U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Trinity National Forest


Custom Search

Forest Information

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 criteria.

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 the Lake.

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 namesake.

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. 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 other challenges.

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 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.

SUPERVISOR OFFICE 3644 Avtech Parkway Redding, California 96002 530-226-2500 RANGER DISTRICT OFFICES Hayfork P.O.B. 159 Hayfork, California 96041 530-628-5227 Weaverville P.O.B. 1190 210 Main Street Hwy. 299 Weaverville, California 96093 530-623-2121 Yolla Bolla HC01 Box 400 2555 State Highway 36 Platina, California 96076 530-352-4211

Fred and Suzi Dow