Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

UPDATE (May 29, 2020) - As California State Parks begins working with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park:

What is open now?
The park is now open for boat-in day-use recreation with use of the following facilities:
  • Trails for active recreation such as hiking, running, and bird watching.
  • The PG&E boat launch facility on Big Lake known as “Rat Farm” is now open for parking and boat launching for access to the park.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Statewide:
  • Campgrounds.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: If your county health orders require it, please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(530) 335-2777

Park Hours

Call the park

Driving Directions to Ahjumawi Lava Springs SP

The Park can only be reached by boat. There are no public roads to it and private motor vehicles are prohibited within. Visitors can launch into Big Lake at a PG&E public boat launch known as "Rat Farm". It is reached from McArthur by turning north off Highway 299 on to Main St., continuing past the Intermountain Fairgrounds, crossing over a canal and proceeding 3-miles north on a graded dirt road.


Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boat Ramps
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Environmental Campsites
Primitive Camping
Boat-in/Floating Camps
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Fishing
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Geocaching

Visitor Notice

Attention visitors there will be temporary limited maintenance services at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park.  Please pack out all refuse you bring.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Thank you. California State Parks.

Ahjumawi is a place of exceptional, even primeval, beauty. Brilliant aqua bays and tree studded islets only a few yards long dot the shoreline of Ja-She Creek, Crystal Springs, and Horr Pond. Over two thirds of the area is covered by recent (three to five thousand years) lava flows including vast areas of jagged black basalt.

The park is a wilderness area and most of it is extremely rugged lava rock. Visitors should prepare adequately for their visit. While there are over twenty miles of park trails by which to explore this beautiful geographical wonder, please be advised that travel off the trails requires proper preparation and equipment. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return.

Location - Directions

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is located in remote northeastern Shasta County and can only be reached by boat. Power boats are allowed to access Ahjumawi, but larger power boats are not recommended due to shallow access points to the park. There are no public roads to it and private motor vehicles are prohibited within.

Visitors can launch into Big Lake at a PG&E public boat launch known as "Rat Farm".

It is reached from McArthur by turning north off Highway 299 on to Main St., continuing past the Intermountain Fairgrounds, crossing over a canal and proceeding 3-miles north on a graded dirt road ending at a dirt launch ramp.


Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing

Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.

More about the Park

"Where the waters come together...." is a translation of the word Ahjumawi, which is also the self describing word used by the band of Pit River Native Americans who inhabit the area. The waters which come together are Big Lake, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, and Fall River. Together they form one of the largest systems of fresh water springs in the country.

Preserved within the Park are lava flows broken by great faults and deep cracks, lava tubes and craters. Freshwater spring flowing from the lava are prominent along the shoreline.

Oak, pine, and juniper forests and slopes of rabbit brush and sagebrush are part of the great variety of vegetation in the area. Abundant wildlife populations are evident all seasons. A great variety of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, and great blue herons nest or travel throughout the park. Herds of mule deer forage through much of the park.

Visitors may be inspired by magnificent vistas of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, and other nearby peaks.

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park(Photograph by Michael Wopat)
Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park
“Ahjumawi” means “where the waters come together” in the Ajumawi language. This is a particularly appropriate description for Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, since the waters of Big Lake, Tule River, Ja She Creek, and Fall River all come together at this location. The springs at the park comprise one of the largest fresh water spring systems in the country. They discharge into Big Lake, Horr Pond, and Ja She Creek, which together form the headwaters of the East Fork of the Tule River (a major tributary to the Fall River).


The full Geo Gems report
  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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