Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park: A Serene Boat-In Camping Experience at Ahjunwai Boat-in Campgrounds

Nestled in the remote northeastern reaches of Shasta County, Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park offers a unique camping haven accessible only by non-motorized boats like canoes or kayaks. Surrounded by the pristine wilderness along Tule River, Ja She Creek, and Horr Pond, this park boasts rugged lava landscapes and one of the largest freshwater springs in the country. As campers navigate waterways, hike lava trails, and enjoy birding, it’s essential to be well-prepared for this extraordinary boat-in camping adventure.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for Campers Camping Here the First Time:

  • Boating Essentials: Familiarize yourself with basic canoe or kayak handling, as boating is the primary mode of access; ensure proper equipment and understand navigation around water features.
  • Primitive Camping Awareness: Embrace the primitive camping experience, understanding that the three campgrounds – Horr Pond, Crystal Springs, and Ja She Creek – offer minimal amenities and require campers to pack out all garbage.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Opt for spring or fall visits to avoid extreme temperatures; be mindful of potential hot summers and cold winters, preparing accordingly for the fluctuating weather conditions.
  • Wildlife Etiquette: Respect the natural habitat and wildlife, including rattlesnakes and mosquitoes; follow guidelines for food storage in bear-proof lockers and leash regulations for pets.
  • Informative Hiking: Prioritize informing someone of your hiking plans, especially when exploring lava beds and marked trails; sturdy shoes are essential due to the rocky terrain.

Top Strategies and Tactics to Get the Most Out of Camping Here:

  • Strategic Arrival Times: Plan arrivals early in the day to secure favorable campsites and navigate waterways with optimal daylight; this ensures a smoother setup process and enhances your overall boating experience.
  • Year-Round Camping: Take advantage of the park’s year-round accessibility, considering the quieter winter months for a serene experience, but prepare for colder temperatures and be aware of weather conditions.
  • Comprehensive Gear Preparation: Equip yourself with proper boating gear, including life jackets, paddles, and waterproof gear; bring compact camping gear suitable for boat transport, ensuring a comfortable stay in the remote campgrounds.
  • Bear Safety Measures: Understand and adhere to bear safety measures, storing food securely in bear-proof lockers, and maintaining a clean campsite to ensure a safe coexistence with the park’s wildlife.
  • Water Exploration: Maximize your experience by exploring the waterways extensively, discovering springs, waterfalls, and marshlands, and capturing stunning views of Lassen Peak and Mount Shasta; engage in canoeing, kayaking, and fishing activities.

Recommendations on Camping Gear for Maximum Comfort:

  • Compact Watercraft: Opt for lightweight and compact canoes or kayaks suitable for easy transport and maneuverability in the park’s waterways, ensuring a seamless boating experience.
  • Lightweight Camping Gear: Invest in lightweight camping gear suitable for boat transport, including compact tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment; prioritize gear that minimizes space while maximizing comfort.
  • Waterproof Storage: Utilize waterproof storage solutions for protecting essential items during boating; dry bags and waterproof cases ensure that your gear remains safe and dry throughout your journey.
  • Layered Clothing: Pack layered clothing for varying temperatures, considering the potential for hot days and cool nights; prepare for unexpected weather changes and stay comfortable throughout your stay.
  • Quality Hiking Shoes: Choose sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes suitable for traversing lava beds and marked trails; prioritize footwear that provides support and protection on the rocky terrain.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to optimize your camping experience.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Embark on your Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park adventure fully equipped with these tips, strategies, and gear recommendations, ensuring an unforgettable boat-in camping experience surrounded by the captivating beauty of this unique California wilderness.