Whether you are planning to go camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, picnicking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, or sight seeing, the choices for recreation are almost unlimited. During the late spring, summer and early fall, the McCloud River is the most popular attraction in this area, offering fishing, swimming, camping, photography opportunities, and spectacular scenery.
For a traditional camping experience, while remaining close to town and convenient amenities, McCloud RV Resort and Friday’s RV Retreat are both excellent options, offering the same spectacular scenery and quiet that are customary to our forest campsites.
During the winter months, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow- shoeing, hunting, fishing, and downhill skiing are the top ranking outdoor opportunities. The Pilgrim Creek Snowmobile Park has vault toilets, a warming hut, and miles of groomed trails for your use. Except for Harris Spring, Cattle Camp, Trout Creek Campgrounds, Star City Creek, and Lake McCloud Boat Ramp, all developed campgrounds and day use facilities are located along the McCloud River. All campgrounds are on a first come-first served basis and have a 14 day stay limit. The McCloud River parallels Highway 89 from its source near Dead Horse Summit to Fowlers Campground. There it turns south and continues through private property to Lake McCloud. At Lake McCloud, the river again flows through National Forest lands to a point several miles below Ah-Di-Na Campground, plus several other areas downstream to the Nature Conservancies McCloud River Preserve. From here, the river passes through mostly private property and public access from the banks is extremely limited until the river enters the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake. If the improved campgrounds around McCloud are too crowded and confining, you may want to try camping somewhere else. Unless posted otherwise, you may camp anywhere within the National Forests(dispersed camping). A stay limit of 30 days is enforced for dispersed camping. No dispersed camping in the McCloud River Loop.
Source: US Forest Service Website
Description: Located on the Lower McCloud River at an elevation of 2300 feet, this remote campground has 16 sites with tables and fire rings, flush toilets, and drinking water. The dirt access road from Lake McCloud is very rough and rocky. Low clearance vehicles, trailers, and RVs are not advised. 14 day limit. $10 per night. No reservations.
Features: This campground is situated on an historic site used by Native American tribes and various land owners over the years, including the families of Whittier, Fitzhugh, and William Randolph Hearst. Visitors can explore and identify the remains of several buildings, foundations, rock walls, and an orchard that still produces fruit. The Lower McCloud River is a world renown native trout fishery which makes this camp a favorite for anglers. California Fish and Game regulations for this section of river allow only the use of artificial lures with barbless hooks.
According to local lore the site's name is derived from the first two initials of the first names of the three daughters of one of the previous owners. It is pronounced Adeenuh.
Due to the drought we ask that you please limit yourself to 10 gallons of water during your stay.
Description: Located on the Upper McCloud River at an elevation of 3800 feet, this is a small undeveloped camping area with 8 user-created sites and a vault toilet. No drinking water. No fee.
Features: Algoma is the terminus of the McCloud River Trail, a distance of 12 miles from Lower Falls. This area receives less traffic than the more popular McCloud River Loop, offering a quieter riverside camping experience.
Cattle Camp Campground
Description: At an elevation of 3700 feet, this is one of two developed campgrounds on the Upper McCloud River. There are 27 sites with tables and fire rings, vault toilets, and piped drinking water. Suitable for tents and larger RV's or trailers. Double sites for large families or small groups. 14 day limit. $15 per night. No reservations.
Features: The Upper McCloud River is one of the primary attractions in the area. In addition to swimming and fishing, there is over 12 miles of river-side trail to explore.
Cattle Camp Swimming Hole/Day Use Area.
Attention: Please do not dam up the outflow of the swimming hole. Doing so could cause an algae bloom. No camping. Thank you.
Fowlers Camp Campground
Description: The most popular campground on the unit. Located on the Upper McCloud River at an elevation of 3400 feet, it has 39 sites with tables, fire-rings, vault toilets, and piped drinking water. Suitable for tents and mid-sized RV's or trailers. 14 day limit. $15 per night. No reservations.
Features: This campground is situated near three waterfalls on the river, which adds to its popularity. The McCloud Falls vary in height from 15 to 50 feet. A river-side trail from the campground provides access to the falls. It is approximately three miles round trip to see all three. Swimming and fishing are other popular activities. This section of river has no special restrictions for fishing. The McCloud River Loop, a paved road approx 10 miles in length provides access to the Middle Falls and Upper Falls parking lots and overlooks if you do not wish to hike the trail.
Harris Spring Campground
Description: This is an undeveloped camping area located approximately 15 miles north of Highway 89. There are about 15 user-created sites and a vault toilet. Bring your own drinking water. No fee.
Features: This is near the site of an historic guard station. The guard station, which is essentially a cabin, has been restored by the Forest Service, but is no longer part of the Lookouts and Cabins Rental Program. This camp is very popular with hunters in the fall hunting season.
Trout Creek CAMPGROUND
Description: Trout Creek is one of the few sizable creeks on the McCloud Flats, and is a popular undeveloped camping area. Vault toilets are provided, but there are no tables at these dispersed sites. Bring your own drinking water.
Features: In recent years, the Forest Service has partnered with other agencies and organizations to restore this area to its traditional habitat with improvements to the hydrology of the creek bed and propagation of native species. There is a protective perimeter fence to keep out cattle and OHV use. Access includes 1 mile of unpaved road.