About the Forest

General Forest History

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest (STNF), the largest in California, was established by President Theodore Roosevelt’s proclamation of 1905. Initially, there were two forests; the Trinity National Forest (headquartered in Weaverville) and the Shasta National Forest (headquartered in Mt. Shasta City). The two forests were combined into one in 1954.

Historical photos for the Shasta National Forest

The STNF encompasses 2.2 million acres with over 6,278 miles of streams and rivers. It ranges from 1,000 in elevation (Shasta Lake and its general area) to the spectacular Mt. Shasta with its impressive elevation of 14,162 feet.

The STNF includes portions of five designated Wilderness Areas: Castle Crags, Chanchellulla, Mount Shasta, Trinity Alps and Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel. The main branch of the Trinity River is a designated Wild and Scenic River which runs through the forest. A 154 mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail runs in an east - west direction across the STNF. The Trinity Heritage and the Trinity River Scenic Byways are two scenic drives in the area.

Shasta Lake's 365 miles of shoreline made-up of many arms and inlets make it a paradise for explorers and boaters alike. The four major arms of the lake, Sacramento, McCloud, Squaw Creek and Pit offer spectacular scenery as well as unusual geologic and historic areas of interest.

Lewiston Lake lies just downstream from Trinity Dam and just north of the town of Lewiston and is a constant level lake. It lies within the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.

From a height of 7,309 feet, Little Mt. Hoffman offers a spectacular view of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, Mt. McLoughlin and a variety of other interesting landforms. From the Tulelake Basin in the north to the Fall River valley in the south, the 360 degree view offers a peek at some of Northern California's most unique and beautiful scenery. Located east of majestic Mt. Shasta, in the lavaflow area of Medicine Lake, is the Little Mt. Hoffman fire lookout. Restored to its original character, the lookout is now being offered as an overnight retreat for personal recreation use.

The huge STNF offers a wide range of recreational activities. Some of these include hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, camping, boating, fishing, sightseeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Historical photos for the Trinity National Forest

Iron Canyon, Lewiston, Lake McCloud, Shasta Lake and Trinity are the large lakes and reservoirs in the area for fishing, boating and camping. There are many alpine lakes in the Trinity Divide area of the STNF, most of which support trout. Some of our smaller mountain streams are too steep to maintain fish life, but where the water is suitable, fine fishing is usually to be found. The Trinity River is very popular for salmon and steelhead angling, as is the Stuart Fork of the Trinity River and such streams as Canyon (closed to fishing below Canyon Creek Falls), Coffee, Grizzly, Rush and Swift Creeks, all of which drain the Trinity Alps Wilderness, are all good trout streams.

Historical photos for the Weaverville area

National Forests are managed for long-term sustainability of natural resources and forest ecosystems. They provide pure water, boundless recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat as well as timber, minerals and grazing. One of the Forest Service's primary responsibilities is to protect the forest and the communities within it from wildfire.

The employees of the STNF manage a healthy forest by enhancing wildlife habitat, maintaining clean water, producing timber products and safeguarding communities at risk from wildfires. Pivotal in the economical, tourism and recreational aspects of Northern California, the STNF is a land of breathtaking beauty and a place for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the Shasta-Trinity National Forest