East Side Trails

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Abandon Mine Along the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail
An abandon mine shaft entrance visible from the Mount Shasta Mine Loop trail

NPS

Mount Shasta Mine Loop

Difficulty level

Moderate to difficult

Length

3.1 mile loop

Elevation

1080 to 1500 feet

Connections

Clear Creek Canal Trail and Prospect Trail

Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rain storms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown visitor center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive for 1.6 miles to the dam. At the dam, the road forks; take the left fork, which is Paige Bar Road. Follow Paige Bar Road for 1.3 miles. On the left-hand side across the street from Peltier Valley Road, there is a large parking area for the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail. The trail begins near the restroom.

Description

Hiking in a counter-clockwise direction, the trail takes you behind Whiskeytown Cemetery, with its unusual grave markers. This cemetery was relocated when the original was flooded with the creation of the lake in 1963. Further on, the trail leads to several intersections with the Clear Creek Canal Trail. This trail follows the footprints of the Great Water Ditch, a 40-mile, man-made ditch. Completed in 1855, the ditch was constructed to supply water to gold mines to the south. At about 1.5 miles, look to the left for the fenced shaft of the Mount Shasta Mine. The original owners sold the mine for $10,000 in 1897, probably to their regret. In the next 14 years, the greatly expanded mine produced $178,000 in minerals from quartz ore. The ore was initially sent to the Keswick smelter for crushing and processing. Around the turn of the century, a steam-powered stamp mill was erected with a capacity of crushing 50 tons of ore each day.

The trail then meanders along Orofino Creek, featuring small pools and waterfalls during winter and spring. The trail makes a left turn at the intersection with the Prospect Trail. It will leave the creek and begin to climb steadily uphill with vistas of the surrounding peaks and the bald, rolling hills in the Igo area. Eventually, you will end up on a former road; go left on the downhill side. Walk along this road for the remainder of your journey, enjoying views of Whiskeytown Lake.

 
Davis Gulch Trail
Davis Gulch Trail

NPS

Davis Gulch

Hiking only. No bicycles or pack animals.

Difficulty level

Moderate

Length

3.3 miles one way

Elevation

1240 to 1414 feet



Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rainstorms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions to trailhead

The trailhead is located on Kennedy Memorial Drive, about a half mile after crossing the Whiskeytown Dam. For a one-way hike, take two vehicles, parking one at the trailhead and drive the other to the opposite end of the trail, located at Brandy Creek Beach lot B, near the restroom.

Description

The trail meanders in and out of small canyons and past numerous interpretive plaques describing plant life along the way. About two miles into the hike, the trail descends to the lakeshore and winds along scenic coves where you may want to go swimming or fishing. The trail follows the lakeshore for about one mile, then gently climbs up a ridge which will descend to the end of the trail at Brandy Creek Beach, Parking Lot B, near the restroom.

 
Guardian Rock Trail
Guardian Rock Trail

NPS

Guardian Rock

Difficulty level

Moderate

Length

1 mile one way from Horse Camp to the NEED Camp bridge crossing Clear Creek

Elevation

1100 to 900 feet



Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks.Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rain storms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area.Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown visitor center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive for 1.6 miles. At the fork in the road, go straight ahead to Paige Bar Road. Continue south past the Whiskeytown Cemetery. The road forks again; take the dirt road to the left that leads to Shasta and Igo. After about 1/3 mile, you will see Horse Camp. The trailhead is just past site #2 on the right hand side of the road, across from the bathroom. The campground is currently closed.

Trail Description

The first ¼ mile is a flat trail made of packed decomposed granite which leads to an overlook of Clear Creek Canyon. Clear Creek is the last major creek that empties into the Sacramento River before Shasta Dam in which Chinook salmon and steelhead trout can spawn. They are returning in increasing numbers to this section of the creek since McCormick-Saeltzer Dam was removed downstream in 2000, opening up 12 miles of spawning habitat. Prior to the dam’s removal, the salmon had almost disappeared from this area.

From the overlook, the tops of Kanaka Peak and South Fork Mountain can be seen. The west side of the creek receives more shade and has moisture-loving trees, such as fir, mixed in with the oak and pine forest. The east and drier side of the creek has a hardier forest composed of oak, grey pine and manzanita.

Get back on the main trail where it intersects with the pathway to the overlook. The trail winds steadily down the rim of the creek canyon for the remainder of its length. Mining remnants can be seen in this area. Look for small terraces once occupied by mining equipment and buildings. A collapsed mining shaft is located on a level area shortly before the next fork in the trail. Stay out and stay alive!

At the fork in the trail, you have the choice of continuing straight ahead or veering off to the left at the sign that says “Guardian Rock.” Take the left fork to the bottom of this trail if you would like the scenic view of Guardian Rock, a large outcropping that looks almost like a finger pointing upwards. This side trail continues upward and meets the main trail.

The next section of trail parallels an old mining road that is supported by an extensive rock wall. Soon you will see the bridge leading to the NEED Camp (closed due to fire damage) and you will come to a crossing with seasonal Orofino Creek. You can return the way that you came, or make a loop back to Horse Camp by following the trail sign which leads to the right. This trail ends at Paige Bar Road, a dirt road which will lead you back to your starting point at Horse Camp. A short ways along the road, you will pass over Orofino Creek near a mineral seep – notice the usually strong odor of sulfur. The pine trees in the area are often occupied by flocks of band-tailed pigeons that drink at the mineral springs.

Horse Camp has a restroom and a faucet with potable water turned on during the warm months of the year.

 
Buck Hollow Trail
Buck Hollow Trail

NPS

Buck Hollow Trail

Difficulty level

Easy

Length

1 mile one way

Elevation

1050 to 1180 feet



Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rainstorms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown visitor center, take Kennedy Memorial Drive south for two miles to the dam. At the dam, the road forks; take the left fork, which is Paige Bar Road. Follow Paige Bar for two miles, past the Whiskeytown Cemetery, until you reach another fork. Turn left onto the unpaved section of the road which goes to Shasta and Igo. Follow it to Horse Camp, less than one mile.

At Horse Camp, follow the road to the left of the restrooms. The road will fork about 1/2 mile from Horse Camp; Paige Bar Road ends here and Mule Town Road begins. Take the right fork which is signed “Igo” (the left fork will take you to the elementary school in historic Shasta). This section of the road may not be suitable for low clearance vehicles and is recommended for 4-wheel drives. Follow this section of Mule Town Road for about 1/2 mile and park your vehicle at the first trailhead on the left which says, “Buck Hollow/Salt Creek Trail.”

Walk a short distance to reach the connection between the two trails. Take the fork to your left to stay on Buck Hollow; the Salt Creek Loop Trail and the Princess Ditch Trail are currently closed. The path will then wind gently up and down for one mile until it reaches the other side of Mule Town Road. Go back the way that you came.

 
Clear Creek Canal Trail
Clear Creek Canal Trail

NPS

Clear Creek Canal Trail

Difficulty level

Easy to moderate

Length

4.5 miles one way






Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rain storms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown visitor center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive for 1.6 miles. At the fork in the road, go straight ahead to Paige Bar Road. Follow Paige Bar Road for 1.3 miles. On the left-hand side across the street from Peltier Valley Road, there is a large parking area for the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail. The Clear Creek Canal Trail begins on the far north side of the parking lot (the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail begins on the opposite side near the bathroom).

Trail Description

The trail parallels Paige Bar Road as it makes its way north. At approximately 0.5 mile, the trail crosses Paige Bar Road and turns back toward the south. Here you can get a good view of Whiskeytown Dam and Clear Creek flowing from the tunnel below the dam.
After an additional 0.75 mile, the trail crosses unpaved Peltier Valley Road. Continue until you reach a gated service road. Go around the gate and follow the service road until you pick up the trail on the left. The trail will again meet Paige Bar Road, just below the Whiskeytown Cemetery. Follow the road to the right for a short way until you pick up the Clear Creek Canal Trail on the left-hand side of the road.

In about 0.25 mile, the trail forks. The left fork is the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail. Take the right fork to continue on the Clear Creek Canal Trail. As you near Orofino Creek, the trail takes a steep climb downhill, crosses the creek, climbs uphill and heads west. Once at the top, notice the views of Shasta Bally and Kanaka Peak. The trail then heads downhill and eventually crosses on unpaved section of Paige Bar Road near Horse Camp Primitive Campground. It continues for about 0.75 mile until it ends at Mule Town Road.

History

Originally, the Clear Creek Canal was used by gold miners from the 1860s through the 1880s as a water delivery system to local mines. It was once over 41 miles long, starting near the Tower House Historic District and ending near Lower Springs Road in northwest Redding. Today, the canal is truncated by modern roads and other trails, and the chopped-up sections are known by different names.

 
Mule Mountain Pass Trail
Mule Mountain Pass Trail

NPS

Mule Mountain Pass Trail

(Whiskeytown to Swasey direction)

Difficulty level

Moderate to difficult

Length

Approximately 5.5 miles one way if traveled from the Mule Mountain Pass/Princess Ditch Trailhead in Whiskeytown to the Wintu Trailhead at Swasey Recreation Area, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.


Elevation

1100 feet at the Mule Mountain Pass/Princess Ditch Trailhead in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, climbing to 1700 feet at the Whiskeytown/Bureau of Land Management property boundary then descending to 1000 feet at the Swasey Recreation Area.

Connections

Princess Ditch Trail and remnants of the old Salt Creek Loop Trail.

Enter at your own risk

The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rain storms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.

Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown visitor center, take Kennedy Memorial Drive south for 1.6 miles to the dam. At the dam, the road forks; continue straight ahead on Paige Bar Road. Follow Paige Bar for two miles, past the Whiskeytown Cemetery, until you reach another fork. Turn left onto the unpaved section of Paige Bar Road, which goes to Shasta and Igo. Follow it to Horse Camp, less than one mile.

At Horse Camp, follow the road to the left of the restrooms. The road will fork about 0.5 mile from Horse Camp; Paige Bar Road ends here and Mule Town Road begins. Take the right fork which is signed “Igo” (the left fork will take you to the elementary school in historic Shasta). This section of the road may not be suitable for low clearance vehicles and is recommended for 4-wheel drives. Follow this section of Mule Town Road for about 0.5 mile and go past the first trailhead on the left which says “Buck Hollow/Salt Creek Loop Trail.” Stop and park your vehicle at the second trailhead, which says “Mule Mountain Pass/Princess Ditch Trail.”

Description

A short distance from the beginning of the trail, you will come to an intersection with the Princess Ditch Trail; stay to the left. About one mile from the beginning of the trail, you will come to a second intersection. Turn to the right to stay on the Mule Mountain Pass Trail. An unmaintained remnant of the old Salt Creek Loop Trail continues to the left. You may notice the ore cart track near the second intersection, a remnant from the early days of California gold mining.

The path is narrow and winds in and out of the small drainages of Mule Mountain. Within the Whiskeytown boundary, there is only one grade that exceeds 10%. Once outside the boundary, however, there is a steep ascent to the summit of Mule Mountain, from which you can enjoy views of Redding, Mount Lassen, and greater Shasta County. The eastern section of the trail in the Swasey Recreation Area is easier and flatter.

 
Shasta Divide Nature Trail
Shasta Divide Nature Trail

NPS

Shasta Divide Nature Trail

Hiking only. No bicycles or pack animals.

Difficulty level

Easy

Length

1/2 mile loop trail




Elevation

1212 to 1400 feet

Directions

The trailhead is easily found at the far end of the Whiskeytown visitor center parking lot, next to the handicap accessible picnic table.

Description

The shady and cool path takes you down to the shoreline of Whiskeytown Lake, where benches provide a quiet spot to enjoy the view. It is also a nice place to go swimming or shore fishing. This is the only trail in the park that was unaffected by the Carr Fire

Last updated: January 22, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095

Phone:

(530) 242-3400

Contact Us