Mt. Shasta Road Closures, Campground & Trail Information

Road Closures (Updated 5/21/18)

  • Everitt Memorial Highway (A10): OPEN to Bunny Flat. The gate at Bunny Flat is closed until early July.
  • Castle Lake Road (2M020):  OPEN to the lake. Day use only within half a mile of the lake.
  • Parks Creek Road (17): OPEN to highway 3.
  • South Fork Road (26):  OPEN to Mumbo Basin and Whalan Road (25).
  • Whalan Road (25): Open to Mumbo Creek crossing. Ramshorn may be open to highway 3 but this has not yet been confirmed.
  • Toad Lake Road (40N64):   OPEN to trailhead.
  • North Fork Road (41N53):   OPEN to Morgan Meadows.
  • Bear Creek Road (40N45):  OPEN from South Fork Road (26) to Parks Creek Road (17).
  • Military Pass Road (43N19):  OPEN around the mountain.

Campgrounds (Updated 5/21/18)   See additional camping information below
 

  • Sims Flat:  OPEN. 19 sites. No reservations. $15.00/night. 14 day stay limit.
  • McBride Spring: OPEN. 12 sites. No reservations. $10.00/night. 7 day stay limit.
  • Panther Meadows: CLOSED due to snow. Open early July.
  • Castle Lake: OPEN. 5 sites. No reservations. No fee. Bring drinking water. 3 day limit.
  • Gumboot Lake: OPEN. 4 sites. No reservations. No fee. Bring drinking water. 14 day limit.


Mt. Shasta Wilderness Trailheads (Updated 5/12/18)

  • Bunny Flat: OPEN and stocked year-round.
  • Sand Flat: Lower access road is open to Sand Flat.
  • Old Ski Bowl: CLOSED due to snow. The road is due to open around early July.
  • Clear Creek: OPEN to trailhead. Road is rough and rutted. 4WD and high clearance recommended.
  • Brewer Creek: CLOSED about 3 miles from the trailhead due to snow.
  • North Gate: OPEN.
  • Bolam / Whitney Falls: OPEN to high clearance vehicles. The trail to Whitney Falls was obliterated in the 1997 mud and debris flow. Volunteer groups have helped restore it, but recent debris flows have obscured it again.

 

Camping on the Mt. Shasta District

 

In 2016 the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station received 2,368 inquiries regarding camping opportunities on our unit, and that number is growing. In our immediate area, there are only a total of 30 developed campsites. That’s the total number of sites that have at least a picnic table, fire ring, and toilet facilities. Because these are on a first-come basis, the odds of finding a vacancy are very slim indeed. And even though it is free and legal to camp on the National Forest, we do not recommend it as there are hazards and restrictions. Some areas of the forest are off limits to all camping. Areas that are open have a stay limit of 14 days. There are no facilities or drinking water. Fires are generally not allowed. Sites are not maintained for safety such as removal of hazard trees. And due to the over-reliance on dispersed camping as an alternative to developed sites, these areas have become extremely impacted and are limited in number. A valid California Campfire Permit is required for using cook stoves when dispersed camping.

 

Developed Campgrounds

 

Castle Lake Campground

Description: This small primitive campground is nestled in a thick mixed conifer forest approximately a quarter mile below Castle Lake. There are 6 sites with tables, fire-rings, and vault toilets. Bring your own water. 7-day limit. No fee, but campers must self-register. No reservations. Dogs must be leashed. Not recommended for large vehicle or trailers. There is an undeveloped “overflow” area about a half a mile below the campground on the east side of the highway where there used to be a Nordic Center. The leveled off parking pads are still usable and there is a great view of Mt. Shasta, however it is mostly brushy with little or no shade. There are no facilities and fires are generally prohibited. ALL CAMPING IS PROHIBITED WITHIN A HALF MILE OF CASTLE LAKE. DAY USE AREA ONLY.

Features: Visitors may walk or drive the short distance to the lake. Castle Lake is a pristine glacial cirque lake with granite cliffs and clear water, one of the most popular attractions in the Mt. Shasta area. Hiking, swimming, fishing, and flat-water kayaking are favorite activities here. There are a few hiking trails to explore including the short and easy Shoreline Trail on the west side of the lake.

Directions:  From exit 738 off I-5, head west on Lake Street to the intersection with Old Stage Road. Turn south then stay right at the fork in the road. In 2 miles you will cross the dam that forms Lake Siskiyou. Immediately after the dam, turn left on Castle Lake Road and drive 7 miles to the lake. The campground is about a quarter of a mile below the lake.

 

 

Gumboot Lake

Description: Technically not a developed campground, but the area on the north side of this shallow alpine lake is open for camping from June to October, depending on snow. There are at least 4 undeveloped sites (no tables) with user-created fire-rings and a vault toilet. Bring your own water or purify the lake water. Suitable for tents and mid-size RV’s or trailers. No fee. Dogs must be leashed. Campfire permit required all season. There are several dispersed sites along the road leading to Gumboot Lake between the Fawn Creek and the Gumboot Creek crossing. No facilities. Fires are allowed with a California Campfire Permit.

Features:  This is one of two alpine lakes on the district that can be reached by passenger car. The lake sits in a broad open bowl surrounded by grassy areas and mixed conifer forest. A smaller lake lies only a short distance to the west. Fishing and non-motorized boating are the most popular activities. Hikers can hike ½ mile to the west or drive 2 miles from the lake to the Gumboot Trailhead to access the Pacific Crest Trail. Views of Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps abound. It is an easy 2 ½ miles (one-way) south on the PCT to view and explore the Seven Lakes Basin.

Directions:  From exit 738 off I-5, head west on Lake Street to the intersection with Old Stage Road. Turn south then stay right at the fork in the road. In 2 miles you will cross the dam that forms Lake Siskiyou. Stay on the main road around the lake and past the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort. In 2 more miles you will see the Forest boundary sign. For the next 8 miles, the road follows the South Fork of the Sacramento River. At the top of the watershed, there will be a fork in the road. Stay left and continue ½ mile to Gumboot Lake. The right fork continues 1 ½ miles to the Gumboot Trailhead for the PCT.

 

McBride Springs Campground    

Description:  Situated on the lower slopes of Mt. Shasta at an elevation of 5000 feet, this popular campground has 12 sites with tables and fire-rings, suitable for tents and small RV’s. Vault toilets and drinking water are available. 7 day limit. $10 per night. Campers must self-register. No reservations. Dogs must be leashed. There is NO DISPERSED CAMPING allowed outside of this campground.

Features: Pleasant, shady, mixed conifer forest setting. Conveniently located on Mt. Shasta only a few minutes from I-5, services and supplies. A miniature spring-fed seasonal creek flows through the campground, and a hand operated pump provides well water.

 

Panther Meadows

Description: This is a walk-in campground located near timberline on Mt. Shasta at 7500 feet. There are 12 sites, all within a short walk of your vehicle. Tables, fire-rings, and vault toilet. Bring your own water or purify the creek water nearby. 3 DAY LIMIT. No fee, but campers must self-register. No reservations. DOGS MUST BE LEASHED. There is NO DISPERSED CAMPING allowed outside of this campground.

Features: Highest campground on the mountain with open views and vistas. There are two small sub-alpine heather meadows a short distance from the campground. Because of the fragile nature of the meadows, great care must be given by all who visit not to incur damage. In recent years a major effort has been made by local tribes, volunteers, and the Forest Service to re-vegetate the native species and improve the trail system to minimize erosion.

Directions: From the town of Mt. Shasta, take Lake Street east toward the Mountain. The name will change to Everitt Memorial Highway. Drive approximately 14 miles and look for the campground and parking area on the right side of the road.

 

Sims Flat Campground

Description: This campground is situated alongside the Sacramento River at an elevation of 1600 feet. There are 19 sites with tables and fire-rings suitable for tents, and mid-sized RV’s or trailers. Flush toilets and piped drinking water available. 14 day limit. $15.00 per night. Campers must self-register. No reservations. Dogs must be leashed. There is no dispersed camping outside of this campground.

Features: Historic location of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the 1930’s. Interpretive signs depict the camp and a foot access suspension bridge spans the river, also built by the CCC. World renowned fishing on a classic trout stream. Train buffs enjoy watching Union Pacific freight trains as they make their way through the canyon. Also popular with whitewater boaters during the high water of spring runoff.

Directions:  Take I-5 south (towards Redding) approximately 25 miles. Take the Sims exit and turn left under the freeway. Drive one mile downhill, cross the train tracks and the bridge over the river. The campground entrance will be on the right.

 

There are additional campgrounds located on the McCloud Ranger District nearby. Call 530-964-2184.

Fowlers Camp

Description: This campground is located on the McCloud River 5 miles east of the town of McCloud at an elevation of 3500 feet. There are 39 sites with tables, fire-rings, water, and toilets. Some sites have bear lockers. $15.00 per night. 14 day stay limit. 31 sites are by reservation at Recreation.gov; 8 sites are on a first-come basis. Dogs must be leashed. Dispersed camping in this area is prohibited.

Cattle Camp: This campground is also located on the McCloud River 10 miles east of the town of McCloud. There are 24 sites with tables, fire-rings, water, and toilets. $15.oo per night. Campers must self-register. No reservations. Dogs must be leashed. Dispersed camping is prohibited in this area.

 

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