Backcountry Camping - Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (2024)

Backcountry Camping - Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (1)

Permits

Visitors backpacking overnight at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area must obtain a free Backcountry Camping Permit at the Visitor Center. Check here for current Visitor Center hours. The Whiskeytown Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Entrance Passes

Whiskeytown is a National Park System site and requires a vehicle entrance fee. You can purchase an entrance pass at the Visitor Center, or online by using your smart phone, tablet, or computer by going to the recreation.gov. If you already have a valid Interagency Annual, Senior, Access, Military, or Whiskeytown Annual pass, please display this pass in a hangtag or place it on the dashboard of your vehicle. Annual passes from Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lava Beds National Monument are also valid here at Whiskeytown.

Regulations

Familiarize yourself with the regulations below before embarking on your backcountry adventure:

  1. Camp in designated overnight backpacking area. The included Whiskeytown NRA exclusion map (Appendix K) outlines in pink where overnight backpacking is prohibited. This map can be located below.
  2. Areas within the developed property at the summit of Shasta Bally, for use as a tele-communications facility are prohibited for overnight backpacking camping.
  3. Camp at least 400 feet from roads, and 100 feet from trails and streams. Camp away from fragile, untrampled vegetation.
  4. Campfires are prohibited in the backcountry.
  5. Fuel stoves and lanterns may be used for camping purposes but should only be lit on bare ground away from all vegetation.
  6. Bury human waste 6 inches deep and at least 100 feet from water sources, camp areas, or trails.
  7. Do not construct campsite “improvements,” such as shelters, drainage ditches around tents, rock walls, or bough beds.
  8. Pack out all trash and toilet paper. Don’t bury or burn it.
  9. Keep wash water, soaps, detergents, fish entrails and other waste out of streams. Even “biodegradable” soap pollutes.
  10. Do not feed wildlife. Keep a clean camp and store food properly. Read the next page for important bear information.
  11. Travel on well-established trials as much as possible for safety and to prevent erosion. If you must leave the trail do not cut through switchbacks or take shortcuts through wet trails as this can cause hazardous conditions and trail destruction.
  12. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural and cultural objects as you find them. Do not build rock cairns. If placed incorrectly, they can mislead visitors, cause unnecessary damage, and lead to potential injuries.
  13. Know the weather and check the forecast before starting your trip. Due to effects of the 2018 Carr Fire, sudden storm activity could lead to evacuation and closure of the backcountry on short notice. This is a public safety measure to protect visitors from potential falling trees/limbs, flash flooding/debris flows, or loose falling rocks. Please stay aware of any change in weather conditions and observe posted warning signs.
  14. Disturbing, digging, or removal of cultural features or artifacts is prohibited.
  15. Historic abandoned mine shafts, adits, and other features are present throughout the park. Please use caution when traveling overland. Shafts or other features are not always immediately visible. Never enter an abandoned mine, unknown hazards may include flooded passages, toxic air, wildlife, and collapsing walls. Stay Out, Stay Alive.
  16. When you are out safely and out of the park, call Whiskeytown Dispatch, so the park is aware at 530-242-3431.
Backcountry Camping - Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (2)

Whiskeytown is Bear Country

There are black bears in Whiskeytown, and they are clever and persistent. Take the time to set up your camp properly and keep your tent area clean. Careless camping and lazy or improper food storage often result in nuisance bears which may have to be killed if they become dangerous.

Do Not Store Food in Tents

Store food and odorous items, including toothpaste, cosmetics, soap, and garbage, by using the counterbalance method or a bear canister. Sleep 20 to 30 feet from where you store these items and scare any approaching bears away as quickly as possible. Making loud noises or throwing rocks towards the bear are acceptable methods of scaring them away. Black bears are generally timid. If a bear approaches your camp, act immediately to scare it away. Yell and make as much noise as you can. Throw rocks toward the bear. Make more noise. Always maintain a safe distance. Do not advance on a bear which appears to feel threatened or cornered by you. Do not attempt to retrieve food or gear from a bear until the items are abandoned.

Help Save a Bear's Life

Bears that obtain human food or trash may become aggressive and dangerous and then must be killed. You can prevent this by properly storing your food and garbage while camping. Please report all bear incidents at the Visitor Center.

Drinking Water

Potable water is available at the visitor center and at various locations throughout the park. Inquire at the Visitor Center for a map of the water filling stations in the park. Purify stream water by boiling it for 3 to 5 minutes, or by using a giardia-rated filter or iodine-based chemical filter.

Information and Assistance

Emergency: Dial 911
Visitor Center: (530)246-1225 Call for hours of operation. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Whiskeytown Dispatch: (530)242-3431, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Backcountry Camping - Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (2024)

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