A Comprehensive List of Outdoor Destinations Open in Northern California

As Covid reopenings sweep through California and the sun shines bright through the North State, residents are looking for outdoor destinations to enjoy the fresh air outside of their homes. The past two weeks have seen a long list of outdoor destinations that have reopened, but some of the information as to what exactly sits open remains vague.

As information continues to pour in from the different agencies like the Forest Service, California State Parks and National Park Service, it’s difficult to disseminate exactly what’s open. That’s why we’ve compiled this list (which we will continue to update as more information is made available) of all the outdoor destinations in NorCal that are currently open.

Note: Although these places are open, they may not have any facilites or limited space in parking lots. Please do research before heading out.

Enjoy the sunshine outside of the house with these OPEN outdoor destinations in NorCal:

North Coast

Praire Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Richard Price.

The North Coast areas of Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte Counties were probably the least affected by the virus, with many of the outdoor areas staying open through the quarantine. All State Parks and even Redwoods National Park stayed open during the shutdown, although facilities and parking lots were close. Now, many parking lots are even open at the parks. Here are all the state parks open in the North Coast:

Del Norte County

Del Norte Coast Redwoods

Jedediah Smith Redwoods

Tolowa Dunes

Humboldt County

Fort Humboldt

Grizzly Creek Redwoods

Humboldt Lagoons

Humboldt Redwoods

Patrick’s Point

Prairie Creek Redwoods

Richardson Grove

Mendocino County

Hendy Woods

MacKerricher

Manchester

Mendocino Headlands

Mendocino Woodlands

Navarro River Redwoods

Point Cabrillo Light Station

Russian Gulch

Sinkyone Wilderness

Van Damme

Meanwhile, these are the day use sites and campsites that are currently open in the Mendocino National Forest:

Campgrounds

  • Davis Flat-ohv
  • Fouts-ohv
  • Kingsley Glade
  • Little stony-ohv
  • Mill creek-ohv
  • Mill valley –ohv
  • North fork-ohv
  • Old mill-ohv
  • Rocky cabin
  • South fork–ohv
  • Sugarfoot
  • Sugar spring
  • Three prong
  • Toomes camp
  • Whitlock

Group campgrounds

Grey pine-ohv

Info site/fee station

Wolf Creek-ohv

Interpretive site

Firefighter memorial

Nye cabin site

Upper Lake open

Pine Point picnic area

Covelo open

  • Hammerhorn Lake day use area and campground
  • Eel River campground
  • Green Springs campground
  • Grizzly Flat campground
  • Howard Meadow campground
  • Howard Lake campground
  • Little Doe campground
  • Atchison campground

Shasta Cascade

Photo by Brenan Greene

The Shasta Cascade encompasses the middle and upper right corner of Northern California, including counties like Shasta, Siskiyou, Lassen, Modoc, Trinity, Butte and others. The big news for this region was the opening of many of the outdoor areas and campgrounds in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, which encompasses the beautiful wilderness of Trinity, Shasta and Siskiyou County. That means places like Trinity Lake, Shasta Lake, McCloud Falls and Mount Shasta are open!

Here is the list of outdoor areas open in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest:

Shasta Lake Area

Campgrounds opening in Shasta Lake Area

  • Antlers Campground
  • Bailey Cove Campground
  • Chirpchatter Campground
  • Deadlun Campground
  • Ellery Creek Campground
  • Lakeshore East Campground
  • Lower Jones Valley Campground
  • Madrone Campground
  • McCloud Bridge Campground
  • Upper Jones Valley Campground

Group Campgrounds opening Shasta Lake Area

  • Dekkas Rock Group Campground
  • Gregory Creek Group Campground
  • Mariners Point Group Campground
  • Moore Creek Campground
  • Nelson Point Campground
  • Pine Point Campground

Picnic Areas opening in Shasta Lake Area

  • Bailey Cove Day Use Area
  • Dekkas Rock Day Use Area
  • Fishermans Point Day Use Area
  • McCloud Bridge Day Use Area

Big Bar Area

Campgrounds opening in Big Bar Area

  • Hayden Flat Campground
  • Pigeon Point Campground

Group Campgrounds opening in Big Bar Area

  • Pigeon Point Group Campground

Day Use Areas opening in Big Bar Area

  • Cedar Flat Picnic Area
  • Whites Bar Picnic Area
  • Big Flat River Access

Trinity Area

Campgrounds opening in Trinity Area

  • Ackerman Campground
  • Alpine View Campground
  • Bushytail Campground
  • Hayward Flat Campground
  • Preacher Meadow Campground
  • Rush Creek Campground
  • Tannery Gulch Campground (however TG water sytem is non-op, so please bring enough water for your trip)
  • Bridge Camp Campground
  • Clark Springs Campground
  • Cooper Gulch Campground
  • Eagle Creek Campground
  • Mary Smith Campground
  • Minersville Campground
  • Trinity River Campground
  • Goldfield Campground
  • Mariners Roost Campground
  • Ridgeville Island Campground
  • Ridgeville Campground
  • Ripstein Campground
  • Skunk Point Group Campground
  • Trinity Vista Day Use Area
  • Lewiston Vista Day Use Area        
  • Basin Gulch Campground
  • Forest Glen Campground
  • Hell Gate Campground                                  

Picnic Areas opening in Trinity Area

  • Clark Springs Day Use Area and Beach
  • Cooper Gulch Day Use Area
  • Pine Cove Picnic Area

Hayfork Area

Cabin rentals opening in Hayfork Area

  • Forest Glen Guard Station
  • Post Creek Lookout

Yolla Bolla Area

Campgrounds opening in Yolla Bolla area

  • Tomhead Saddle Campground

Mt. Shasta/McCloud Area

Mt. Shasta area above 10,000 feet is opening

Campgrounds opening in Mt. Shasta/McCloud Area

  • Fowlers Campground
  • Sims Flat Campground
  • Cattle Camp Campground
  • Camp 4 Group Campground
  • Gumboot Campground
  • McBride Springs Campground

Day Use sites opening in Mt. Shasta/McCloud Area

  • Bunny Flat and all Everitt Memorial Highway day use sites – the gate at Bunny Flat will be closed until at least July 1
  • Castle Lake Day Use Area
  • Sims Day Use Area
  • Pollard Flat Day Use Area
  • McCloud River Falls area (Lower/Upper/Middle Falls; Lakin Dam; Cattle Camp swimming hole)
  • Pilgrim Creek Snowmobile Park

In the Lassen National Forest, most developed recreation sites remain closed through June 11. Here is a list of everything open:

  • Aspen Grove (Campground)
  • Aspen Grove Boat Launch (Boating Site)
  • Christie (Campground), Christie Day Use (Picnic Site)
  • Eagle (Campground)
  • Gallatin Marina (Boating Site)
  • Merrill (Campground)
  • Merrill Amphitheater (Interpretive Site/Day Use Site)
  • Canyon Dam Boat Launch (Boating Site)
  • Canyon Dam Boat Launch (Day Use Site)
  • Lake Almanor Trail Dyer View Trailhead (Day Use Site)
  • Black Rock (Campground)

Here are all the outdoor places open in the Plumas National Forest:

Developed Recreation Sites Open on the Plumas National Forest

Mt. Hough Ranger District

Quincy – (530) 283-0555

Antelope Dam Kiosk*Guiney Point Fishing Site*Round Valley Picnic Area*
Belden Trailhead*Lost Cove Boat LaunchRound Valley Dam Trailhead*
Bradys Camp*Lunker Landing Fishing Site*Silver Lake Trailhead*
Bucks Summit Trailhead & Staging Area*Red Bridge Campground*Spanish Creek Bridge Overlook*
Cascade Trailhead & Day Use*  

*available, but without fees or services

Feather River Ranger District

Oroville – (530) 534-6500

American House OHV CampLittle Grass Accessible Fishing Trailhead*Sawmill Ridge Warming Hut*
Bald Rock Trailhead*Maidu – Boating*Sly Creek Campground**
Black Rock – Boating*Mooreville Boat Ramp*South Fork Warming Hut*
Blue Water – SwimmingMooreville Warming Hut*Stag Point OHV Camp
Cleghorn Bar OHV CampOnion Valley Warming Hut*Strawberry Campground**
Four Trees Staging Area*Pancake – SwimmingStrawberry Car Top Launch*
Golden Trout Crossing Trailhead*Poker Flat OHV CampTooms Boating*
Hartman Bar OHV CampRace Track OHV Camp 

*available, but without fees or services

**tentative opening date of May 22nd, services may not be available, call Feather River Ranger District for up-to-date information

Beckwourth Ranger District

Blairsden (530) 836-2575

Camp 5 Boat RampGold Lake Picnic Area*Nightcrawler Bay Fishing Site*
Coot Bay Fishing & Picnic Site*Honker Cove Boat RampRound Lake Trailhead*
Cow Creek Fishing Site*Jenkins Point*Portola Picnic Area*
Eagle Point Fishing Access*Lightning Tree Boat RampSalmon Egg Shoal Fishing Site*
Fairview Point*Long Lake Trailhead*Snallygaster Point Fishing Site*
Frazier Falls Trailhead*Lunker Point Boat RampSmith Lake Trailhead*
Frenchman Boat RampMallard Cove Boat RampTurkey Point Fishing Site*
Gold Lake Staging Area*  

*available, but without fees or services

While the forest service has opened up a bunch of outdoors areas, California State Parks has not been as active in reopenings in this area. Here are the only two state parks currently open in the Shasta-Cascade:

  • Lake Oroville State Recreation Area
  • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

On the National Park front, Lassen Volcanic National Park announced it would begin reopening on May 29th, with the park’s highway fully reopen. The visitors centers will be closed, but camping and hiking will be available to visitors with the usual entrance fee.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area might be the most open area in Northern California, with beaches, parking lots and campgrounds accepting visitors with a day fee.

In Siskiyou County, the trails and roads in the Lava Beds National Monument remain open, although the Visitor Center, campground, Cave Loop Road, & all park restrooms throughout the park.

Sacramento

Folsom Lake

The areas near Sacramento were hit hard by Covid closures, but the surrounding counties are now entering in Phase 2 reopening and many outdoor areas are currently open.

The biggest news came from the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which is currently open to visitors but is not currently allowing camping.

Here are the current day use sites open in the El Dorado National Forest:

  •  Alder Creek Day Use Area
  • Capps Crossing Day Use Area
  • Traverse Creek Day Use Area
  • East Slab Creek Reservoir Day Use Area
  • Cedar Park Trailhead
  • Fleming Meadow Trailhead
  • Pony Express Corral Trailhead
  • Slippery Ford Trailhead
  • Mt. Ralston Trailhead
  • Sayles Canyon/Bryan Meadow Trailhead
  • Meiss Trailhead
  • Lumberyard Picnic Area
  • Indian Spring Picnic Area
  • Eagle Rock Picnic Area
  • 42 Milestone Picnic Area
  • Big Hill Overlook
  • Echo Lake Parking Area
  • Iron Mountain Parking Area
  • Hell Hole Vista
  • Hell Hole Boat Ramp
  • Ice House Boat Ramp
  • West Point Boat Ramp
  • Stumpy Meadows Boat Ramp & Picnic Area
  • Stumpy Meadows Boat Ramp/Picnic Site
  • Icehouse Boat Ramp & Picnic Area
  • Icehouse Day Use (near dam)
  • Yellowjacket Boat Ramp
  • Gold Note Staging Area
  • PiPi Day Use Area
  • Loon Lake Undeveloped Boat Ramp
  • Sunset Boat Ramp & Picnic Area
  • Pyramid Creek Trailhead
  • Salt Springs Trailhead
  • Devils Nose Day Use Area
  • Loon Lake Boat Ramp

Tahoe

Photo by Parker Ulry

The Tahoe area has opened a lot of outdoor areas, but town officials from Truckee and South Lake Tahoe are pleading with people not to visit as they believe the areas are not fit for huge crowds right now. That being said, the Forest Service opened a bunch campsites, trailheads and OHV areas in the Tahoe National Forest, including:

Here are all the campsites in the Tahoe National Forest set to open on May 22nd:

• Highway 89, South
o Goose Meadow Campground
o Granite Flat Campground
• Foresthill Divide Road
o Giant Gap Campground
o Shirttail Campground
• Marysville Road
o Dark Day Campground (no group sites)
o Garden Point Campground (boat in)
o Madrone Cove Campground (boat in)
o Schoolhouse Campground

Here are all the Day Use Sites, Trailheads, Boat Ramps, and Staging Areas now open:

o Sierra Buttes Trailhead – Inaccessible, snow just passed Packer Lake
Highway 20
o Gold Country Equestrian Trailhead -open
o Golden Quartz -open
Highway 49
o Oregon Creek Day Use Area -open
Highway 89, North
o Pass Creek -open
o Woodcamp Boat Ramp – Inaccessible due to snow
o Donner Picnic Area – Open
Interstate 80
o Castle Valley – Inaccessible due to snow
o Boca-Stampede Road
o Prosser Boat Ramp -open
o Boca Boat Ramp – closed due to water level
o Stampede Boat Ramp -open
o Boca Town Site – open
o Prosser OHV – open
o Vista Overlook – open
Marysville Road
o Dark Day Boat ramp/picnic area -open
Mosquito Ridge Road
o French Meadow Boat Ramp – open
o Big Trees Nature Trail – Accessible, windfall on access road and trail
Foresthill Divide Road
o Manzanita – opening Friday, May 22 (day use only). Fees apply May 22.
o Parker Flat OHV staging area -open
o Sugar Pine OHV staging area-open

Here are all the motorized routes and trails now open:

• Diamond Creek – Patchy snow and muddy conditions.
• Sugar Pine OHV system has favorable soil moisture conditions and is actively being cleared of down winter trees.
• The Downieville multiple-use trail system will still have moderate to heavy snow in higher elevations (much like every year) and connection routes to higher elevations will be impassable
• Fordyce Jeep Trail – Passable from Eagle up to Committee Crossing and back, not possible to get out from Committee to Fordyce Lake Rd
• Burlington Motorcycle Trail system – Westside Open
• Gold Valley OHV system – inaccessible due to snow
• Excelsior – Snow remains in shady areas, muddy in spots
• Pendola – Open
• Chalk Bluff – Muddy conditions
• Omega – Muddy conditions
• Alpha – Some muddy conditions
• Burlington – Some muddy conditions
• Bowman – Clear to Bowman Lake
• Cal-Ida – Open to mile post 4
• Fiddle Creek – Open to mile post 8.5
• Texas Hill – Onion Valley accessible, windfall on road. Snow and muddy conditions exist
• Eureka – Snow conditions may exist past mile post 15
• Long Point Access – Muddy conditions
• Jouberts – Poor road condition, snow and tree limbs in road
• Madrone Spring – Good condition
• Washington Ridge – Good condition
• Packer Lake Road – Clear to Packer Lake, then blocked by snow

Eastside of the Tahoe National Forest
• Fiberboard (07 Road) – Passable to 41 road, then conditions unclear..
• Prosser Hill Moto (Animal/Animal Crackers) – open, mostly clear of snow, reported snow patches and downed trees on upper section
• Bald Mountain Moto (Happy Face) – clear of snow, trees from Big Jack East Vegetation Management across northernmost section of trail, veg management work continues in area, advise alternate route
• Lloyd’s Moto – open, clear of snow
• Meadow Lake -impassable
• The Bear Valley OHV system – Open, actively being cleared of down winter trees
• Yuba Weber – Snow covered and not accessible
• Carmen Valley – Road is snow free and in good condition and passable
• Nichols Mill – Road is snow free and in good condition until ridgeline/elevation gain.
• Verdi Peak – close to passable, patchy snow
• Haskel Peak – Passable
• Babbit – Passable to Jones Valley; not much further
• Sawtooth (06 Road) – Passable to Second Gate
• Bear Valley Road – Snow free, good condition and passable
• Sardine Road- Snow Free, clear to Sardine Lake

Local County Roads within the Tahoe National Forest
• Boca/Stampede – Clear
• Mosquito Ridge – Clear to Hell Hole
• Foresthill Road – Clear to Sailor Flat, patches of snow on road possible after Sailor Flat
• Indian Springs Road – Clear to OHV Trail Head
• Gold Lake Highway – Open

Meanwhile, here are the California State Parks in the Tahoe area currently open:

El Dorado County

Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park

Emerald Bay State Park

Lake Valley State Recreation Area

Washoe Meadows State Park

Nevada County

Donner Memorial State Park

Placer County

Auburn State Recreation Area

Kings Beach State Recreation Area

Bay Area

The Bay Area has been the most impacted in terms of Covid closures and the outdoor destinations are no exception. Places like Point Reyes National Seashore and Muir Woods remain closed to the public, and they may see the longest closures due to their proximity to the city. That being said, place like Golden Gate Park and the Marin Headlands remain open. Lake Berryessa is open with limited camping.

Meanwhile, some California State Parks have opened near the Bay Area. Here’s a list of current openings:

Santa Cruz County

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Wilder Ranch State Park

Sonoma County

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Austin Creek State Recreation Area

Jack London State Historic Park

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Trione-Annadel State Park

What did we miss? Let us know if the comments so we can continue to keep this list updated!

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

6 Comments

  1. Great article, I appreciate the information. Do you know anything about Amador County or El Dorado National Forest?

  2. what about Gualala Point Regional Park (Sonoma county): the parking lot is tapped off across the street and the gate is closed. Along with all the small places along the coast at Sea Ranch.

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