« Chester, CA | Main | Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA »

Douglas City Campground, CA

Our travels have taken us west down the twisting forest roads from Chester, CA, past the still-snowbound Lassen Volcanic National Park, and descending eventually down to the Sacramento Valley. We would have loved to stop at Lassen, but the roads are not expected to be plowed until July. At last report, there was still 15 feet of snow in one of the parking areas.

Poor Emma has caught a cold, apparently from her days of kid interactions on the inflatable slide in Reno. It showed up yesterday, and caused her plenty of grief on the way down from 4,500 feet to the valley floor, since her ears were slow to equalize. We had to take 20 minute breaks at 2,000 feet and 1,000 feet to let her catch up.

But eventually we arrived in the Sacramento Valley. Instead of spending a couple of nights at Lake Shasta, per the original plan, we’ve to go directly to the pacific coast via scenic and exciting route 299 from Redding. This route brought us past the Whiskeytown-Shasta National Recreation Area, and Whiskeytown Lake. It looks like a fantastic lake for boating and quiet recreation, at least mid-week. It is locked in by mountains, like Lake Almanor, and there are numerous quiet coves to explore.

Our destination was further west, past the tiny mis-named village of Douglas City. We’ve found a nice BLM campground for $10 per night (water, no hookups, no dump, scenic river access). The water is high on the river due to planned water releases – part of a program to restore native spawning fish to the river.

Douglas City cg river.jpg

All the campsites are deep in a valley and shaded by 200-foot ponderosa pines, so our solar panels are not very useful, and there is no cellular service at the campground to speak of. But for one night it’s a great stopover.

Douglas City cg.jpg

Coming here reminded me once again how glad I am to have upgraded to disc brakes. Every road we drove today except I-5 was either twisty, steep, or both. The descent into the campground is probably an 8% downhill grade. Unlike last year, I didn’t have to work to manage our limited brake capacity. Now, I just tap the brakes and the trailer stops the truck. It’s a huge convenience when driving in these mountainous areas.

Our next stop will be Humboldt Redwoods State Park for the weekend. On Saturday we will probably do some hiking in the damp, cool, redwood forests. Internet access in the state park is iffy, so don’t be surprised if I can’t update the blog until Monday.


The route (299W) between Redding and Eureka is very interesting. 4 summits in total, the worst road is the one closest to Redding, Buckhorn. Luckily you were going UP the bad part, it is much more 'fun' coming down! We used to hear many complaints about the road when my parents owned the KOA in Redding. Enjoy northern California!

Beautiful pictures, especially love the sun's lighting on your top picture! Wish it were bigger I would set it as my desktop.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here