Special Places

Highlighted Areas

Castle Crags Wilderness

The Castle Crags Wilderness was established in 1984 with the passage of the California Wilderness Act. This 10,500 acre addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System, along with lands within Castle Crags State Park, contains towering granite spires, steep sided canyons, and a few alpine lakes. Most of the area is covered by high brushfields and rocky outcrops with a few wet meadows in the creek headwaters. Mixed conifer forests can be found on the north, east and west facing slopes.


Castle Crags is actually a part of the vast Klamath Mountains Geological Province that includes much of northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. Rocks within the province consist predominantly of volcanic and sedimentary types. However, large granitic bodies called plutons intruded into many parts of the province during the Jurassic around 65 million years ago. Castle Crags is one of these plutons.

Castle Crags Wilderness brochure PDF

Chanchelulla Wilderness

Chanchelulla Wilderness is a relatively small wilderness area located about 50 miles west of Red Bluff. The Chanchelulla Wilderness was created in 1984 by Congress. The Wilderness features rugged terrain with steep, chaparral and tree covered slopes. Chanchelulla Peak is the highest point at 6,401 feet. This area is popular during hunting season.

Access to Chanchelulla Creek Trail is near Deer Lick Springs on the eastern side of the Chanchelulla Wilderness. The road to Deer Lick Springs is well signed and accessible in 2WD vehicles, although high-clearance and 4wd can be helpful in areas where there are potholes or during inclement weather.

Travel west on Hwy 36 to Harrison Gulch Road, 1/4 mile west of the district office. This paved county road is 5 miles long and connects with Forest road 30N44 north of Knob. Road 30N44 is only 1/10 mile in length and merges with the Forest Road 01 five miles from Deerlick Springs Campground.

Hirz Mountain Lookout

Currently Closed for Repairs

Built atop a sharp peak, this 20-foot lookout tower comes with a full 360-degree view. From here, you get fabulous views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen, and a bird's eye view of the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake.

This lookout is for the adventuresome - those who don't mind driving 5 miles at low speed on road 35N04, a limited sight distance single lane dirt road. Road 35N04 is a high clearance mountainous road recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles.  Photo of the upper portion of the road to the lookout.  To view more photos of the road to the lookout as well as the trail and inside the cabin, select Hirz Mountain Lookout photos in the right column.

Due to rocky, slippery, steep terrain, the last 1/4 mile section of road access to the lookout is for foot traffic only. We recommend wearing shoes with good tread and ankle support. This is a pack-it in, pack-it out facility.

Download a PDF file of driving directions and map to the lookout

Mt. Shasta Wilderness

Mt. Shasta's upper slopes are designated as the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. The United States Congress designated the Mt. Shasta Wilderness in 1984 and it now has a total of 36,981 acres. Mt. Shasta is a snow and glacier capped volcano that rises 14,179 feet, dominating the view in all directions. On a clear day, the mountain can be seen from the floor of the Central Valley over 100 miles to the south.  Mt. Shasta is the highest peak on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, second highest peak in the Cascades, and fifth highest in the state. It has an estimated volume of 85 cubic miles, which makes it the most voluminous volcano in the Cascade Range. This magnificent mountain has been a focal point of history, science, art, literature and mythology of the region. Long before settlers arrived, Mount Shasta was a important place in the lives and mythologies of Native Americans. Then in the early 1800's, it guided explorers, fur trappers, gold seekers and settlers traveling trails to California and Oregon. The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors and presidents.

Although the last documented eruption occurred in 1786, geologists classify Shasta as an active volcano. There are seven glaciers that drape the mountain's slopes and their outstanding views attract many human visitors armed with crampons and ice axes. No trails lead up Mount Shasta, but trails provide access to the Wilderness and the foot of the mountain. The Avalanche Gulch Route (six miles) is considered the easiest, but the elevation gain is over 7,000 feet, and at least 8 to 12 hours should be allotted for the round-trip. The glaciers are cracked by crevasses and are more visible in late summer and fall. On the south slopes, rockfall becomes a danger after midsummer. Major storms off the Pacific Ocean can send high winds and snow across the mountain any time of year. Sound preparation is a must.

Forest Glen Guard Station

This historic guard station offers you a unique stay in the oldest Forest Service building on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. This charming two-story structure was built in 1916 under the direction of John T. Grey, District Ranger of the Mad River Ranger District on the old Trinity National Forest. The upper and lower levels of the guard station measure 24x18 feet and can accommodate up to eight people. The lower level has a large kitchen area with electric range and refrigerator, table, chairs, futon couch that doubles as a bed, and indoor bathroom accommodations. The upper level is finished in striking pinewood and has two rooms separated by a partition wall. There is a king bed in one room and two twin beds in the other. A five-foot high porch adorns the front of the cabin.

Yolla-Bolly Middle-Eel Wilderness

Some areas in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness have been affected by recent wildfires; for more information, please call the Hayfork Ranger Station at (530) 628-5227.

In the Wintun Indian language, "Yo-la" meant "snow covered", and "Bo-li" meant "high peak." The second part of this Wilderness' name refers to the headwaters of the Middle Fork Eel River, which originates in this remote and rugged land.This area was first protected in 1931 when it was classified as a primitive area. Further protection was given when this area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, created by the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1984 added another 2,000 acres to the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, for a total of about 151,626 acres.

The Wilderness is roughly oval in shape, being about 19 miles long in the north-south direction and 24 miles wide in the east-west direction. The majority of the Wilderness lies in two districts of the Mendocino National Forest (Covelo and Grindstone Ranger Districts). The far northern portion of the Wilderness is in the Yolla Bolla Ranger District of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. To the far west, a part of the Wilderness is in the Mad River Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management has a small portion of the Wilderness (also on the western edge).

Post Creek Lookout

Post Creek Lookout was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This comfortable cabin accommodates up to six people, has two rooms, and measures 19x30 feet. In the back room of the cabin there is a 270-degree bank of windows that face the forest, which offers a great view of the landscape. The Post Creek lookout has a nice sized kitchen, hardwood floors in both the kitchen and living areas, and vinyl flooring in the back room, or cab. Furnishings include a queen and twin bed, comfortable chairs, end tables, and a coffee table. The lookout has an outdoor portable restroom. There is no running water at the cabin.

Fowlers Camp Campground

The most popular campground on the unit. Located on the Upper McCloud River at an elevation of 3400 feet, it has 39 sites with tables, fire-rings, vault toilets, and piped drinking water. Suitable for tents and mid-sized RV's or trailers. 14 day limit. $15 per night.  The CG has been converted mostly to a reservation system (see below)  There are only eight sites that are first come first served.

Features: This campground is situated near three waterfalls on the river, which adds to its popularity. The McCloud Falls vary in height from 15 to 50 feet. A river-side trail from the campground provides access to the falls. It is approximately three miles round trip to see all three. Swimming and fishing are other popular activities. This section of river has no special restrictions for fishing.  The McCloud River Loop, a paved road approx 12 miles in length provides access to the Middle Falls and Upper Falls parking lots and overlooks if you do not wish to hike the trail.

Double sites: 12 people maximum.  No discounts.

McCloud Area Recreation

The McCloud River Loop is open.   

Are you interested in camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, picnicking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, or sight seeing?  The choices for recreation are almost unlimited on the McCloud District.

For information on the McCloud River Loop Dispersed Camping Restrictions please select the link below:


During the late spring, summer and early fall, the McCloud Area offers fishing, hunting, swimming, camping, hiking, photography opportunities, and spectacular scenery. During the winter months, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow- shoeing, hunting, fishing, and downhill skiing are the top ranking outdoor opportunities. 

There are a number of developed campgrounds and day use facilities located along the scenic McCloud River, that includes Fowlers, Cattle Camp, and Camp 4. Fowlers CG has 31 reservation only and 8 first come, first served sites. (All walk-in until May 15th) Camp 4 is a reservation only group campground.  You can reserve a site at recreation.gov.  There is a 14 day stay limit at our campgrounds.  Cattle Camp is first come first served.

The McCloud River parallels Highway 89 from its source near Dead Horse Summit to Fowlers Campground. There it turns south and continues through private property to the McCloud Reservoir. At the "Res" as it is known locally, the river again flows through National Forest lands to a point several miles below AhDiNa Campground, plus several other areas downstream to the Nature Conservancy's  McCloud River Preserve. From here, the river passes through mostly private property and public access from the banks is extremely limited until the river enters the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake. 


Trinity River

The Trinity River is classified as a Wild & Scenic River.  It is a major tributary of California's Klamath River begins in the rugged Trinity Alps and makes its way through wilderness before meeting up with the mighty Klamath at Weitchpec. The Trinity is noted for its salmon and steelhead fishery resources, as well as its attraction to rafters, kayakers and canoeists. The North and South Forks of the Trinity and the New River are included in the Wild and Scenic designation. The Trinity River offers a wide variety of opportunities for fun, family and fishing.

The natural beauty of the Trinity River has been one of the most popular sights for visitors to the north coast. Scenic Highway 299 makes easy access to many points of interest. Rafts, canoes and kayaks frequent the rapids in the springtime, and tubers enjoy summertime flows.

The Trinity is legendary for its salmon and steelhead fishing by drift boat or walk-in riverside spots, as well as for trophy brown trout. Chinook salmon are the most sought-after gamefish in the Trinity River system. Spring-run salmon begin to enter the river in May and provide trophy fishing through November. Although brown trout are not native, they were heavily stocked until the late 1970s. Today, a self-sustaining population remains in the upper river, providing fly and bait fishing.

Species Present: In the Trinity River above Trinity Lake, there are Rainbow and Brown Trout. In the Trinity River below Lewiston Dam, there will be Steelhead (summer and winter runs), Chinook (spring and fall runs), Coho Salmon and Brown Trout.

Seasons: On the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website, please see the "Fishing Regulations" "Body of Water" table and "6. Trinity River and tributaries" for detailed rules.

Access: There are three parts to this river. The Trinity River above Trinity Lake is easily accessed from Highway 3. The fly fishing section is well-roaded in and above the town of Lewiston. The lower Trinity River is paralleled by Highway 299.

Trinity Alps Wilderness

The second largest wilderness area in California, the Trinity Alps Wilderness nearly doubled in size by the 1984 California Wilderness Act.  In that same year, it was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System.  It currently has over 600 miles of trails and embraces over 500,000 acres of land. 

Chiseled granite peaks and alpine lakes dot the Trinity Alps Wilderness, with elevations from 2,000 feet in creek drainages to 9,000 feet at summits. This wilderness offers many different trails ranging from 1.5 miles to 15 miles at varying levels of difficulty.

Management of the Wilderness is shared by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management. Information about this wilderness can be found at wilderness.net, a website jointly managed by the University of Montana and the four federal agencies that manage Wilderness.

Trail and Lake Information PDF

Please practice Leave No Trace ethics while in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Leave No Trace describes how to dispose of waste properly, where to travel and camp and other ways to minimize your impact on the land and your impact to other hikers.

Recreation Areas