NFS Campground Algoma >>> McCloud Creek becomes McCloud River a few miles downstream from this small camp. Aspen grove, one lane bridge, dirt back roads, river hiking trail, fishing, creek wildflowers.
NOTE: This campground is NOT near the waterfalls, and it’s a 10 mile long hike to reach them.
Park that chair in the creek and relax all day long.
• Elevation: 3,800′
• Number of Sites: 8
• Vehicle Accessibility: RV 24′ max
(trailers not advised)
• Toilet: Vault
• Piped Water: No
• Campsites Reservation: No
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Season: May – October
• Trailheads: McCloud River Trail
• Operated By: NFS
• Closest Town: McCloud, CA
From McCloud @ Highway 89: Drive 13+ miles (east), past CalTrans warehouse.
TIP: The turn-off for Algoma (Stouts Meadow) is NOT SIGNED from the highway. Rangers recommend turning at the cross country skier sign, but that sign is so small and faded, you can barely even see it. The paved road intersection is the only one around, so it is hard to miss if driving slow, under 50 mph. Turn right off the highway, and drive 1 mile to the campground at bridge.
Only two campsites on north side of bridge, and the rest are on the other side of the river. Algoma Bridge may be closed, so you can park and walk across to reach the campsites. Call ahead to find out current conditions.
aka Pilgrim Creek Road or Stevens Pass Road East of McCloud, CA
Explore the roads on the backside of Mount Shasta, well off Interstate 5 and miles from Highway 89. This epic paved route will get you away from the tourists at McCloud Falls and all those busy campgrounds.
Loggers and lumber trucks on week days; so drive cautiously. Paved road most of the way. Numerous dirt road turn offs lead deeper into seclusion. Wonderful views of Mt Shasta from many locations. So close, you can ‘reach out and touch it’ kinda views.
And no, we haven’t been to either, cuz the dang boon-docking is excellent, so why would you need a campground?
Long paved main road has numerous turn offs on to dirt roads on both sides. Timber lands, National Forest, and some private properties. Watch carefully for gates, fence lines and any signage. The night skies are super dark way back in here, so excellent stargazing!
Road #19 Military Pass Road intersects at the snowmobile park and heads NW – behind Mount Shasta.
Past the snowmo parking lot, Road 13 changes from Pilgrim Creek to Stevens Pass Road and continues to gradually climb up in elevation. Eventually Road 13 peters out around the backside of Harris Mountain.
Road #15 Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway – intersects shortly before Harris Springs, and continues northbound. It eventaully becomes Davis Road (#44N05) which leads up between Pumice Stone Mountain and Little Glass Mountain.
Little Mount Hoffman Lookout (historic fire lookout tower) is way back here on Road #43N77 and it is available to rent overnight (by reservation). The lookout is accessible by car, but the last 4 miles are on unpaved roads and difficult for RVs and cars with trailers to navigate. The accommodations of this lookout may be rustic, but the views guarantee that visitors will have a memorable stay.
ELK FLAT is an area worth exploring for the meadows and view of Mount Shasta. Stealth camping back in here on dirt roads with a passenger car.
Join old-fashioned fun in the sun all weekend in the Shasta area! McCloud’s Main Street Parade, vendor’s booths, nightly dance w/live music, baseball tournament, children’s events, horseshoe tournament, logging competitions, food, family games.
Located off the main highway, on a side road, with the epic Salmon River! This NFS campground is popular with whitewater enthusiasts in the spring. Rafters, kayakers. Many challenging rapids ranging from Class 3 to 5 are available. Swimming is also popular in the summer and numerous river access areas are a short drive or walk from the campground.
California Camping Rentals: Outdoor gear rentals in California are more common in big cities with large retailers and harder to find in specific, small towns on the back roads. Plan ahead trying to rent gear. Recreation destinations such as Joshua Tree, Mammoth & Bishop might have rental shops, but finding a rental store in an unfamiliar area could be ‘just chancing it’.
Be sure, before you go.
DanaMite has revised this handy list for your wilderness vacation planning, recreational equipment and rental needs.
2020 UPDATE: Recently deleted 4 shops on this page, so don’t be surprised if more gear rental shops vanish.
There are many reason people rent gear. Tourists or vacationers passing through, wanting to experience a non-hotel night outdoors; Beginner backpackers wanting to try out equipment before committing to a big purchase; College students on an impromptu road trip; Novice cross country snow skiers; Doggy now packs in his own food & water too.
A new concept now being delivered is online gear rental, from camping to fly fishing. Seriously. They can ship you quality rental gear, and you can use it, test it, review it, all hands-on, out in the field. These 2 players in the West both ship nationwide. Imagine what else the web will rent in the future?
alphabetically listed; cross reference by lake or campground name. reservations may be accepted for certain locations; follow links.
Developed Lake Campgrounds
Most of the lake campgrounds listed below are traditional style campgrounds with easy access: paved driveways, toilets, tables, maybe piped water. Various agencies manage these park campsites and additional links are provided.
Some of the campgrounds may be more primitive than others, with long dirt road access, gravel driveways, and minimal facilities. This list includes a wide range of lakes, from reservable group camps, to private RV resorts to back road beauties. Even a few campgrounds without fees!
Higher elevation locations close-up for the seasonal winter snow, which can last from NOV-MAY (or later, depending on snowmelt).
no motor boats?
wilderness lake fishing?
Each lake camp is different, so know what is available at the location before you get out there. Many spots do not have a boat ramp. Some lakes do not allow swimming. Some might be 4×4 access only, w/ hairy granite rock road, 12 miles long. If you require a general store within walking distance, then get the maps out, follow links and make sure.
Castle Crags State Park
Northern California Mountains
South of Dunsmuir, CA Interstate 5
exit #724 – Castella
backpacking, camping, creek fishing, hiking, mountaineering, lakes, rock climbing, snowshoeing, swimming, waterfalls
About an hour north of Redding, you can see those impressive peaks off to the left above the lush forest. Way up off the west side of I-5, lies a hiking paradise of scenic lakes, waterfalls and wildflowers. Opposite the freeway from Mount Shasta; Just south of Lake Siskiyou.
Castle Crags Wilderness neighbors the Castle Crags State Park, which is surrounded by Shasta-Trinity National Forest. This area is named for 6,000′ tall glacier-polished peaks and pointed crags. Due to their relatively low elevation, year-round recreation, hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing are popular spring through fall. Snowshoeing near Castle Lake is excellent.
regional history:The northwest area contains the largest glacial cirque, Castle Lake, which is near where the Modoc War’s 1855 Battle of Castle Crags took place. Now a historical landmark, the battle was fought on a ridge saddle between the lake and what is known as Battle Rock. The Wintu tribe inhabited the area, they called the crags the Abode of the Devil and the Spanish explorers called it Castle del Diablo (Castle of the Devil.) read more on wiki