Castle Crags Wilderness

The rugged granite peaks of the Castle Crags Wilderness rise above the forested valley below

The Castle Crags Wilderness was established in 1984 with the passage of the California Wilderness Act. This 10,500 acre addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System, along with lands within Castle Crags State Park, contains towering granite spires, steep sided canyons, and a few alpine lakes. Most of the area is covered by high brushfields and rocky outcrops with a few wet meadows in the creek headwaters. Mixed conifer forests can be found on the north, east and west facing slopes.


Castle Crags is actually a part of the vast Klamath Mountains Geological Province that includes much of northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. Rocks within the province consist predominantly of volcanic and sedimentary types. However, large granitic bodies called plutons intruded into many parts of the province during the Jurassic around 65 million years ago. Castle Crags is one of these plutons.

Castle Crags Wilderness brochure PDF

At a Glance

Permit Info: No wilderness permit required. California Campfire Permits are required year round and can be obtained by visiting a Forest Service office.  They can also be obtained online by visiting   A printer must be available to print out permit.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Mt. Shasta & Dunsmuir
Water: None
Operated By: USDA - Forest Service: Mt. Shasta Ranger Station, 204 West Alma, Mt. Shasta, Ca 96067, 530-926-4511


Dispersed Camping

On the South Fork Road (26) there are numerous dispersed sites. About two miles west of Lake Siskiyou is the National Forest boundary. About three miles from the Forest boundary is the first of two bridges you will cross. There are numerous sites located off spur roads on the right side of the road along this section. After the first bridge the road narrows and the canyon is steep for about 3 miles to the second bridge. Between the second bridge and Gumboot Lake is another 3 mile section with more sites located off spur roads on both sides of the road. There are also lots of sites around Gumboot Lake as well. Directions:  From exit 738 off I-5, head west on Lake Street to the intersection with Old Stage Road. Turn left (south) then stay right at the fork in the road. In two 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 another two miles you will see the Forest Boundary sign. The road follows the canyon of the South Fork of the Sacramento River for the next eight miles. At the top of the watershed, there will be a fork in the road. The left fork goes .5 mile to Gumboot Lake; the right fork continues 1.5 miles to the Gumboot Trailhead for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Rock Climbing

The Castle Crags Wilderness is dominated by spectacular sheer granite cliffs and spires with elevations from 2,300 to 7,000 feet. Castle Crags State park is adjacent.

Mountain Climbing

See Rock Climbing.

Rock Type Large granitic bodies called plutons.
Difficulty Level: Difficult


Castle Crags Wilderness is dominated by spectacular sheer granit cliffs and spires with elevations from 2,300 feet to 7,000 feet. Castle Crags State Park is adjacent.
Elevation desc 2,300 - 7,000 feet
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Viewing Scenery

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Related Links


  Elevation : 
2700 - 7000