Trails covered in my Northern California hiking guidebooks may be closed for a variety of reasons, with wildfires being the most common. For each 2023 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: September 4, 2023
Note: A few areas of national forests may still be 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
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.
Bayview Trailhead, Desolation Wilderness
The trailhead itself is open, but, due to construction, you cannot park at Bayview Trailhead. The construction is scheduled to end by October, 2023. As an alternative, park at the nearby Eagle Falls Trailhead and access Desolation Wilderness from there.
Hike 15, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e: Dicks Lake, Gilmore Lake, Lake Aloha, and Middle Velma Lake.
D. L. Bliss State Park Closed for 2023
This means you can’t do a shuttle pick-up for a one-way hike from Emerald Bay State Park to Rubicon Point in D. L. Bliss State Park.
Hike 15, 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e: Emerald Bay to Rubicon Point
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
Lassen Volcanic National Park Backpackers Need an Online Permit
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 open in the summer of 2023 and beyond, including info on snow cover. For details of campgrounds and other recreation facilities, go here.
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 2023 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, but the wilderness is open. Expect some downed trees and areas where trails are difficult to follow. Reports from hikers state that some downed trees have been cleared from trails.
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.
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
The Burney Creek Trail and the P.S.E.A. Trail are currently closed because of storm erosion, and there is no date given for when (or if) they will reopen. Note that you can still hike the full Burney Falls Loop Trail. I have an extensive article on all your McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park hiking options.
Note: The park is very busy during the summer season, especially on weekends, and visitors are often turned away. See all the details about rules and restrictions here. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day you should try to visit on weekdays and either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
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. All the hiking trails have now been reopened.
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 and you can still explore the Tower House Historic District.
Kanaka Peak, Hike 22 CLOSED
Brandy Creek Falls, Hike 25 Partially open to Rich Gulch Trail junction; Brandy Creek Falls still inaccessible
Mount Shasta and Nearby
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
2023 Wildfire Closures
The following trails in my books 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e are closed:
Hike 57: Caribou Lake to Emerald Lake and Sapphire Lake
Hike 60: Four Lakes Loop: Summit Lake, Diamond Lake, Luella Lake, Deer Lake
Hike 61: Canyon Creek Lakes and Boulder Creek Lakes (also covered in Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions)
Fox Creek Lake in the Northern Trinity Alps Wilderness, Klamath National Forest. The entire route to Fox Creek Lake burned, often so severely that there is no vegetation, with thick ash/dust. In August of 2022 I was able to follow the the trail by paying close attention, and there are lots of rock cairns over the last mile or so when the route passes through granitic rock. I was unable to find either the trail up to the Pacific Crest Trail or the Mavis Lake Trail, even though I was using GPS. The area was severely burned, and recent heavy rainstorms had washed away any traces of these two trails, at least where they take off from the Fox Creek Lake trail. Fox Creek Lake is still beautiful, with the ridge to the south having only minimal burning, although most of the trees around the shoreline burned. Hike 75, Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions.
Trail Gulch Lake and Long Gulch Lakes in the Northern Trinity Alps Wilderness, Klamath National Forest. There is substantial evidence from the 2021 River Complex Fire, but the trail is still easy to follow. See my extensive 2022 trail report with photos and a Youtube video here. Hike 78, Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions.
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:
Closures Due to 2023 Wildfires
Highway 101 south of Crescent City is undergoing major work at Last Chance Grade. More info here.
You now need a permit between May 1 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 and Hike 68 in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California. Note that if you have a reservation to camp at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, you do not need a permit.
Redwood Creek Trail, Hike 4, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks and Hike 69 in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California. Open from the Redwood Creek Trailhead on Bald Hills Road to Elam Camp. The Redwood Creek Trail is closed from the creek crossing over Redwood Creek to 44 Camp, with the closure expected to last until at least December, 2023.
Dolason Prairie to Redwood Creek: Hike 7, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks. Closed due to damage from winter 2023 storms.
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 usually open most of the way down, but the bridge is out, preventing hiking the last 200 yards to the ocean. Also, there is trail work below the Last Chance California Coastal Trail junction, so that portion of the Damnation Creek Trail is currently closed Monday through Thursday, open Friday through Sunday.
California Coastal Trail, Klamath Section, Hike 23, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks and Hike 65 in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, 4e. The southernmost-mile of this trail (closest to the Klamath River overlook) was badly overgrown when I hiked it on May 22, 2023. You can follow the trail, but watch your footing and wear long pants and long sleeves. Be especially aware of the stinging nettle, which can be hard to avoid and which can sting you through your clothes, especially if they are thin.
More information here on Redwood National & State Parks trail and road conditions and closures (although this official page is not always up-to-date).
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
When visiting Big Basin Redwoods State Park, you must make a parking reservation 24 hours ahead of time. Details here.
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