Wild and Scenic Trinity River

Bureau of Land Management Redding Field Office Redding, CA 96002

40.657719, -122.952867

Near Weaverville, CA. River access can be found along Hwy 299, Steel Bridge Road, and Steiner Flat Road.



For a list of closures please visit our COVID-19 Update page

Popular with fisherman and pleasure boaters alike, the 43 miles of the Wild and Scenic Trinity River from Lewiston to Pigeon Point is a class I and II segment that flows out of the Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. This clear, cold section of the river is world famous for its fly fishing. Paddlers enjoy the narrow valley with Ponderosa Pine, Douglas fir, Oaks, and Madrone trees coating the walls of the canyons. If you would like more adrenaline rush, the waters below Pigeon Point rage at class III-V. Those interested in a more relaxing experience can enjoy the abundant camping options in the area or head for the trail with your friends, horses, or dog. If you would like to stay at the river's edge, you can always swim, fish or do a little gold panning. The river can be accessed from many locations along this stretch of the Trinity River.

Whether you are bank fishing or float in a drift boat, world famous fly fishing is what you will get on the Wild and Scenic Trinity River between Lewiston and Pigeon point. Clear, cold, class I and II water flow through this section popular with fishermen and pleasure boaters alike. Several commercial guides operate on the Trinity River under BLM and Forest Service Special Recreation Permits offering guided drift boat fishing trips. The BLM, in agreement with the Forest Service, manages up to 100 commercial fishing guide permits on the Trinity River from Lewiston downstream to Burnt Ranch. Each year (approximately in late July/early August) BLM-Redding accepts permit applications if open spots are available (usually due to non-renewal or cancellation of a permit). Permits are awarded based on the number of open spots available and approval of applications. Applying for a permit does not guarantee that you will receive a permit. If there are more applicants than available permits, names will be drawn at random to determine who is awarded a permit.

The application window for Commercial Fishing Guide Permits for 2021 has closed, and new applications are not currently being accepted. If you are interested in applying for a permit next year, please contact the BLM-Redding Field Office to see if/when permit applications will be accepted.


Flows of the Trinity River change throughout the year. Always check to see what the flows are before you make your trip. Typically between April and July flows are bumped up to rates as high as 6000 CFS and then drop as low as 450 CFS. Contact the BLM-Redding Field Office to see if there are any facility closures before your trip.

Lewiston - Pigeon Point

Character: Reliable flows, pretty mountain scenery, and gravel bar rapids attract paddlers to this Trinity reach.
Location: 25 miles northwest of Redding. Length: 33 miles.
Class: I to II.
Skill Level: Beginners with negotiation of brush and rocks. Optimum
Flows: 450 to 1,000 CFS at Lewiston or Douglas City gages.
Average Gradient: 6 feet per mile.
Water Source: Clair Engle (Trinity) Lake and Lewiston Lake.
Craft: Whitewater, canoes, kayaks, inflatables, and rafts. Hazards: Brush along stream banks and fallen trees.
Best seasons are summer and autumn.

Lewiston - Steel Bridge River Access/Campground

Length: 12 miles.
Average run time: 4-6 hours.
Class: II. Skill
Level: Advanced beginners.
Elevation: 1,800 feet.
Average Gradient: 13 feet per mile.
Optimum Flows: 500-1,000 CFS at Lewiston or Douglas City gages.
Put in is 1.0 mile below Lewiston Dam and Fish Hatchery. The river access is on the left bank above the concrete pillar. There is no bridge at the river access; all that is left is a pillar below the river access. The campground is a ¼ mile upstream.

Steel Bridge River Access - Steiner Flat Campground

Length: 9 miles.
Average Run Time: 2-4 hours.
Elevation: 1,673 feet.
Class: II
Skill Level: Advance beginner.
Average Gradient:12 feet per mile.
Optimum Flows: 450-1,000 CFS at Lewiston or Douglas City gages.
Take-out for the previous run is the put it for this run. Fallen trees may create sweep hazard. About 1 mile below the put in, the channel next to Steel Bridge Road is tree choked. Use the right channel. Take-out is at Chop Tree river access or Steiner Flat Primitive Camp area. Douglas City Campground is located 2 miles up steam from Steiner Flat River Access.

Steiner Flat Campground - Junction City Campground

Length: 12 miles.
Average Run Time: 4-7 hours.
Elevation: 1,640 feet.
Class: II
Skill Level: Beginners with experience.
Average Gradient: 16 feet per mile.
Optimum Flows: 450-1,000 CFS at Lewiston or Douglas City gages.
Take out for previous run is the put in for this run. Canyon Creek is a land mark with high gravel mounds at the mouth. Just beyond Canyon Creek, the river flows immediately next to CA Highway 299. The Trinity swings south and forms a large loop back toward the highway. The gravel bar inside this loop (river right) is the take-out.

Junction City Campground - Bagdad River Access

Length: 13 miles.
Average Run Time: 3-6 hours.
Elevation: 1,485 feet.
Class: I to II
Skill Level: Beginners with experience.
Average Gradient: 12 feet per mile.
Optimum Flows: 450-1,000 CFS at the Lewiston or Douglas City gages.
Take-out for the previous run is the put-in for this run.

Bagdad River Access - Pigeon Point River Access

Length: .4 miles.
Average Run Time: ½ hour.
Elevation: 1,320 feet.
Class: II.
Skill Level: Beginners with experience.
Average Gradient: N/A.
Optimum Flow: 450-1,000 CFS.

Recommended River Safety Equipment

Be familiar with the size and limitations of your craft. Choose a raft or kayak that is appropriate for white water. The following
are essentials to bring:

  • 1 helmet per person1 Type III or V lifejacket per person
  • Boat repair kit, air pump and bail bucket
  • Extra oars, paddles, life jackets, helmets
  • Appropriate river rescue equipment (throw bag bow line, rescue lines, etc.)
  • Sun hat, sun screen
  • First aid kit, knife, flashlight, water protected matches and dry clothing in sealed bag
  • Drinking water, snacks in dry bag
  • Tennis shoes, booties or other footwear
  • Wetsuits for cold water

Always be safe;

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol
  • Eat nutritious, high energy foods
  • Watch for man-made obstacles
  • Pack out EVERYTHING you pack in
  • Be considerate of others on the river

Class I (Easy)

Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few
obstructions-all obvious and are missed easily. Risk to
swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II (Novice)

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels, which are
evident without scanning. Occasional maneuvering may be
required, but rocks and waves are easily missed by trained

Trinity River Area Campgrounds can be found on the BLM Redding Field Office Website


Wild and Scenic Trinity River

Trinity River Salmon Festival