The Shasta-Trinity National Forests are located in northern California and together are the state’s largest National Forest, including 2,210,485 acres of land. Within its confines are five wilderness areas, hundreds of mountain lakes and 6,278 miles of streams and rivers. A significant area within the National Forest is Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta, which stands over 14,000 feet tall. Trinity Lake is also popular and known for bass fishing. Within the confines of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, parts of which can be found in six different counties, there are a myriad of recreation opportunities, with something to engage in year-round.
In addition to finding plenty of things to do within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, visitors will have the chance to view a variety of wildlife, like bears, coyotes and foxes. There are plenty of opportunities for camping as well as to stay the night at one of the historic guard stations in the National Forest, while those seeking less rustic accommodations can stay in a town like Mount Shasta, which offers lodging among plenty of places to eat and to shop.
Regardless of what type of outdoor adventure you are seeking, you will have no trouble finding it (and more) within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
From Redding, take I-5 N for 57.8 miles to exit 736. From exit 736 merge onto CA-89 S/Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway toward McCloud. Continue for 9.7 miles and make a right onto Squaw Valley Road. Proceed for six miles and turn right onto FS-39N21, a two-lane, paved road. After driving for a little more than five miles you will enter the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. When visiting the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, during the fall, winter and early spring, it is important to keep in mind that there may be snow and/or ice on the road, particularly at higher elevations, which could lead to more challenging driving conditions. When planning to visit the National Forest during those months, it is best to be prepared with snow tires or snow chains.
Parking is available throughout Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Public transportation is not available to Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Antlers Campground can be found on the upper Sacramento Arm on a bluff above a lake about 22 miles north of Redding. The campground and its 59 sites are flat and level, with oak and pine trees offering shade and privacy. Sites include a table, bear box and fire ring. Of the sites, 41 are single sites and 18 are double sites.
The longest RV and trailer that can be be accommodated is 30 feet. Flush and pit toilets, as well as drinking water are available for campers. Both Antlers boat ramp and Antlers amphitheater are close by. Flush and vault toilets are available at the campground and reservations can be made to secure a spot.
Located about 74 miles west of Redding, the Hayden Flat Campground is along Highway 299 and offers easy access to the Trinity River. The campground includes 35 sites that are shaded and can accommodate RVs and trailers that are up to 25 feet long. Sites are first-come, first-served and include a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill.
While there are no hook-ups at Hayden Flat campground, vault toilets and tap water are available for campers. The campground is at an elevation of 1130 feet and is an excellent home base to enjoy the recreation available in the Trinity River.
With 27 campsites, Cattle Camp Campground is located at 3700 feet on the Upper McCloud River. Each site includes a picnic table and a fire pit, and RVs and trailers of up to 32 feet are able to be accommodated. The campground offers vault toilets as well as drinking water.
There is plenty to do nearby; campers can easily access 15 miles of trail along the river, as well as the Cattle Camp Swimming Hole. Sites are first-come, first-served, with a place to register at the campground’s entrance. The campground is about 11 miles from the McCloud Ranger Station.
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest offers a myriad of opportunities for those looking to explore by bicycle. There is the Clikapudi Trail at Shasta Lake that has an advanced mountain biking loop, for example. Quite a few of the trails in the forest are steep and rough, offering a significant challenge for those looking for one.
There are also options for bikers looking for a more mellow experience. Whether seeking a serious workout, a relaxing ride or an epic bike adventure, the Shasta-Trinity Forest has a ride for you!
Within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest are three scenic byways on which you can explore the area and experience its beauty while remaining in the comfort of your car. The Trinity Scenic Byway, for example, allows you to follow Highway 299 West through a few small communities (Shasta through to Blue Lake).
Starting at Weaverville, a historic mining town, is the Trinity Heritage Scenic Byway, which ends north of Weed. There is also the Modoc Volcanic Scenic Byway to drive along. Drive along a Byway at your own pace, stopping to check out anything that interests you.
When it comes to fishing, you are in luck when visiting Shasta-Trinity National Forest, as there are plenty of opportunities to cast a line. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass can be caught in Shasta, Trinity and Lewiston Lakes and those looking to fish in a river will enjoy the chance to fish in rivers known worldwide for excellent trout fishing.
For those seeking plenty of solitude while fishing, there are plenty of lakes and streams in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest that are off the beaten path.
Talk about options; there are plenty when it comes to hiking in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The best known of the trails is likely the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico with a portion passing through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. There are trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty, making it easy to find a trail for an easy stroll, a full day or a days-long backpacking adventure where you can enjoy gorgeous scenery and fresh air!
Water activities are very popular in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and there are plenty of them to engage in. Both Shasta and Trinity Lakes have opportunities for houseboating, water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding. Those looking to spend time on a river will find a portion of the Trinity River popular for whitewater adventures like kayaking and rafting. Lakes like Lewiston, Castle and Siskiyou are preferred for those looking to kayak or canoe without the rapids.
Snow on the ground does not mean you cannot have a blast visiting Shasta-Trinity National Forest. In fact, snow brings more opportunity for fun, with options within the National Forest for cross-country skiing, snowboarding, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing. There is also a snowmobile staging area where one can access 260 miles of snowmobile trails, making it possible to embark on a short or long adventure.
Don’t let the colder weather stop you from spending time outdoors; the Shasta-Trinity National Forest makes it easy to enjoy outside time in the snow!