Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is one of the most remote parks in California’s state park system. At approximately four miles long and one mile wide, the park offers 13 miles of shoreline, complete with bays and islets. The park also contains one of the largest systems of underground springs in the country, where around 1.2 billion gallons of water enter waterways every day. The park also features geologically recent lava flows, which can be hiked and explored on marked paths.
The park contains three basic campsites but is not accessible by any other means than by shallow boats such as canoes or kayaks. There are no roads accessible to the park and any motorized vehicles are prohibited. There are no hours or reservations available for the park, and no fees for entering or staying, but there are also no other amenities. This means that if you choose to boat across the lake to the campground, there is no potable water to drink. There are restrooms at each of the three campgrounds.
Weather in the area can be unpredictable and change quickly. Always come prepared for sudden changes in temperature or condition. Bring plenty of drinking water for you and your pets, if you bring them. Use caution while hiking and watch out for rattlesnakes, which can blend into the lava rock in the area. Waterways can be cold enough to cause hypothermia, so swimming is not recommended. Fishing is permitted at Ja She Creek, Horr Pond, Big Lake, and Crystal Springs, but fishers are required to carry a valid California fishing license.
As always, when you bring your dog camping, keep him under physical control at all times, stick to established trails, and always clean up after yourself and your pet. And always be respectful of wildlife and natural environments. The area is rich in history; the park is named for the Ahjumawi people of the Pit River Tribe. There are still rockfish traps that can be seen near the shoreline, which helped fishers catch trout in winter. If you enjoy a rustic, quiet camping experience, Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park may be just the spot for you and your furry companion.