1900s saw the influx of a large number of Italian immigrants to Mount Shasta and neighboring towns, most of whom were employed in the timber industry.
The area where the town later grew up was known first as Strawberry Valley, and then as Berryvale. With the arrival of the railroad, the town was given the name Sisson, California, after prominent land owner Justin Sisson. The name was changed to Mount Shasta City in 1924.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.
The area hydrology consists of an unnamed stream in the south part of town which joins Big Springs Creek, which then flows south as Cold Creek to join the headwaters of the South Fork of the Sacramento River. The typical depth to groundwater is quite shallow in the predominant alluvium.
The town is placed on the distal gently sloping southwest flanks of Mount Shasta, with the chief surficial soils being Quaternary alluvium. This alluvium is adjacent to and probably underlain by volcaniclastic rock deposited by Mount Shasta in the course of its development. Groundwater elevation is approximately at the elevation of the underlying native black peat soil. Where it occurs this peat, of approximately two feet thickness, is underlain by stream deposit sands and gravels.
Mount Shasta to the east forces moisture out of the air as it rises and cools, and the dip in the Klamath Mountains allows more moisture to reach inland, so Mount Shasta receives more precipitation than the semiarid region to the north. This means that in the winter, Mount Shasta gets 104" (264 cm) of snowfall despite its low 3,600 ft (1,097 m) elevation . In comparison, other towns in the region at similar elevations get much less snow than Mount Shasta, like Weed, which gets only 20" (52.8 cm) .
|Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures|
|Rec High °F||65||71||80||86||94||98||100||105||103||93||80||72|
|Norm High °F||44.2||47.6||52.1||59.2||67.3||75.5||83.2||82.6||76||64.4||49.9||43.8|
|Norm Low °F||26.4||28.7||30.3||33.3||39||44.9||48.9||47.5||42.9||36.6||29.9||25.8|
|Rec Low °F||-2||1||11||14||21||25||31||34||25||19||9||-5|
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,621 people, 1,669 households, and 926 families residing in the city. The population density was 967.5 people per square mile (373.8/km²). There were 1,798 housing units at an average density of 480.4/sq mi (185.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.77% White, 1.52% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 1.63% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 2.13% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. 5.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,669 households out of which 27.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% are married couples living together, 12.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% are non-families. 38.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.14 and the average family size is 2.83.
In the city the population is spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $26,500, and the median income for a family is $37,313. Males have a median income of $37,697 versus $18,708 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,629. 19.4% of the population and 14.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.5% of those under the age of 18 and 11.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
In the state legislature Mount Shasta is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. Federally, Mount Shasta is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.