Over Labor Day Weekend, I summited Mt. Shasta with a couple of friends. At 14,179 feet, Mt. Shasta is second highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth highest in California. Given the ambiguity of how everyone would do, we only considered two trails: avalanche gulch and clear creek.
Initially we wanted to do avalanche gulch but due to weather conditions, it was highly suggested to us by the rangers and online resources that we go with clear creek instead, so that's what we did.
To get to the trailhead is pretty straightforward, just drive north towards Redding and enter the park. Once you get on the park road towards the trail head, the road becomes very soft such that I would highly suggest you drive a high clearance, four wheel vehicle. My car would have never made it to the trailhead.
A good resource to consult is http://www.summitpost.org/clear-creek/157378
At the trailhead, depending on when you get there, you can either camp there or proceed forward up towards base camp. Only 2-5 miles up (depending on which site you choose), the hike up is relatively easy.
We chose to stay the night there because we reached the trailhead at around 9pm.
The following day, we quickly packed everything back up, left any unnecessary weight at the car, and started our adventure.
After a few hours of hiking, we eventually made it to camp and spent the rest of the afternoon getting acclimated to our surroundings.
Part of the group decided to hike half an hour up the trail to get an idea of what the following day would be like.
At around 6-7pm, after everyone had made and ate their dinner, we went to bed. We would have to wake up at around 3am later that night to start our ascent up Mt. Shasta. We expected the ascent to take us roughly 6 hours.