Shasta-Trinity NF Closure Order Lifted — With Some Exceptions

The temporary closure of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest has been lifted as of 8 a.m. on Saturday the 19th. Therefore, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is OPEN for public entry, with some exceptions. Many other national forests in California remained closed.

Specifically, the Shasta McCloud Management Unit established a forest closure order prohibiting dispersed camping in certain areas on the Unit. These areas are open to day use. The two areas are: South Fork Zone and a Mount Shasta Zone. This is in effect until October 31st. Additionally, the Bunny Flat gate will remain closed for the remainder of the season, which includes no camping in Panther Meadows Campground (area behind the gate is open to day use). The gates on Castle Lake Road and just above McBride Springs CG on the Everitt Memorial Highway will be opened on Monday when the County is able to do so. That’s when day use sites above these gates will re-open

All fire restrictions are still in effect. Therefore, no campfires, no propane grills, no ignitions of any sort – this includes in developed campgrounds.

Here are links to a news release, the closure order and map identified the areas closed to dispersed camping.

View of Gateway Trail expansion area

West Parks Creek Lake Trailhead — Closure for Bridge Replacement

From the Forest Service:

Starting August 31, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest will begin work to replace the West Parks Creek OHV trail bridge with a new bridge. The new bridge will provide a safe crossing of the stream for motorized vehicles 50” wide or less, reduce sediment delivery into West Parks Creek, and restore meadow conditions adjacent to the trailhead. The West Parks Creek bridge is located at the end of Road 41N73, on the Shasta McCloud Management Unit off of Parks Creek Road, 42N17. The trailhead to West Parks Creek Lakes will be closed during construction so parking will be limited. The project is scheduled to last 30 days, but may be completed within a couple weeks of the start date. If recreating in this area, please use caution when around heavy equipment and only pass the worksite when signaled to do so. Please call the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station if you have any further questions at (530) 440-4509.

Meadow along West Parks Creek

Get Ready For New Gateway Trails!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association (MSTA), in partnership with the Forest Service and Bike Shasta, is pleased to announce work has begun on the expansion of the Gateway Trail network.

This project, located on national forest system lands administered by the Shasta McCloud Management Unit, will add 46.5 miles of multi-use non-motorized trail to the existing Gateway trails. While the final trails will be open to hikers, equestrians, trail runners and bikers, the primary use is expected to be mountain biking.  Thus, the trails are being located, designed and built, meeting USFS trail standards, with mountain biking in mind.

District Ranger Carolyn Napper approved the project on October 18, 2019, after a thorough review of all applicable environmental requirements and the Forest Plan for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.  Funding the planning effort came from a variety of partners and grantors, including BikeShasta, the McConnell Foundation, the Mountain Wheelers, and the Mount Shasta Trail Association – truly a project with the community pulling together!

On-the-ground trail construction under direction from the Forest Service is being coordinated by the MSTA and Trail Labs, CO., a small business owned by internationally-known trail designer Andrew Pellkofer. The initial work is the clearing of vegetation from the trail construction corridor, making way for future building of the trail itself.  On-the-ground construction of the trails by Trail Labs, CO. is expected to begin later this year.  Trail Labs has hired local labor to conduct these activities.  Completion of the project is expected to take 4-5 years.

At this time, work is proceeding with strict COVID-19 safety precautions.  While the post-COVID-19 future is unclear, the Mt. Shasta Trail Association, Bike Shasta and the Forest Service are pleased to share this good news with the community.  Construction of the Gateway Trails will be a major contribution to outdoor recreation around Mt. Shasta.  As we move forward on this project, we expect that it will contribute significantly to Mt. Shasta City’s reputation as a hub for muscle-powered and trail-based recreation.  When things get back to normal, these fantastic trails will be there for everyone’s enjoyment.

Trail Corridor Clearing by A Crew From The Deadwood CDCR Camp

Forest Service News Release — Gateway Phase 2

Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project gains momentum

Contact(s): Josef Orosz, Public Affairs Specailist, 530 226-2322

MT. SHASTA, Calif. — The Shasta McCloud Management Unit of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in partnership with the Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA), has finalized and signed the Gateway Phase 2 Environmental Assessment and Decision Notice which will allow for the following:

•              Construct 44.8 miles of new multi-use, non-motorized trails and 1.7 miles of trail that would be designed and permitted to equestrians and hikers only.

•              Construct two new day-use trailheads at Ten Gallon Plantation and the south side of the Everitt Memorial Highway across from the McBride Springs Campground.

•              Develop two existing recreation facilities as day-use trailheads at the John Everitt Vista Point and the Nordic Center on the Ski Park Highway.

•              Expand the McBride Springs Campground by adding a loop for 8-12 campsites.

•              Decommission unauthorized, unsustainable, user-created trails and trail segments in the project area.

The project area encompasses over 5,000 acres joining the existing 11.4 mile Gateway trail system off the Everitt Memorial Highway and Ski Park Highway, and contributes to the community’s “100 miles of Trail” campaign that launched in 2013 by MSTA and BikeShasta.

The proposed trail expansion has been designed to address multiple non-motorized trail users – hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrian riders and incorporates consideration for trail-user objectives and desired experiences. This resulted in a “zoned” approach to the trail network that includes:

1.             Community Zone – close to town and easy to access, designed to build upon the existing Gateway network and creates more opportunities to quickly get out and enjoy the forest.

2.             Learning Zone (Discovery Center) – trailhead will be located at the Nordic Center, a short connection to the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, and mellow, rolling terrain with fantastic views all around. The Learning Zone will be ideal for those new to trails and will provide a series of loops that allow users to begin easy and add mileage if they feel up to the challenge.

3.             Big Mountain Zone – designed to provide a variety of trail experiences, but with an emphasis on mountain biking, including a portion where the “preferred-use” would be mountain biking. The Vista Point trailhead will function as a drop point in which users can descent into an assortment of routes ranging from intermediate level flow trails, to advanced downhill directionally designed trails, and connect with the Community or Learning Zones.

Over the last two years, the Forest Service has worked closely with the MSTA, who funded the NEPA analysis and completed the technical resource reports and Environmental Assessment following Forest Service guidelines. “This project was truly a community-led effort with support from all user groups, local businesses, and residents. It is an exciting time for our area with such an emphasis on recreation and tourism. This project compliments the designation of the city of Mt. Shasta as a Pacific Crest Trail Town and the larger concept of the Mount Shasta Trail Partners,” explained Shasta McCloud Management Unit District Ranger, Carolyn Napper. “This project provides the Forest Service an opportunity to work with the City of Mt. Shasta and surrounding areas to diversify the economic base of the community and promote partnerships with user groups to assist in the operation, maintenance, and developed of recreation sites and facilities.” 

With the grant funding the Mt. Shasta Trail Association received from the McConnell Foundation in 2017, trail building will begin in the spring of 2020 in the Big Mountain Zone. Construction will be a phased approach and once trail segments have been integrated into the National Forest System Trails system they will be open for public use. Both the Forest Service and the MSTA is continuing to apply for additional grant funding (Prop 68 and Recreation Trails Program) to support the construction and maintenance into the future.

“The completion of the environmental analysis and the signing of a decision for the Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project is a monumental event for the Trail Association and all of our donors and partners — especially the support we got from the local Forest Service employees,” stated Mt Shasta Trail Association board member, John Schuyler. “We see national forest lands as key to our goal of making southern Siskiyou County a destination for sustainable trail-based recreation, and this project demonstrates how we and the Forest Service can work together and accomplish common goals.”

For more information about this project visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53089. A larger image of the trail project is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/FSEPRD677468.pdf.