This map area occupies a zone on Mount Shasta's northern flank that lies below timberline, at about 7000 feet elevation, and the outwash plain below at about 5400 feet elevation. It is a complex landscape formed on lava flows, volcanic buttes and outwash slopes. Soils range from shallow to deep with frequent rock outcrops.
Typical vegetation is a forest of red fir and white fir with some ponderosa pine, western white pine and whitebark pine. Mid-elevation stands (4000 to 5000 ft.) on Mount Shasta's north side are typified by stands of ponderosa pine and white fir with understories of mixed shrub species including greenleaf manzanita, curl-leaf ceanothus and bitterbrush. At timber line on Mount Shasta's north side are stands of some of the largest white bark pine found in California.
The most prominent features are North Gate with two wilderness trailheads and Whitney Falls where Whitney Creek falls several hundred feet off the terminus of the Whitney Glacier. The forest type around North Gate Butte is mostly Shasta red fir with some ponderosa pine, western white pine and white bark pine. Understory shrubs include curl-leaf ceanothus and green leaf manzanita. These stands include some old growth fir.
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