- Castle Crags
Castle Crags is a dramatic and well-known feature in Northern
California. Although the mountains of Northern Californiaconsist largely of rocks of volcanicand sedimentaryorigin, granitebodies (plutons) intruded many parts of the area during the Jurassicperiod. Heavy glaciation at this location during the Pleistoceneeroded much of the softer surrounding rock leaving the towering crags and spires exposed, from which the Castle Crags pluton derives its name. Exfoliation of huge, convex slabs of graniteyielded rounded forms such as the prominent Castle Dome feature of Castle Crags. Elevations range from 2000 feet along the Sacramento Rivernear the base of the crags to over 6500 feet at the summit of the tallest crag.
Situated along an ancient trade and travel route known as the
Siskiyou Trail, Castle Crags has witnessed dramatic events. Strained relationships between 1850s California Gold Rushminers and the local native Indian populations resulted in the 1855 Battle of Castle Crags, in which the poet Joaquin Millerwas wounded, and which he later described in an essay of the same name. Exploitation of the land by lumber and miningoperations encouraged concerned citizens in 1933 to acquire much of the land, which would eventually become Castle Crags State Park, however much of the crags themselves are within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and are part of the Castle Crags Wilderness Area.
*Aune, Quintin A., 1970, A Trip to Castle Crags: Mineral Information Service, Vol. 23, pp. 139-144.
*Miller, Joaquin 1837-1913. The Battle of Castle Crags. In: Rosenus, Alan. Selected Writings of Joaquin Miller. No place: Urion Press, 1977.
* [http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity/recreation/smmu/wilderness/shasta-wilderness.shtml Forest Service Website]
* [http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=454 California State Parks]
* [http://www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/bib/B20.htm Writings of Joaquin Miller, including "The Battle of Castle Crags"]
* [http://www.museumsiskiyoutrail.org Museum of the Siskiyou Trail]
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