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The history of the mythical Lemurian city at the Sacramento River headwaters at Mount Shasta | Bartell's Backroads

Legends and spirituality surround Mount Shasta and the headwaters of the Sacramento River.

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — The mighty Sacramento River is a 447-mile-long waterway, accumulating snow melt and rain runoff from 19 different counties in Northern California. 

It hydrates thirsty farmlands and provides drinking water to millions of people from San Francisco to Redding. On average, the river is around 70 feet wide but at its headwaters, the Sacramento River is not much more than a trickle of water spewing out of a hole in the side of Mount Shasta.

Located at the edge of the Mount Shasta City Park is the headwaters of the Sacramento River where it is arguably the cleanest water in the state. People from all over the world travel to this park to sip from the headwaters because it is highly filtered. 

Scientists estimate that it takes 50 years for snow melt on Mount Shasta to filter through billions of tiny cracks before it flows out to the headwaters and when it does, historian Bill Miesse says It can be a spiritual experience. 

“Tens of thousands of people have a kind of visionary experience here and that’s partly related to the legends, but it’s also partly related to the magic of the mountain,” Miesse said

The legends and magic Miesse is talking about is that of Lemurians, a mythical colony of highly evolved humans who live inside Mount Shasta. 

“The way that I like to say this is there are five main legends of Mount Shasta," Miesse said.

Those legends, according to Miesse, came to be in the form of five books, each one explaining or advancing the Lemurian legend. Miesse did a deep dive into all the books and likes to share the cliff notes version with anyone who asks. 

“They were tall, thin and regal, like seven feet tall, they had gold nuggets that they paid the locals,” Miesse said.

Legend has it, the Lemurians were in a dispute with people from the Lost City of Atlantis, so they built a safe city inside Mount Shasta. That city was known as Telos. Modern day believers, and yes there are lots of believers, say the Lemurians can be contacted through a variety of spiritual practices. 

“No matter if those legends are true or not, they are experiencing in themselves which we call the Shasta Vortex,” Miesse said.

If the Lemurians are a little too unbelievable for you, the Shasta Vortex may be more acceptable. 

“Around us is a gravity anomaly, a magnetic anomaly," Miesse said.

Without going into too much detail, he explains some people believe the granite rocks that make up the mountain affect the earth’s gravity and some people feel lighter. 

“There is something about the place that does it for people," Miesse said.

Mythical spiritual beings and gravitational anomalies do attract many visitors to Mount Shasta, but before the books and legends, it was always the water that brought people to this area. 

Jean Nels is a volunteer at the Mount Shasta Sisson Museum, and she helped create an entire exhibit on water from Mount Shasta. 

“From the very beginning, people would say water was more precious than gold because miners could not do what they were doing without the water,” Nels said.

For more than 150 years, Mount Shasta water not only attracted gold miners, but early settlers, as well. 

“The cities, they didn’t really realize how to purify water, so they came up to this area to get healthy," Nels said.

The mighty Sacramento River is important to all of us. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two thirds of the fruit come from California and water from the Sacramento River plays a big part in irrigating or shipping those crops. 

So, whether you believe Lemurians or the Shasta Vortex, its hard to deny that the Sacramento River is pretty magical.

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