California has a wide array and diversity of state parks peppered up and down the state. One of the most unique state parks in this network is Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. The primary reason that this park is so different is that you cannot drive to it or reach it by any roads. The only way to travel there is by boat. Boats that are going to this park usually leave from the Rat Farm, which is a public launch dock for boats. There are also no motor vehicles allowed in the park even if you could ship one over there. Walking is the primary mode of transportation within the confines of this state park (unless of course you are canoeing or kayaking within the many waterways).
It is considered one of the most unknown and remote parks in the California system because it is so difficult to reach. However, if you do get there you will be rewarded with some of the most unique landscape you can wish for such as breathtaking views of Mt Shasta, and Mt. Lassen in the distance. The park is so quiet and secluded that it is very likely that you won’t walk into other hikers on the many hikes you can take while you are at the park. Less than 3000 people visit there a year.
The 6,000 acre park is dominated by waterways and trail paths. The waterways lead to some of the biggest and most beautiful springs in the world. Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park features many creeks and waterways coming together at Ahjumawi. The name means “where the waters come together.” It is one of the largest fresh water springs in the world. You will see where Big Lake and four other creeks and rivers all come together (Ja She, Lava, Tule and Fall). You can paddle through the many waterways that run through the park either by canoe or kayak.
The hiking trails are significant. Like the name, Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, would lead you to believe, the grounds have significant porous rock left as a result of the lava flows that once dominated the area. There are many walking loops averaging anywhere from a mile to five miles in length. In total, there are 15 miles of marked trails throughout the park. A few of the hikes will lead you to a volcanic spatter cone, left by the lava thousands of years ago.
Fishing is also an activity that is widely enjoyed in the park. There are many spots that you can pull up chair and sit for hours. Anglers are often seen casting out for their dinner. Some great spots to try your fishing luck are Ja-She Creek, Horr Pond and Crystal Springs.
Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is located in Shasta County California. The operating hours and the days they are opened can be obtained by calling the park directly at 530-335-2777. The parks department determines these and they change regularly. You can launch your boat at The Rat Farm which is off Highway 299 to Main St. Follow Main St over the canal and continuing for 3 miles north on the dirt road. The weather consists of hot and dry summers; mild falls days with cooler nights and winter can be cold.