The Trinity National Forest, of the Shasta-Trinity National Forests, is located in northern California
and is comprised of 1,043,677 acres. There are 22 developed campgrounds meeting the selection
The Trinity National Forest is a forest with two personalities - one for the rustic self-sufficient
camper and the other for the pampered camper. The Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National
Recreation Area (NRA) portion of Trinity National Forest is for the pampered camper and the
rest of the Forest is for everyone else. Just as the Forest's personality seems different, so do the
recreational opportunities and developed campgrounds. In other words, there is something for
everyone in the Trinity National Forest.
The Trinity National Forest, within the NRA, centers around Trinity Lake. This long, narrow
16,400-acre lake offers a wide assortment of water play activities including fishing, swimming,
water-skiing, and more. A bright blue sky shines above the emerald green conifer trees that are
growing out of red earth at the edge of the green-blue Lake. The conifer forest, with such trees as
Ponderosa pine, Sugar pine, Douglas fir, and cedar, gives the NRA campgrounds a shady
environment in which to relax after a hot day on the water. Or campers can spend the day just
sitting and enjoying the area's beauty.
The level of development found at the NRA campgrounds is fairly consistent. These
campgrounds offer, along with the usual amenities, flush toilets, paved parking aprons, and sites
if not right on the Lake, a short drive from the water. Bushytail, the most developed NRA
campground, also has electric and water hook-ups making it perfect for the "pampered" camper.
The least developed campground, Jackass Springs, is found on Trinity Lake's eastern shore.
Campers should bring their own drinking water and be prepared to use old-style vault toilets.
About midway in development is Clark Springs campground with its delightful swim beach and
large boat ramp but campsites that are not well-suited for recreational vehicles (RV).
Campgrounds, such as Hayward Flat, Tannery Gulch, Minersville, and Alpine View, are more RV
friendly but lack a beach, boat ramp, and parking for boat trailers. Perhaps the campground with
the best views and most secluded campsites on Trinity Lake are to be found at a tent-only
campground called Stoney Point. All of its sites are walk-in and most are a stone's throw from
South of Trinity Lake, but still within the NRA, is Lewiston Lake. On the west shore of this
Lake is sunny Ackerman campground with mostly open campsite and features the NRA's only
Forest Service RV waste station. Lewiston Lake is only 610 acres but, with very cold water,
supports a healthy population of Kokanee salmon along with Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout.
(Trinity Lake features these fish along with Smallmouth, Largemouth, and Black bass.) While
Trinity Lake has no restrictions, Lewiston Lake does limit a boat's speed to 10 mph. This results
in relatively quiet waters providing pleasant lake for exploring by canoe. At the most southern
end of Lewiston Lake is a sweet little tent-only campground called Mary Smith. Who she was
and reason the campground should bear her name are unknown but Mary would be proud of her
In contrast to all the camper pampering campgrounds found in the NRA is the rest of Trinity
National Forest. Here the rugged, self-sufficient camper will find what is wanted. To the west
are wonderfully undiscovered campgrounds along the Trinity River where the river is full of
challenging rapids, gorges, and wide sweeping bends. Big Flat, Burnt Ranch, and Hayden Flat
campgrounds offer basic amenities (level campsites, picnic tables, grilles, and vaults) and easy
access to Trinity River. There are a wide assortment of outfitters located near these campgrounds
to assist visitors to the Trinity National Forest in exploring the River and discovering the many
Roughly to the southwest of the NRA is another collection of campgrounds even less discovered.
Campgrounds in this area have a wilderness feel without requiring a trip into a wilderness area.
These campgrounds, Forest Glen, Hell Gate and Deerlick Springs, can accommodate RVs and
offer a pleasant alternative to the noise and crowds found around the NRA.
Two very different camping and recreation experiences await visitors to the Trinity National
Forest. Whether a visitor is looking for the quiet solitude of a wilderness experiences, the thrill
of rafting down a challenging set of rapids, or enjoying a day of powerboat-based fun, it can be
found within the Trinity National Forest.
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Redding, California 96002
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