Trail Hazard Sign CMS v3
Trail Hazard Sign


Burned Area Safety

Visitors are reminded that Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is managed as a natural area and that there are always risks involved in outdoor recreation. The Carr Fire has increased risks to visitors; falling trees, broken and hanging limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks remain in much of the burned area.

Winter storms presented additional hazard as the loss of trees and other vegetation contributed to accelerated erosion due to decreased water infiltration and increased runoff. Flooding, sediment deposition, and the possibility of debris flow pose a significant risk to human life and property, as well as critical natural and cultural resources.

Of particular concern are the watersheds at the base of Shasta Bally: Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Paige Boulder Creek, Mill Creek, and Crystal Creek all have been identified as areas with a high potential for debris flow. Debris flows are extremely dangerous water-laden masses of soil, vegetation, and rock that rush down mountainsides and funnel into stream channels capturing additional material in their path and eventually form fan-shaped deposits on valley floors. Smaller scale landslides and flood may occur anywhere within the park during rain events.

Hikers are highly encouraged to be aware of their surroundings at all times while at Whiskeytown. Remember to watch both the ground you walk on, as well as what is above your head for hazards.



The park, particularly the back country is home to a complete variety of wildlife. Bears and mountain lions live here and may be occasionally seen by the visitor. Learn about interacting successfully with wildlife by taking a minute and reading the following information. Both you and the wild creatures will benefit!



Whiskeytown is home to a healthy population of black bears. Adult male black bears usually weigh less than 400 pounds, while adult females usually weigh less than 250 pounds. Despite their ungainly appearance, bears can run at speeds of up to 30 mph for short distances. They can also climb trees and swim. Black bears see in color, but their eyesight is not as well developed as in humans. To compensate they have good hearing and a very keen sense of smell.

Bears are omnivorous which means they eat both plants and animals. Most of a bear's waking hours are spent searching for food. Given a bear's keen sense of smell, constant search for food, and high intelligence, many camping areas in bear country are experiencing bear problems. The Whiskeytown area is no exception. Problems arise when bears get into human food or trash. When eating human food or garbage bears become "conditioned" to being around people and, in their quest for food, ultimately become aggressive and dangerous. In some cases bears have taken food from visitors. By following a few simple rules you can help keep Whiskeytown's bears wild and behaving naturally:

1. Never feed bears or leave food unattended even for a few minutes.
2. Always use bear-proof food storage lockers and bear-proof trash containers.
3. If bear-proof food storage lockers are not provided, store food odor-free containers and out of sight in a vehicle, preferably the trunk. Store food carefully as bears can break into vehicles.
4. If a bear approaches, stand up, wave your arms, and shout or make loud noises.
5. Be bold but use good judgment. If you feel threatened, walk away, don't run.
Report all bear sightings to a park ranger or headquarters at (530) 242-3400.


Few people ever see these elusive animals in the wild. However, mountain lions have been known to attack people and pets.

When visiting mountain lion territory precautions should be taken:

1. Avoid hiking alone.
2. Don't run, running may stimulate the lion’s instinct to chase.
3. Watch children closely, and never let them run ahead of you on the trail.

If you do encounter a mountain lion, try these behaviors to convince the lion you are not prey and may be dangerous yourself:

1. Face the lion and stand upright.
2. Make eye contact.
3. Do not turn your back on the mountain lion. Back away slowly.
4. Pick small children up and place on your shoulders. Spread your arms, open your coat, and try and make yourself appear larger.
5. If the lion behaves aggressively wave your hands, shout and throw sticks or rocks. If attacked, fight back. Do not "play dead."

Report all mountain lion sightings to a park ranger or headquarters at 530-242-3400.

Last updated: August 7, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095


(530) 242-3400

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