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Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park
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 and overnight recreation with use of the following facilities:
- Trails for active recreation such as hiking, running, and bird watching.
- Campsites. For more information on camping guidelines, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
- 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.
- Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
- 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: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
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.
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.
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.