Trinity Wild and Scenic River
Guide

Introduction

Featuring incredible fishing opportunities and multiple BLM-operated campgrounds, Trinity Wild and Scenic River is an excellent choice for an RV getaway in northern California. Originally designated as a Wild and Scenic River back in 1981, the Trinity River is one of 10 that feature this special protection within California so that future generations will be able to enjoy all of the beauty that it offers. The river is over 200 miles long with 17 miles of it being managed by the BLM.

Trinity Wild and Scenic River is one of the major attractions for outdoor adventurists in northern California. The fishing in the river is regarded as being some of the best in the state, and there are also many great places to go rafting and swimming. Once you are finished with the water-based recreation activities you can also check out some of the trails that dot the riverbank, have a relaxing picnic, and do some wildlife viewing.

Thanks to the BLM there are a few different camping options that you can choose from during your visit, such as the Douglas and Junction City campgrounds. Both of the campgrounds require a fee to use but due to their location right on the river, they are well worth the small cost. The peak season for visitors to Trinity Wild and Scenic River is during the summer months.

RV Rentals in Trinity Wild and Scenic River

Transportation

Driving

Navigating to the Trinity Wild and Scenic River greatly depends on where you would like to visit since it is over 200 miles long, but if you want to check it out near the main campgrounds you shouldn't have a problem driving here. The Junction City Campground is located directly off the paved CA-299 road that is known to be kept in very good condition. The Douglas City Campground is also near the CA-299 but is located further south.

If you need any supplies before your river adventures there aren't too many major towns or cities in the area, so it is wise to make a stop on your way. Redding is the closest city to the river and is located around 38 miles from the Douglas City Campground. The campgrounds are great places to access the river since a lot of it flows through wilderness areas that don't allow vehicle access.

Concerned about the weather conditions prior to your trip? The BLM Redding Field Office is the best point of call to get up to date information on the weather so that you can plan your journey as best you can.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Trinity Wild and Scenic River

Campsites in Trinity Wild and Scenic River

First-come first-served

Junction City Campground

The Junction City Campground is the largest of the BLM operated campgrounds within the Trinity Wild and Scenic River Area. The campground is suitable for both RV and tent camping and consists of 22 sites that require a fee in order to use them.

While the campground is primitive with no hookups available that doesn't mean it is completely devoid of amenities. During the season, there are water collection points and flush toilets in operation, while all sites also come with a picnic table and fire ring. There are no RV size restrictions in this campground but rigs over 40 feet in length may have trouble setting up camp.

Junction City Campground is available on a first-come-first-served basis only and the campground closes during the winter months. Usually, it will reopen near the end of May, but if you are considering camping here around this time it would be best to call the BLM office to confirm when it will be open.

Douglas City Campground

Located closer to Redding is the Douglas City Campground. While the campground is still a little smaller than Junction City, there are 20 sites available for you to call home during the summer months.

The campground features very similar amenities to those in Junction City, with potable water and toilets available in clean restrooms for your convenience. If you choose to stay at the Douglas City Campground you will also be very close to a general store, so you can pick up any last-minute supplies you may need. Each site also comes with a fire ring perfect for a small campfire and a picnic table that you can relax in the great outdoors. Pets are also allowed, and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers.

Sites at the Douglas City Campground are available on a first-come, first-served only basis and are suitable for RVs up to 40 feet in length.

Seasonal activities in Trinity Wild and Scenic River

In-Season

Rafting

One of the popular water-based recreational activities on the Trinity Wild and Scenic River is to go rafting. The river has Class I and II areas that are suitable for advanced rafters that aren't afraid of navigating small rapids.

If you are interested in going rafting on your RV getaway but don't have your own equipment, there are many private companies that offer group rafting adventures that can be a whole load of fun.

Fishing

Anglers travel from all over to try their luck at catching the big one within the Trinity Wild and Scenic River. The river is a renowned fly fishing spot that contains some of the best salmon and steelhead in all of California. Fishing can be done all year round with the busiest time usually being in May when salmon begin to make their run.

If you don't have your own fishing gear you should consider purchasing some as there are no guarantees rentals will be available in the small towns that are near the river.

Picnicking

Spending all day out on the water can be quite tiring, so once you are finished having fun out there you should consider having a picnic by the banks of the river. There are plenty of great picnic spots on the BLM operated land on the Trinity River, so you can throw out a blanket and enjoy the serenity.

Both the Junction and Douglas City campgrounds also have picnic facilities available if you don't want to travel too far from your RV.

Off-Season

Hiking

While there aren't any specifically designated trails on the banks of the river, there are plenty of great areas to explore if you are interested in hiking off the beaten path. Hiking along the Trinity Wild and Scenic River is best kept to the area that is managed by the BLM so you don't accidentally end up on land that you aren't supposed to be on. If you want a more conventional hiking experience there are plenty of trails at the nearby Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Bird Watching

The Trinity Wild and Scenic River is home to over 300 different bird species throughout the year who flock to the area to enjoy the fantastic waterway. This means the river is a great place to do some birding, no matter what time you visit, so remember to back your binoculars before you leave for your trip.

A great place to do some birdwatching is near the California Department of Fish and Wildlife fish hatchery near the small town of Lewiston, where you may be able to spot bald eagles and ospreys going about their day.

Gold Panning

A great family-friendly activity that you can enjoy in the Trinity Wild and Scenic River area is gold panning. Many years ago the area was a popular place for people to try their luck at striking gold, and it can still be done on BLM land by the river.

While you can't go panning at the campgrounds, the rest of the river should be open for gold panning, but it is best to check with the site office just in case you aren't allowed to do so. The shallow streams near the main river are the best places to try and find gold since most of the gold will be hiding in the bedrock.