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Mount Shasta, Calif.
Legend has it that spirits roam these slopes-a race of tall, slender, Nordic-featured people called Lemurians. They play harmless tricks on visitors to this solitary 14,162-foot dormant volcano at the top of California. But the snow plays tricks, too: Some years it’s good, some years disappointing. But when it’s good, and the corn creams up just so on a crisp July morning, it’s a paradise as rich as the air is thin. Brilliant sun on blinding snow, unending views and buttery turns worth every step it took to earn them. gocalif.ca.gov