Trinity Regions and Communities
Unique Communities Around the Next Turn
The lifestyle of Trinity County is rural, and like rural areas everywhere, the lifestyle centers around the local community. The larger villages — like Weaverville, Hayfork, Lewiston and Trinity Center — have identifiable residential neighborhoods and established business districts.
Others, like Denny, Salyer and Wildwood are less recognizable. These communities center around the local country store, with its gas pumps and post office, at times a small restaurant, and always, a community bulletin board. An outpost on a winding country road, an outpost in paradise.
Less visible are the residents who form our smallest community. With an average of one person per four square miles, village homes are often scattered throughout the hills or along a back road marked with an occasional cluster of mail boxes. These citizens always come forward whenever a sick neighbor needs firewood, when the local school or church needs volunteers, or when folks just want to get together to talk.
Whatever the makeup, each village maintains its own character, and is staunchly supported and defended by its inhabitants.
Trinity County has five distinct regions:
- Weaverville/Douglas City
- Northern Trinity/Lewiston/Trinity Lake
- Southern Trinity/Ruth Lake
With the largest population in the county, Weaverville and Douglas City are located on Highway 299 at the junctions of Highway 3. All of Highway 299 in Trinity County belongs to the Trinity River Scenic Byway.
Weaverville is the county seat and home of the Joss House State Park (a Taoist Temple built by Chinese gold miners in 1873) and the Jake Jackson Museum and Hal Goodyear Historic Park. Both parks have displays of early Trinity County life and often live demonstrations old equipment, such as the steam-powered Paymaster Stamp Mill.
Several art galleries are within a short distance in the Historic District. Take a walk through the Weaverville Cemetery and Historic District, where plaques tell of the historic buildings. The Farmers Market during the summer gives an opportunity to sample fresh, locally grown produce and other agricultural products. The annual Fourth of July Celebration is one of the best anywhere.
The Young Family Ranch in Weaverville is surrounded by 3 acres of sprawling grounds with a large barn (circa 1800s), numerous outbuildings, heritage fruit trees, berry patches, vegetable gardens, lawns, pasture, a small forest, wetland, and an ephemeral stream. It is an endowed community agricultural trust property with a directive for the property’s future public uses to model good gardening and agricultural production practices, using methods to build soil and vegetation health, and provide children and adults with learning opportunities about agriculture, conservation and the effects of human interaction with nature, table gardens and pasture
Weaverville has an airport (O54) for business and leisure travelers.
For more detailed village information, see the Weaverville Chamber of Commerce Visitors’ Guide
Adjacent to Weaverville, Douglas City sits along the Trinity River. In season, anglers fish for steelhead and salmon and others pan for gold along the river shore.
A memorial plaque at the Douglas City BLM Campground commemorates the discovery of gold on the Trinity River in 1848. Nearby, the Moon Lim Lee Rest Area is the site of the first tourist information center (since removed) established at a California rest area.
Northern Trinity villages are scattered along Highway 3 north of Weaverville. Northern Trinity is the gateway to amazing hiking into the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Boaters and fishermen flock to the region for fishing and watersports on Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. The Highway 3 corridor is part of the Trinity Heritage National Scenic Byway.
For more detailed Trinity Lake community information, see North Trinity Lake Online.
Lewiston has its own historic district along the Trinity River, with charming boutiques, RV parks, lodging and restaurants. Visit the Trinity River hatchery where salmon and steelhead are raised to enhance the sport fishery on the Trinity River. Stop by the Old Lewiston Schoolhouse Library and Museum for a bit of history.
Nearby Lewiston Lake offers trout fishing, wildlife watching, lodging and camping. The Old Lewiston Peddler’s Faire, held in the spring, is well-known for the arts, crafts and collectibles sold by more than 200 vendors, along with food booths and music.
The Lewiston Sparkies are a group of volunteers who help raise funds for the Lewiston Fire Department, an all-volunteer fire department in Lewiston CA.
Trinity Center at the north end of Trinity Lake was moved twice before finally relocating to its present location. Visit the Scott Museum, rent a boat at one of the marinas, and play or fish in Trinity Lake. Visitors can enjoy a quick bite, a stay in a cabin or motel near the lake, and camping at nearby campgrounds.
The annual Trinity Lake Wine and Jazz Festival, held the third Saturday of July, offers wine tasting, arts, cookoff tasting, and live jazz. The Trinity Lake Lions Labor Day Wings and Wheels BBQ and Fly-in brings in people from through northern California to enjoy a true old-fashion event. The North Trinity Lake website lists local services and lodging.
Trinity County’s busiest airport/airpark (O86) is located in Trinity Center.
Coffee Creek is the northernmost community in Trinity County, and was a very rich mining center during the Great Gold Rush. Legend has it that a pack train loaded with coffee for the gold fields was washed away in a torrential flood, hence the name “Coffee Creek.” Others contend that the normally crystal clear waters were colored a deep rich coffee color by the spring runoff.
Either way, today Coffee Creek is a village in a spectacular mountain setting. Coffee Creek boasts a restaurant, school, an RV park, several resorts and vacation rentals.
Coffee Creek Road bisects the Trinity Alps Wilderness, providing easy access to trailheads that begin in the heart of the wilderness area. All hikes provides breathless views of the Trinity Alps, unbelievable peace, and a friendly atmosphere that welcomes visitors.
The Hayfork and Hyampom valleys are beautifully set by the Trinity mountains. Both valleys are known for their agriculture. Hyampom is an active wine grape growing area.
Hayfork lies in the county’s largest valley, second largest village, and hosts the Trinity County Fair held the second weekend in August. Until recently, the Sierra Pacific sawmill was Trinity County’s largest private employer. Now the U.S. Forest Service is the single most source of employment.
Nearby features include the Natural Bridge and Ewing Reservoir. Visitors can find lodging at a Bed and Breakfast, and camping at the Trinity County Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds are home to many events during the off-season. The Hayfork Speed Association hosts a series of Dirt Track and Go-Kart Races on site. A nearby guest ranch offers lodging in a renovated farm house, camping and tepee stays. The Farmers Market held on Tuesdays and Fridays during the summer and fall, offers fresh, locally grown produce and other agricultural products.
The county’s largest airport (F62) is located next to the town.
Hyampom, located on the South Fork of the Trinity River, has established a reputation as the county’s finest agriculture region. Hyampom’s Asian pears have set the standard for California producers to follow. Travelers enjoy the South Fork National Recreational Trail, fishing and swimming in the South Fork of the Trinity River and hunting for deer and bear in the surrounding hills.
Hyampom has a general aviation airport/airpark (H47).
The Downriver region of Trinity County is along Highway 299 west of Weaverville.
Junction City is located at the confluence of Canyon Creek and the Trinity River. This area offers fishing, tubing and gold panning on the Trinity River. Take time to notice the huge mounds of gravel left as tailings during the gold rush. The most popular trail into the Trinity Alps, the Canyon Creek Trail, is accessed from Junction City.
The Helena townsite is listed in the Registry of Historic places. Although this early Trinity County gold mining town is virtually abandoned, the shells of the former buildings can still be seen from the road. The Helena townsite is private property and trespassing is not allowed, although the buildings may be seen from the road.
These riverside communities are three miles apart on Highway 299.
This area has a great reputation among rafters and kayakers for the “Pigeon Point” run, a five-mile stretch of class three whitewater. Others prefer the quiet stretches for inner tubing or swimming. Still others prefer to work the sand along the banks with their gold pans, hoping to find a bit of color. During the season, anglers fish for trophy steelhead and salmon. Some come just to enjoy the quiet. Travelers will find gas, groceries, restaurants, cabins and camping.
Denny is located at the end of a narrow winding road in northwestern Trinity County. This town was established as a gold mining community on the New River. It soon became better known for its agriculture. The Dailey Ranch in Denny won a first prize for its walnuts at the Chicago World’s Fair. Today, there are no services in Denny, although there is access to three trailheads into the Trinity Alps, and some folks enjoy fishing for trout in the New River. Check angling regulations before fishing.
Burnt Ranch, Hawkins Bar and Salyer lie along the Trinity River in western Trinity County. This area is famous for Burnt Ranch Gorge, an intense class five stretch of whitewater that challenges the most experienced kayakers and rafters.
Below the gorge are quiet stretches of the Trinity River that flow through sheer canyons and past warm, sunny beaches. In season, anglers pursue trophy steelhead and salmon. Groceries, gas, restaurants, RV parks, campgrounds and a bed and breakfast are available to travelers.
Southern Trinity, mainly along Highway 36, looks much different from most of the rest of Trinity County that is largely in the shadow of alpine mountains, lakes, and forests. As you travel south and west toward neighboring Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, you encounter rolling hills and grasslands that show the diversity of Trinity resources. You cannot be too distracted by the surrounding beauty there, as you have to be watchful for the occasional cow that wanders off the open range onto the roadway.
Mad River in southern Trinity County has groceries, gas, propane, lodging and restaurants. Herb farmers offer agricultural tours to visitors. The area is noted for organic herb farming of medicinal, culinary and floral herbs. Tours are available. Local strawberry farmers offer U-pick harvesting to the public. The Van Duzen River offers swimming, picnicking and camping. Local artists participate in the Christmas Craft Faire held every November. A local health clinic offers 24-hour emergency health care. Mad River was given its name in 1849 when a party of surveyors reached the waters after two months of near starvation.
Ruth offers groceries, gas, propane, camping, lodging, restaurants and a full-service marina on beautiful Ruth Lake. The Ruth Airport accommodates small planes, and nearby resorts offer shuttle service to area resorts and marinas. A full-service resort is located within walking distance of the airport. Ruth Lake is noted for fishing, waterskiing and sailing.
Ruth has a general aviation airport open to visitors.
These communities are located in the remote southwestern corner of the county. Although accommodations are not available, a country store at Kettenpom offers gas, groceries and propane. USFS campgrounds are located nearby. Deer and bear hunting is available on Forest Service administered lands, and private landowners offer guided pig hunting. Kettenpom Coterie, a group of artisans, produces a wide variety of arts and crafts for retail and wholesale markets.
Wildwood is located on Highway 36. Camping is available nearby at Forest Service campgrounds. These are the only services available along Highway 36 for 40 miles, until you reach Mad River.