McCloud District Recreation Report as of 07 December 2021

McCloud District Recreation Report as of 07 December 2021

Christmas tree permits can be purchased at the McCloud Ranger Station, please knock or call, Mount Shasta Ranger Station Tuesday and Thursdays, or online at and are also available from the following vendors:

In Mt. Shasta at Ace Hardware, Solano's Do It Best Alpine Hardware, and The Fifth Season. In McCloud the McCloud Outdoors and Gear Exchange also sells permits. Permits are $10 per tree and be sure to get a map with your permit that indicates areas on the Forest that are open and specifies the rules and regulations for cutting.


A little rain, more sunshine

McCloud Recreation Area Recreation Opportunity Guide 

The McCloud Ranger District is experiencing warm and clear weather at the present.  We received a little rain last night and this morning, but the clouds have since cleared off. Nights have been cold.  Upper elevations (above 7-8K ft.) have received a healthy amount of snow last night.  Lower elevation hiking trails are still accessible. Prepare yourself for winter driving and pack all essential items for the weather.  When driving through muddy areas the tracks you make remain for a long long time. Mount Shasta is looking happy with a nice white blanket of snow covering it's slopes.   The gates at Bunny Flat and Castle Lake are closed for the season.  Aside from Bunny Flat, all self issue kiosks and trailheads on the mountain are closed, but you can still self issue summit passes and wilderness permits at the McCloud or Mount Shasta Ranger station kiosks and at Bunny Flat.

Fishing is slow and the lower river below the dam is continuing to experience increased turbidity from Mud Creek.   The reservoir itself is also experiencing moderate levels of turbidity from Mud Creek.  Please remember the Nature Concervancy is closed for the season.  The boat dock is out.

Fowlers and Cattle Camp are now closed for the winter and will open again in the spring.

Christmas tree permits will be available for purchase at beginning November 01, 2021 and several local businesses.  If you have trouble printing the map which is part of the permit and must be on hand when harvesting a tree you may pick one up at the McCloud or Mount Shasta Ranger Stations.  If you are interested in purchasing maps, tags, or passes, you may mail in your request and /or payment to:

McCloud Ranger District

PO Box 1620

McCloud Ca 96057. 


While offices remain closed to the public you may knock on the front door (ONLY the front door) and recreation personnel will assist you. Permits do NOT allow you access to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest while and where closures are in place. Recreation Opportunity Guides or ROGS are the handouts you may find at the District offices.  They include directions, special instructions, and information on a variety of subjects or places. You may find them online at:

Shasta-Trinity NF Recreation Opportunity Guides




Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. We are following the guidelines from our department and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions.  Please wear masks and all visitors to our offices should follow the 6' social distancing guidelines.  While you remain outside, knock on the front door of the visitor center and FS personnel will facilitate your request from inside the building.  Please do not knock on windows or disturb employees in other offices, they do not have the information to help you.

Maps and permits can be purchased online at,.  If you are in need of a California Campfire permit, on can be found at:

The McCloud and Mount Shasta District Offices are closed to public access, howerver if you are in need of a permit or map you may knock on the front door (only), call me at 530-964-2184 or email me at:

For Wood tags and permits you may also mail a check made out to USDA Forest service with your Driver's License and mailing address to:

McCloud Ranger District PO Box 1620 McCloud, Ca 96057 or knock on the front door only.

Camping on the McCloud Ranger District

Please remember, by Forest Order there is NO camping allowed outside of designated paid developed campgrounds along the McCloud River Loop from Highway 89 to just east of Cattle Camp.

Check-out time: 2:00  Check-in time: 3:00

Fowlers Camp Ground: CLOSED Campsites are available for reservation by visiting  8 sites in the camp ground are first come, first served.  McCloud River Trail ROG

Lower Falls Day Use Area:  Open, no restrooms, no water.  No overnight camping allowed.

Lakin Dam Day Use Area: OpeN No overnight camping allowed.

Algoma C.G.:  Open The Algoma bridge has a new weight limit, please familiarize yourself with its limits. 

Camp 4 Group Site: CLOSED 

Cattle Camp:  CLOSED Campground is all first come/first served. 

Ash Camp: CLOSED The 11 road to Ash Camp is closed just after the dam.  You are required to park in the wide area after the dam and hike 1.5 miles to Ash Camp from there if you would like to camp at Ash Camp or fish below the dam. Closing November 15.

AhDiNa:  CLOSED The Mud Creek debris flow is still turning the water in the lower McCloud very brown, fishing is really bad at best. Closing November 15AhDiNa ROG

Trout Creek: CLOSED  

Harris Spring: CLOSED 

Star City CG: Open It is a primitive CG, walk in only.  Do not move the boulders and drive into the CG or through the lake bed when the water is low.  Do not camp on private property around the lake.  No fires at any time, but you may have a gas stove, lantern or BBQ with a California Campfire permit, no charcoal.  There is no restroom, dispose of human waste properly.  There is also no trash pick up at this site.  Please pack out what you pack in.

Dispersed Camping:  

Remember to dispose of human waste properly.  Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep and at a minimum 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the hole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. PACK OUT what you Pack IN and LEAVE NO TRACE.  We are seeing a lot of littering around the unit, please clean up when you leave.   Dispersed camping  ROG

There is no dispersed camping along the McCloud River Loop. 

To see the Forest Order (No 14-21-05) and a map of the restricted area please click on the following link:


 Lookout Rentals:

Girard Ridge:  CLOSED. Please go to for reservation information.  The lookout is at about 5000' and has spectacular views of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags.  There is a wood stove, fire pit, pit toilet, and a bed with mattress.  Once reserved at 1 week out you must call for the combination. Check out/in is at 12:00 p.m.  Girard Ridge L.O. ROG

Little Mount Hoffman: CLOSED.  Please go to for reservation information.  The lookout is at about 7000' and has spectacular views of Mount Shasta, Mt. Lassen and perches above Little Glass Mountain.  There is a wood stove, fire pit, pit toilet, and a bed with mattress.  Once reserved you must call for the combination no sooner than one week from the date of occupancy.  Little Mount Hoffman ROG

Roads: The 11 Road (Hawkins Creek Rd.) to Ash Camp and Big Bend is CLOSED to vehicular traffic due to Safety Concerns.  When it will reopen is unknown at this time (see below).  Military Pass, Harris Spring Road are open.  The 31 (KC) road is closed at the Mud Creek Crossing and Ash Creek crossing. SEE ABOVE.  You can reach Medicine Lake.  The 49 and 15 roads are both open, see below*.

PILGRIM CREEK Road is Closed at the Mud Creek Bridge (East and West) indefinitely until Mud Creek flow returns to or near normal.  Visitors and residents are asked to find alternative routes and avoid any recreating or sightseeing along the length of Mud Creek.  By Forest Order, this area and Ash Creek area is closed through March 2022.

*The Powder Hill or FS road 49 has numerous potholes in it and some are very deep, as much as 4-5 inches.  Please drive slowly and navigate around the potholes whenever possible to reduce damage to your vehicle or trailer. Vehicles with trailers may wish to try another route and motorcyclists must be extra careful.

OHV USE:  Off road, motor cycles, quads, side by sides or all terrain vehicles should stay on the dirt roads, do not drive cross-country or off of the dirt roads.  Please do not cause damage to the roadways or banks by spinning donuts.  When you create ruts or damage the roadways, it stays for years, promotes erosion and results in other harmful effects.  Please be light on the land when driving on muddy or wet roads.  Always let someone know where you are going and bring enough supplies (food, water, chains, a shovel, warm clothes etc ) in case you get stuck, broken down, or lost. It is very dry out there and OHV travel is not advised at this time.

Trails:  McCloud River Trail: Open.   The trail stretches from Lower Falls Day Use and Picnic Area fifteen miles to Algoma C.G.  Along the way you will experience three magnificent waterfalls the Upper, Middle, and Lower, Lakin Dam, and Cattle Camp Swimming Hole.  The trail is mountain bike friendly and horses are welcome but may not venture downstream of the Upper Falls area.  During the late fall and winter, the McCloud River Loop Road (including the roads to Lower, Middle and Upper Falls overlooks and Fowlers Campground) is closed to all vehicles for public safety from December 15, 2020, through approximately April 5th, 2021. Link to Order and Map PDF. DO NOT park along Highway 89, it is a road hazard and against the law.  The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the District, over Bartle Gap, Grizzly Peak to Ash Camp then west to Castle Crags. 

PCT Access ROG McCloud Ranger District

Squaw Creek Trail:  Squaw Creek Trail/Cabin Creek ROG  Open This five mile trail parallels Squaw Creek and (partially) Cabin Creek, as well as mixed conifers and hardwoods.  It is approximately 4.5 miles long and takes about 2.5 hrs to accomplish. NO Campfires allowed when we are in restrictions.  This is a beautiful trail with waterfalls, foaming rapids, and wide pools.  Remember to give other hikers/recreationists room.  Dogs must be on a leash.  The Pacific Crest Trail joins the Squaw Creek trail in this location and is a good starting point when hiking west.

Brewer and Clear Creek Trailheads:  Brewer Creek TH - CLOSED. Clear Creek TH - CLOSED.  You may purchase permits and passes at the MC or MS Ranger Stations Kiosks during or after hours as well as at the trailheads (when they are stocked for the season) and at the 5th Season in Mount Shasta City.  The best time of year to climb these routes especially if you are thinking of summiting, is early spring from May through June. 

Mt. Shasta climbing ROG

Keep up to date with current mountain conditions at: and during the winter visit the Forest website for maps of the Tri-Forest Snowmobile Trails at:

McCloud Reservoir:  Boat Dock is OUT.

Water level is good, however the lake showing increasing levels of turbidity from Mud Creek.  Fishing is still good from the bank for hatchery raised trout.  

The "Res", as it is called by locals, is a popular fishing lake.  It has been inundated with larger boats as of late, please be respectful to smaller fishing boats, kayaks and paddle boards.  Remember that your wakes cause massive erosion to the banks of a beautiful lake.  

The boat launching facility has a vault style restroom at the boat ramp area with picnic tables and bear proof garbage cans.  When the dock is in there is a $5 charge for day use of the facility whether you are using the dock/ramp or just parking for sight seeing, bank fishing, or other activities.  When fishing from the banks or in a boat practice good fishing/boating etiquette, do not set up withing casting distance from another bank fisherman, observe all boating safety laws, and give others space.  Never consume alcohol or controlled substances while operating a boat.

You may purchase an annual McCloud Reservoir Boat Ramp pass for $25 at the McCloud and/or Mount Shasta Ranger Stations.

Do not block the boat ramp in any way; the red slashed area means 'No Parking'. 

The dock and ramp areas are for the loading and unloading of boats ONLY.  Jumping from, fishing from, swimming near, and suntanning on the dock is against Shasta Trinity National Forest rules.  Please do not place personal items on the ramp while fishing from the bank and there should be no one playing or present on the ramp itself whether it is being used or not.  Please do not litter; Pack it in, Pack it out.  Camping near the Reservior is subject to the two week stay limit and there is no camping or over night parking at the boat ramp facility allowed, it is intended for day use only.  Please do not camp on private land.  Again, you are required to purchase a day use or annual pass to park at the facility whether you have a boat or not when the dock is in.  The longer parking spaces on the west side of the parking lot are for vehicles with boat trailers ONLY, do not park in them if you do not have a trailer even if the lot is getting full.  


The Hawkins Creek Road (38N11) remains closed to vehicle traffic along a 2 mile segment below McCloud Reservoir due to ongoing road instability below the McCloud Dam spillway. The closure prevents vehicle access to:

  • Ash Camp Day Use and Campground, Pacific Crest Trail, and Big Bend

Pedestrian traffic is permitted and vehicles may park before the closure off the roadway leaving access to the base of McCloud Dam which remains open. The closure does NOT affect access to the McCloud Reservoir Boat launch facility, AhDiNa Campground, The Nature Conservancy lands, Star City Creek Campground.

McCloud Ranger Station, SMMU (CLOSED)

2019 Forest Road

PO Box 1620 McCloud, Ca 96057


Mon-Fri 8-4:30 - Closed on Holidays