Trails covered in my Northern California hiking guidebooks may be closed for a variety of reasons, with wildfires being the most common. For each trail closure I list the hike name, hike number, and book name.
I also list trails that have had major recent changes, usually meaning a wildfire burned through the area, although the trail is still open.
Note: I try my best to keep this list up to date, but you should always double-check with the relevant government agency for the latest information. Also be aware that this list only covers the trails in my books, not the many other Northern California trails that may also be closed.
Note also: this list does not address trails and trailheads that are inaccessible due to snow, short-term weather events, or short-term wildfire fighting. I do my best to stay on top of trail closures due to larger wildfires.
Most recent trail closures update: July 26, 2022
Note: A few areas of national forests are still closed due to wildfire damage. Check the national forest website and, if necessary, call to get the latest info about what trails are open.
Northern High Sierra Nevada
Bear Canisters Now Required for Desolation Wilderness Backpackers
As of July 18, 2022, all people backpacking/staying overnight in Desolation Wilderness must have and use a bear canister to store food. You can buy good bear canisters at outdoor stores like REI, and you can order them online from Amazon and other retailers.
Caldor Fire Trail Update: Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Backcountry Area
Caldor Fire trail closures have been lifted for all hikes in my 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, fourth edition
2020 North Complex Fire: Feather Falls Trail
The 2020 North Complex Fire burned much of the land around the Feather Falls Trail. More information here.
Feather Falls Trail, Plumas National Forest. CLOSED through at least early spring of 2024. Hike 25, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
Dixie Fire Update for Lassen Volcanic National Park Trails
Much of Lassen Volcanic National Park burned during the 2021 Dixie Fire.
Many of the trails suffered significant damage from the Dixie Fire. Lassen Volcanic National Park has this update about which trails are and will be open in the summer of 2022 and beyond, including a rough timeline for opening trails (and campgrounds) in the burned areas.
The trails on the west side of the main park road (Highway 89) suffered little or no Dixie Fire damage and will be open in the summer of 2022 as soon as snow conditions allow.
Dixie Fire Update for Lassen National Forest, including Caribou Wilderness
Much of the Caribou Wilderness burned heavily in the 2021 Dixie Fire. Most or all of the hiking trails have been affected.
Here’s an early June, 2022, Caribou Wilderness trails update from Lassen National Forest:
The FS hasn’t surveyed trail conditions in the Caribou Wilderness yet this season. There are many standing dead and down trees due to the Dixie Fire. The FS doesn’t have a timeline for clearing and restoring damaged trails, and it will likely not happen this year. Anyone hoping to visit the Caribou should know that it burned, almost entirely, at high severity. There is also a considerable layer of ash which is unhealthy to breath. If people choose to enter the wilderness, they need to use extreme caution.
The following hike in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e, is affected:
Caribou Wilderness (Hike 28)
The following hikes in Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions are affected:
Beauty, Posey, and Long Lakes Loop (Hike 123)
Emerald, Rim, and Cypress Lakes (Hike 124)
Gem, Black, and Cowboy Lakes Loop (Hike 125)
In addition, the Dixie Fire burned near Old Station, which burned areas of the PCT, but not any of the hikes in my books.
Lava Beds National Monument
The 2020 Caldwell Fire burned much of the eastern portion of Lava Beds National Monument, and the 2021 Antelope Fire burned substantial portions of the western side. The following trails in Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions are closed:
Whitney Butte Trail (Hike 91; also Hike 41 in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e)
Redding Area and Nearby
The devastating 2018 Carr Fire burned nearly all of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and much of the BLM land in west Redding and nearby.
You will see major evidence of the Carr Fire along the following trails in west Redding (all in Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions):
Piety Hill Loop, Bureau of Land Management, Redding. Hike 6
Sacramento River Trail Loop, City of Redding. Hike 8
Sacramento River Rail Trail, Bureau of Land Management, Redding. Hike 9
FB Trail, Bureau of Land Management, Redding. Hike 10
Mule Mountain Pass and Black Bear Pass, Bureau of Land Management, Redding. Hike 13
Mule Mountain Ridge to Mule Mountain Summit, Bureau of Land Management, Redding. Hike 14
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Nearly all the trails in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area suffered major burning in the Carr Fire, with the Shasta Divide Nature Trail an exception. The following trails from Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions are open:
Shasta Divide Nature Trail, Hike 15
Oak Bottom Water Ditch, Hike 16
Crystal Creek Ditch Trail, Hike 19
Whiskeytown Falls, Hike 20
Mount Shasta Mine Loop, Hike 21
Guardian Rock and Clear Creek, Hike 23
Davis Gulch, Hike 24
The following trails from Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions are closed:
Tower House Historic District and Mill Creek, Hike 18 CLOSED (also Hike 62 in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e); Note: the Camden Water Ditch Trail at the beginning of the hike is open.
Kanaka Peak, Hike 22 CLOSED
Brandy Creek Falls, Hike 25 CLOSED
Mount Shasta and Nearby
Starting in early July of 2021, Mud Creek on the north side of Mount Shasta flooded Pilgrim Creek Road and covered it with mud and other debris. This affects:
Clear Creek Trail on Mount Shasta, Hike 46, Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions.
Here’s a Facebook post (July 12, 2021) from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest page:
Mud Creek, on the Shasta McCloud Management Unit, is continuing to have significant surges with the high temperatures the area is experiencing. Over the weekend, about 2 feet of mud and debris flowed up onto Pilgrim Creek Road. Because of all the sediment, Mud Creek is now flowing across the road and not under the bridge. Pilgrim Creek Road remains closed until further notice. To access Shasta Forest subdivision, wilderness trailheads, and other areas of the Forest vehicles need to use the Esperanza Road.”
This closure was confirmed in July of 2022.
The Castle Lake to Heart Lake Trail was recently rerouted and improved. It’s a lot easier to both follow and hike. See my detailed blog post about the Heart Lake Trail improvements. The hike is in Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions and 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, fourth edition.
Trinity Alps Wilderness
Most Trinity Alps Wilderness Trails are open, but many trails suffered substantial damage during 2021 wildfires.
For recent trip reports with info on trail conditions and road access, see this excellent Facebook group:
Yolla-Bolly Middle-Eel Wilderness
The 2020 August Complex wildfire burned much of Mendocino National Forest and parts of adjacent forests, including a big chunk of Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness.
North Yolla Bolly Trails, Shasta–Trinity National Forest, Yolla Bolly Ranger Station. Hike 77, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e. The 2020 August Complex Fire burned the upper portion of the Pettijohn Trail, plus North Yolla Bolly Lake and the summit of North Yolla Bolly Mountain.
Redwood National & State Parks and Nearby
Here are the current trail closures and important issues:
Highway 101 south of Crescent City is undergoing major work at Last Chance Grade. More info here.
You now need a permit between May and September 30 to access the Fern Canyon trailhead or visit Gold Bluffs Beach Day-Use Area. The number of permits is limited. Get all the details here. This affects Hike 11, “Fern Canyon Loop,” and Hike 12, “Coastal Trail, West Ridge, and Friendship Ridge Loop” in Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks. Note that if you have a reservation to camp at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, you do not need a permit.
Rhododendron Trail, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Hike 19, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks. The section of the Rhododendron Trail from the Brown Creek Trail to the South Fork Trail is closed. This means you can’t complete the loop described in Hike 19: Brown Creek, Rhododendron, and South Fork Loop. You can, however, hike the Brown Creek Trail and the South Fork Trail.
The Prairie Creek Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has been renamed the Karl Knapp Trail. It will take some time to change existing signs and maps, so be aware of the change.
Damnation Creek Trail, Redwood National & State Parks. Hike 25, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks. The trail is open most of the way down, but the bridge is out, preventing hiking the last 200 yards to the ocean.
The 2020 Walbridge Fire (LNU Complex Fire) burned much of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and Austin Creek State Recreation Area. More information here. Parts of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve are now open, but the East Ridge and Pool Ridge Loop Trails and Austin Creek State Recreation Area are still closed. Hike 77, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
The 2020 Glass Fire in Sonoma County burned much of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, but nearly all the trails are open, including:
Bald Mountain, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Hike 79, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
Most of Butano State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park burned during the August 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fires. Big Basin Redwoods State Park has only partially reopened. More information here for Big Basin Redwoods State Park and here for Butano State Park. These hikes in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e are partially or totally closed off.
Butano State Park. Partially closed, including much of Hike 93, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
Berry Creek Falls and Silver Falls, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. CLOSED. Hike 94, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
Skyline to the Sea Trail to Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. CLOSED. Hike 95, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e
Sacramento and Auburn State Recreation Area and Nearby
All hikes in Urban Trails Sacramento are now available to hike.
The Blue Ridge Trail and the Homestead and their surroundings near Lake Berryessa completely burned in the August 2020 LNU Lightning Complex Fire. More information here.
Blue Ridge Trail, Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve. Hike 34, Urban Trails Sacramento
Homestead Trail, Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, Hike 35. Urban Trails Sacramento