Hayfork and Harrison Gulch Area Information

To all Shasta-Trinity National Forest visitors

Campgrounds in the Forest Glen area remain closed due to the August Fire.

We continue to recommend that you recreate locally. Also all visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visit to the area. Responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:

• Maintaining at least six feet distancing from others
• Do not gather in groups and please follow the latest safety guidance from officials
• Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use.
• All services may not be available, so please plan accordingly.

  

Roads

At any given time during the year, forest roads on the SFMU may be impacted by rockfall, fallen trees or branches, or other debris. Always be alert, aware, and prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions. During times of inclement weather, these hazards are more pronounced and you may also encounter deep snow, ruts, mudslides, ice, and other hazards. Carry safety (shovel, chains, etc.) and emergency equipment (blankets, water, extra food) in your car at all times, and know an alternate route to and from your destination. Use caution and turn around if the driving conditions become uncomfortable to you. There are many places on the SFMU with no cell phone service, so keep that in mind as you plan your route and adventure.

While each year is different, snow can start as early as October at the higher locations, such as South Fork Mountain, Indian Valley, the Dubakellas, Big Creek Road (Road 16), roads going North out of Hyampom, and areas off of Hwy 36 near the Harrison Gulch Ranger Station leading to the Deer Lick Springs area going north, or the toward the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness and Tomhead, going south. Roads with snow at some of these locations can be impassible even with 4WD vehicles.

The valley floors can get snow starting in November, but more likely into December or January. Again, this all depends on the year and the current weather patterns.

Forest roads on the SFMU are not maintained in the winter. Seasonal maintenance of forest roads on the SFMU generally starts in early spring.

Call the Hayfork Ranger Station for more information on road conditions at any time of the year (numbers listed below).

Motor Vehicle Use

Some trails that prohibit motorized vehicles are being damaged from such use. Be sure to consult the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for the Hayfork and Yolla Bolla Districts to make sure you are riding/driving in an area that is designated for such use. MVUMs can be found at - https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/stnf/maps-pubs/?cid=fseprd632360

Campgrounds

The following developed campgrounds on the SFMU are usually open seasonally. The open season is typically Memorial Day to Labor Day.

  • Forest Glen - closed through November 1, 2021

  • Hell Gate - closed through November 1, 2021

  • Basin Gulch

  • Shiell Gulch

  • Philpot, previously designated a campground, is now designated a picnic area. It is open seasonally, Memorial Day to Labor Day.

While dispersed camps/sites and the other campgrounds listed below remain accessible and/or open for the winter season, there is no trash pick-up and the facilities are not cleaned/maintained or they are locked. All camps and campgrounds could be inaccessible due to snow or other hazardous conditions during the winter months, but this is particularly true for those at higher elevations.

  • Big Slide

  • Slide Creek

  • Scott Flat - closed through November 1, 2021

  • Shiell Gulch

  • Deer Lick Springs (road to campground may be inaccessible during the winter months)

Please be sure to take your trash with you when you leave if you access any of these sites.

Roads to the following sites are inaccessible during snow and winter conditions.

  • White Rock

  • Beegum Gorge

  • Tomhead Saddle

  • Pickett Peak

Forest Glen Guard Station (recreational rental cabin)

Forest Glen Guard Station is typically open from the mid-April to the first week in December. Reservations can be made and more information can be found on Recreation.Gov – https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234405. Reservations can be made six (6) months in advance. The cabin may close early or open late due to weather, or be closed due to wildfires in the area, in which case guests who already have a reservation will be notified.

Post Creek Guard Station (recreational rental cabin)

Post Creek Guard Station is typically open from mid- or late-May until the end of October or beginning of November. Reservations can be made and more information can be found on Recreation.Gov at https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234404. Reservations can be made up to six (6) months in advance. The cabin may close early or open late due to weather, or be closed due to wildfires in the area, in which case guests who already have a reservation will be notified.

Trails

Hiking trails on the SFMU remain open year-round unless there are forest closures in effect. Please call the Hayfork Ranger Station to learn about any current closures. Trails at higher elevations, particularly those in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel wilderness, can be inaccessible due to snow on access roads in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Trails with creek crossings (South Fork National Recreation Trail, Bear Creek Trail, and East Tule Trail, are often inaccessible or difficult to access in the winter and spring months due to swift and high water flows or other hazardous conditions. Be prepared.

Trails may be covered in snow or ice during the winter months, be muddy, and potentially impassible due to debris or downed trees. Plan accordingly: Take traction devices (e.g., microspikes, hiking poles, snowshoes, etc.) for hiking in the snow and ice, be prepared for water crossings, and take a map (and/or a GPS navigation device) for wayfinding at places where the trails are overgrown or otherwise difficult to locate. Remember to take plenty of water, food, light, extra batteries, and make sure to layer your clothing to meet different weather conditions while on the trails.

Trail maintenance on the SFMU usually begins around June but can begin earlier if conditions permit, or start later if trail access is difficult.

South Fork National Recreation Trail - Scott Flat Trailhead closed through November 1, 2021

The swinging footbridge at the Scott Flat Trailhead is temporarily closed pending maintenance. No date for re-opening has been set. Please access the trailhead off of the 1S26 Road.

To get to the 1S26 Road, follow CA Hwy 36 to Forest Glen. (Google maps will show Forest Glen, but do not rely on a mapping program or car GPS to find the 1S26  Road.) If traveling west on CA Hwy 36, directly past Forest Glen campground which is on the right or north side of the Hwy, cross over the South Fork Trinity River Bridge and make the first left onto Forest Road 1S26. The road is numbered but you will not see the brown forest road marker until you have turned onto this road. (If traveling east, this road will turn right (south) before crossing over the bridge. If you pass Forest Glen Campground, you have gone too far and need to turn around.)

Forest Road 1S26 is a dirt/gravel forest road. There will be a red and green cabin that sits to the right after turning onto this road, a bridge that crosses over Glen Creek, and several more cabins on the riverside.

Access to the trailhead can be made with a passenger vehicle, with caution going over rocks in a couple of areas. A passenger vehicle is not advised for continued travel on this road past the trailhead.

Continue on 1S26 Road for 1.5 miles. At this point, there will be a sign leaning on a tree with mileage to several other locations, but also indicating it is the trailhead. At this    point, turn around and park in the wide spots that are just a few feet back down the 1S26 Road. Walk back up the road to the point of the sign and proceed down the road and around the gate, which is where the trail begins.

Do not block access to the gate at the beginning of the trail. Doing so makes your vehicle subject to tow.

For longer-term or horse and trailer parking, consider parking across the road and toward the highway from the red cabin at the beginning of the 1S26 Road where there are turnouts. Do NOT park in front of or on the side of the cabin. These parking spots are reserved for guests of this rental cabin. If parking here, it will be necessary to walk (or ride) the 1.5 miles to the trailhead on the 1S26 Road.

There is no bridge at Farley Creek necessitating a water crossing. The bridge at Collins Creek is in disrepair and a water crossing may be necessary; Marie Creek requires a water crossing. In the summer months, these creeks are easily crossable; in the winter months, the water may run high and be swift. The confluence of Farley Creek with the South Fork National Recreation Trail can run very swiftly making this water crossing dangerous during heavy rains and melting snow. Always use caution and judgment before any water crossing and turn around if you aren’t comfortable and confident.

Bear Creek Trail

The Bear Creek Trail is open year-round. There could be snow on the trail and debris, branches, and trees on and across the trail during the winter months and in the spring before trail maintenance occurs. About a mile up the trail it will be necessary to cross Bear Creek. During and after storms, the confluence of Bear Creek and Hayfork Creek can become deep and very swift when the water surges. Use caution and judgment before crossing, or, turn around.  

East Tule Trail

East Tule Trail is open year-round. During the winter months on heavy snow years, the trailhead likely will be inaccessible due to snow on the road leading to the trailhead. Use caution if trying to access the trailhead during inclement weather and if there is snow in the forecast. Be prepared for a water crossing at points on the trail, and snow and debris/trees across the trail during winter months and until debris is cleaned up during trail maintenance in the spring. At certain points, the trail is overgrown and difficult to locate.

Chanchellula Wilderness

Trails into the Chanchellula Wilderness are typically not accessible in the winter and early spring months due to snow and deadfall on the roads. During warmer months, even in the spring and fall, the east-facing slope on the trail leading to the Chanchellula Peak can have uncomfortably warm temperatures. You may also experience strong winds on this trail, which can be quite cold in cooler weather, hot in warmer weather. Make sure to take plenty of water no matter the temperature and dress in layers. Starting from the Midas Gap trailhead is recommended. There are places on the trail from Potato Creek where it is overgrown and difficult to locate, especially in the snow.

Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

Trails in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness usually become accessible in late spring; trail maintenance typically begins in June. While trails may be accessible before June, expect deadfall across the trails and be prepared to go over, under, or around these fallen trees. Roads around Stuart Gap and trails in the area of Black Rock Lake and Black Rock Mountain in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness were affected by the Buck Fire in fall of 2017.  Areas near Tomhead Mountain and in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness near South Fork Cottonwood Creek were affected by the South Fire in 2019.

Information

For more information on roads or trails on the SFMU, please call the Hayfork Ranger Station at (530) 628-5227.

Campfire Permits

Remember that campfire permits are required year-round for fires or to use camping or backpacking stoves anywhere in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest (and other national forests in California). Permits expire on December 31st of the year they are issued. You can get a free campfire permit by visiting any Forest Service ranger station in California, or by visiting http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/. Remember to check for current campfire restrictions before you visit any national forest.





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