Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1.        What’s the weather like?

Weather and temperatures across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest can vary greatly throughout the year.  Elevation plays a significant part in determining those impacts on recreation.  Winter at lower elevations (1000 ft) is generally mild with high temperatures in the 40-50’s and lows in the 30’s. Summer temperature at that elevation can be very warm/hot with average summer daytime temperatures in the high 90’s with lows in the 70’s.  Daytime summer temps of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are not uncommon.  Rain/snow is more frequent in the winter months from December through March, while summers are hot and dry usually May through October.

For a more detailed near term weather forecast, visit which has the weather forecast for the following areas:

  • Western Shasta-Trinity NF Including Trinity Alps and Trinity Dam/Clair Engle Lake

  • Central Shasta-Trinity NF - Lake Shasta Area - North Valley Foothills

  • NE Shasta-Trinity NF including Mt. Shasta, McCloud Basin and Burney Basin


2.         How do I purchase maps?

Recreation, Wilderness, and other maps are available and may be purchased at any Ranger Station. Some sporting goods stores, outfitters, and map stores also sell these maps.

Online sources:


3.        How do I reserve a campsite, Forest Service cabin, or lookout tower?

The ideal camping time in most of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is May to October, prior to winter storm activity. Reservation campgrounds are available, however a few of Forest campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. Most campgrounds fill quickly during summer holiday weekends, therefore visitors should come prepared to camp in undeveloped areas. Reservations for campgrounds and other recreational facilities are made online through  To see a listing of campgrounds across the forest and their locations on a map, visit and scroll towards the bottom of the page. Click on the campground you are thinking of staying at and an informational page will bring up important information for that facility.  If reservations can be made, there will be a link to enable you to do so.  There will also be a phone number to call for more information about that area.  Be advised that many campgrounds cannot accommodate oversize motorhomes and trailers.


4.       Can I camp in areas outside developed campgrounds?

You may camp outside of developed campgrounds in undeveloped or dispersed areas, unless restricted by Forest Order.  To see a complete listing of Forest Orders in effect, visit There are some specific guidelines to follow when camping outside a developed campground.  Distance requirements away from other FS facilities, roads and other recreation areas, fire restrictions and limits on length of stay may apply.  Potable water, toilets, and other amenities are not available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate water or be prepared to purify natural water sources before drinking.  Wood or charcoal fires (including BBQ’s) may not be allowed if fire restrictions are in effect.  Chemical or propane stoves may be used if you have a free California Campfire Permit, which may be obtained at the local Ranger Station.  "Know before you go" and check at the nearest Ranger Station for current fire restrictions.

General Rules for remote camping:

  • Camp at least 200 feet from springs, water, meadows, trails and roads

  • Camp at least a quarter-mile from designated campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads

  • Camp at least a quarter-mile from private property and state highways

  • If you brought it in with you, then remember to take it out when you leave.(Pack It In/Pack It Out)

  • Leave No Trace!

Most importantly, call the nearest Ranger Station to the location you plan on camping for current conditions and to see if any special restrictions are in effect.  It is also wise to let officials know you are in a certain area, so that should an emergency situation such as fire or mud slide occur, we can help you evacuate.  


5.       How long can I camp on the Forest?

Camping is limited to a 14-day stay in any one location, and 30 days total on the forest in any one year.


6.       Where can I ride a Motorcycle, ATV, UTV, or drive my 4 wheel drive? 

Street legal motorized vehicles can ride on any designated Forest Service road.  OHV usage is restricted to designated routes. For map of all such roads and routes, please visit our Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) page at These maps are downloadable to any smart device for use on the go and may be obtained in person or through the mail at any Forest Service Office.  Road conditions and closures can change and occur at any time, so check with the nearest Ranger Station for current road closures and conditions of use. 

To learn more about motorized vehicle usage on our forest as well as several local OHV riding associations, please visit our OHV recreation opportunity guide page at It has important need to know information as well as numbers to call for more information.


7.        What's a Wilderness and do I need a Wilderness permit?

Wilderness is a geographical area set aside by Congress in order to preserve its unique and natural state.  These areas are very special and offer us a chance to experience nature without leaving our permanent mark on it.  In order to limit our recreational impact on certain wilderness areas, a permit may be required.  Generally the more popular areas or those with very sensitive ecosystems do require a permit. These permits serve several important functions.  First they allow us to help minimize our impact on the area, by limiting visitation.  Secondly, it helps Forest Service staff know where to look for you should an emergency situation such as a fire occur.  Knowing where to look for you could save your life.

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has five unique and very special wilderness areas.  The areas are listed below along with the managing Ranger Station.  The Trinity Alps and Mount Shasta Wilderness Areas require a permit for overnight stays.  If you plan on summiting Mount Shasta, then you need a summit permit.   Permits can be obtained from managing Ranger Station. Visit this site for more information:

Mount Shasta                                    Mount Shasta Ranger Station

Castle Crags                                        Mount Shasta Ranger Station

Trinity Alps                                          Weaverville Ranger Station

Chanchelulla                                      Hayfork Ranger Station

Yolla Bolla- Middle Eel                    Yolla Bolla/Hayfork Ranger Station



8.       Can I have dogs in the campgrounds and trails?

Pets and animals are allowed in campgrounds and trails with the following restriction: Bringing in or possessing an animal, other than a service animal, unless it is crated, caged, or upon a leash not longer than six feet, or otherwise under physical restrictive control is not allowed. You are responsible at all times for your pet’s impact on the forest as well as other forest users. If you're camping with your pet, please practice the following:

  • Keep them under control at all times and please clean up after them.At night keep your dogs and other pets inside an enclosed vehicle or in a tent.


9.       Where can I have a campfire?

YOU MUST CHECK FOR CURRENT FIRE RESTRICTIONS (link:  Regulations governing fire use restrictions are specific to each National Forest and change with weather conditions and the seasons throughout the year. Before each visit please check with the nearest ranger station where you plan to visit for current fire restrictions.  Campfire permits can be obtained at ranger stations or online at:


10. Can a person target shoot on the forest and what are the rules and regulations for doing so?

Please follow these guidelines:

Target shooters must know and follow California State firearm laws on national forests in California. Please see this site for more information:


11.    Can I prospect, pan or use a metal detector on the forest?

Recreational prospecting, panning, and metal detection are allowed on national forest lands and waterways.  For more information please visit  Please be aware that here are numerous claims in the Weaverville and Big Bar Districts. Many of the rivers and streams having mineral potential are already covered by claims. Because of the large number of claims and frequent changes affecting them, the Forest Service does not keep a record of unclaimed areas. The best sources for this information are the Trinity County Recorder's Office in Weaverville, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Sacramento. For further information, visit


12.    Can I collect rocks and minerals?

Limited collection of rocks and minerals for personal use is allowed on most National Forest System lands. These materials may be collected without a permit provided the collecting is for personal, hobby, and noncommercial use. For commercial or other uses of rock material, contact the local Forest Service Office. Certain lands within the National Forest are not open to collecting due to wilderness designation or other sensitive areas. Contact the Forest Service for local information.

It is a good idea to check with the Bureau of Land Management for specific locations to find out whether or not there are mining claims in the area.

Obsidian collection in some areas is restricted, please call the McCloud Ranger District for more information. (530) 964-2184.

The following items may not be collected or removed. Laws protect them from removal and stiff penalties are imposed on people stealing such remains.

Vertebrate fossils (dinosaurs bones, fish, - anything with a backbone), and shark teeth.
Archeological resources including any material remains of prehistoric or historic human life or activities, which are at least 50 years old, and includes the physical site, location, or context in which they are found. (36 CFR 261.2)
The collection of projectile points, pottery, or any other archeological resource or artifact is not allowed (36 CFR 261.9 (h) without a permit. Projectile points include ‘arrowheads’ and any prehistoric human-modified stone.


13.  Can I cut firewood, collect mushrooms, or cut a Christmas Tree in the forest?

Collecting forest products on National Forest System lands for commercial and private use requires a Forest Product Permit. Commonly requested permits are for fuelwood, Christmas Trees and mushrooms.  Visit these sites for more information: and


14.    How do I get Smokey Bear or a Forest Service Fire Truck to appear at my event or in my classroom?

Contact the closest ranger station and ask to speak to the Fire Prevention Officer.  Smokey Bear can only be used in Fire Prevention programs.


15.    How do I get a job with the Forest Service?

Job vacancies are posted on  In order to apply for a job you will need to set up and USAJOBS profile.  Once you have a profile (or an account) set up which will include your resume and any other important documents such as transcript, certificates, or letters of recommendations, you may apply for positions you are interested in.  To learn more about the working for the Forest Service visit


16.   What type of trees would someone find in the Shasta-Trinity Forest?

Because of its unique geographic setting, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is home to dozens of unique species of trees.  Elevation plays a huge role in determining which trees are found where.  From the lower elevation Oaks, Madrone, and Cottonwoods to the stately Aspens, Pines, Firs and Cedars of higher elevation areas, over 35 different species of trees maybe found on our forest.  To learn more about the trees of our forest visit


17.  Do I need a permit to get married or have a family gathering on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest?

Please refer to the information about non-commercial group-use events on this website:


18. Can I fly a drone or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the forest? 

The general answer is yes, but you cannot fly everywhere nor all the time. One easy way to remember the rules are do not fly over wildfires, wildlife, or wilderness.  Please read for more details and please share this important information!

Drones or UAS are considered to be both “motorized equipment” and “mechanical transport” and, as such, they cannot take off from, land in, or be operated from congressionally designated wilderness areas. There are 5 Wilderness Areas on the Shasta-Trinity NF, including Mt. Shasta, Trinity Alps, Castle Crags, Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel and Chanchelulla.

Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations. Fly your UAS at least 5 miles from an airport or backcountry airstrip.

Drones or UAS are not permitted to fly in areas that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in place, such as wildfires. Search the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Web site for current TFRs at

Do not fly over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm and even death. Intentional disturbance of animals during breeding, nesting, rearing of young, or other critical life history functions is not allowed unless approved as research or management.

Keep your UAS away from populated and noise-sensitive areas, such as campgrounds, trail heads, and visitor centers.

Keep your UAS within your visual line of sight at all times.

Take lessons and learn to operate your UAS safely.

Lastly, please obey all privacy laws.