Mount Shasta is connected to its satellite cone of Shastina, and together they dominate the landscape. Shasta rises abruptly to tower nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above its surroundings. On a clear winter day, the mountain can be seen from the floor of the Central Valley 140 miles (230 km) to the south. The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors,and presidents.
The mountain consists of four overlapping volcanic cones that have built a complex shape, including the main summit and the prominent satellite cone of 12,330 ft (3,760 m) Shastina, which has a visibly conical form. If Shastina were a separate mountain, it would rank as the fourth-highest peak of the Cascade Range (after Mount Rainier, Rainier's Liberty Cap, and Mount Shasta itself).
Mount Shasta's surface is relatively free of deep glacial erosion except, paradoxically, for its south side where Sargents Ridge runs parallel to the U-shaped Avalanche Gulch. This is the largest glacial valley on the volcano, although it does not now have a glacier in it. There are seven named glaciers on Mount Shasta, with the four largest (Whitney, Bolam, Hotlum, and Wintun) radiating down from high on the main summit cone to below 10,000 ft (3,000 m) primarily on the north and east sides. The Whitney Glacier is the longest, and the Hotlum is the most voluminous glacier in the state of California. Three of the smaller named glaciers occupy cirques near and above 11,000 ft (3,400 m) on the south and southeast sides, including the Watkins, Konwakiton, and Mud Creek glaciers.