Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area
The Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area (ONA) is a valuable historic and natural resource that presents many recreational and educational opportunities. From the lush riparian areas surrounding the Sacramento River and it's tributaries to the expanse of the rolling hills of blue oak savannah, the Sacramento River Bend ONA offers diverse habitat for bald eagles, osprey, migratory and song birds, deer, and salmon. The area also offers numerous recreation opportunities for hunting, camping, hiking, boating, picnicking, and wildlife viewing . Download and print the Sacramento River Bend ONA brochure
. For detailed directions to the trailheads in the area, visit our trails
The Sacramento River (from Balls Ferry to Red Bluff) is served by a variety of developed boat ramps and primitive river access sites. Public boat ramps are available at Balls Ferry, Bend Bridge Park, and Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area. Jelly's Ferry, Barge Hole, and Perry Riffle (walk in only) offer primitive launch sites. The boat ramp at Reading Island can be used by small watercraft, but is usually overgrown with vegetation during the summer months making it challenging for any watercraft. Please see the Sacramento River Bend ONA brochure for specific locations and directions. "A Boating Trail Guide to the Sacramento River from Redding to Red Bluff" is also available along with other information about BLM lands within the region at BLM's Redding Field Office. For more opportunities to get out on a river see our Rivers page.
Sacramento River Boating Information: This flyer gives some basic information to those wishing to float or paddle their way down the majestic Sacramento River from Balls Ferry to Woodson Bridge. Additional brochures are available through the BLM Redding Field Office.
Paynes Creek Wetlands
Concerns have increased in recent years over population declines of migratory bird species that breed in North America and winter south of the United States - Neotropical Migratory Birds. The BLM recognizes this problem and has created the Payne's Creek Wetlands with the help of partners like California Fish and Game, Bureau of Reclamation, California Wildlife Conservation Board, and Ducks Unlimited in an effort to enhance populations of these birds and other species. The BLM manages this wetland area, located along the Pacific Flyway, to protect and enhance the existing riparian habitat and wildlife communities, as well as provide for recreational use, cultural and natural interpretation, and educational opportunities. Check out the Birds of Bend brochure.
Most attractions along the river can be reached by foot, mountain bike or horseback. Trailheads begin at Hog Lake Plateau, Iron Canyon, the Paynes Creek Recreation Area (Bass Pond), Jelly's Ferry and multiple trailheads surrounding the Paynes Creek Wetlands. The Paynes Creek Wetlands trail systems and Hog Lake Plateau allow for great springtime wildlife viewing. The Yana Trail, with trailheads at Perry Riffle and Jelly's Ferry, is a great way to explore the backcountry. Most trails are rugged and unmarked and encourage self-discovery. Please remember to close any gates behind you after you pass through. Visit our trails page for directions to trailheads in the area.
This area offers amazing wildflowers viewing in the spring. The rolling hills of this oak woodland are carpeted with purple and yellow in all directions. The Hog Lake Plateau and the Yana Trail are great locations to view open expanses of blooming wildflowers. Check out our Wildflowers Slide Show to see some pictures.
Although there are no developed BLM campgrounds in this area, camping is allowed on most BLM lands for up to 14 days per calendar year. Group camping is available at the Reading Island Group Campground, under a special use permit issued by the BLM. Massacre Flat is a popular primitive campsite for boaters. The state managed Battle Creek and Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Areas are closed to camping. There is no garbage collection in most of the area so if you PACK IT IN please PACK IT OUT. For more information on BLM camping see the Camping Page. Reading Island Camping and Open Hours
Most BLM lands are open to hunting under California Department of Fish and Game regulations. Some sites such as Reading Island and the state managed Battle Creek Wildlife Area are closed to hunting and shooting. Be courteous to private property owners adjacent to public land. Remember, it is against State law to discharge a weapon within 150 yards of a dwelling or outbuilding. Target shooting is NOT allowed in this area. Please remove all shells and debris to keep your public lands clean and safe.
- The Sacramento River water is cold (45°-50°) year-round and is deceptively swift and powerful.
- Always wear an approved floatation device when on the river.
- The Yana Trail fords Inks Creek and is impassible at times of wet weather. Contact the BLM Redding Field Office prior to a wet weather hike on the Yana Trail.
- Rattlesnakes are a common sight on warm days. Watch your step.
- Summer temperatures in this area can exceed 100°F and there is no potable water available in the area, so bring plenty of drinking water.
Local Attractions in the Area
Coleman National Fish Hatchery (530) 365-8622
Battle Creek Wildlife Area (530)225-2300
Sacramento River Discovery Center within the Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area (530) 527-1196
Ide Adobe State Historic Park (530) 529-8599
For further information contact the California Welcome Center located off of I-5 in Anderson at (800-4-SHASTA).
Bureau of Land Management
Redding Field Office
6640 Lockheed Drive
Redding, CA 96002
Phone: (530) 224-2100
Fax: (530) 224-2172
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email