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Visitation: 4000
Area: 6523 Acres
Lat: 41.131702
Lon: 121.45035
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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
Big Lake/Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park - Site # 30
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

Raccoon at Ahjumawi State Park. Taken from his kayak by Jim Duckworth: 1024x804.63838877022 American White Pelicans at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. Photo by Jim Duckworth: 1024x805.26222222222 : 1024x1303.351718286 Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. Photo by Jim Duckworth: 1024x804.67355487294 American White Pelicans at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. Photo by Jim Duckworth: 1024x682.66666666667 River Otters at Ahjumawi State Park. Taken from his kayak by Jim Duckworth: 1024x804.57142857143

Background: Big Lake is an isolated fishing hotspot bordered by the grassland, forested hills, and rugged lava flows of Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. The open water draws heavy concentrations of geese, swans, and ducks, including nesting Canada geese and northern pintails. The shoreline and Tule Creek are home to western pond turtles, garter snakes, and great blue herons, the herons nest in pines east of Crystal Springs. The surrounding forests shelter resident mule deer, coyotes, yellow-bellied marmots, and porcupines. Junipers in the lava fields support the branchy nests of ospreys.
The Park covers part of the Ahjumawi people's ancestral homeland and remains an integral part of their culture. Features include bedrock mortars, village and ceremonial sites, and prehistoric fish traps still used today.

The Habitat: In the western portion of the park and along the lake various species of grasses and sedges comprise the meadow-riparian community. Few plants are able to grow in the areas of the park which are still predominantly exposed lava, but occasional western juniper, ponderosa pine and a variety of shrubs do occur in widely scattered clusters. These same species are found in larger numbers in areas of the park where soil has formed, along with Oregon and black oak.

The Experience: Ahjumawi Lava Springs SP is in the northeastern most corner of the state and is heavily influenced by recent black lava flows, jagged black basalt, lava tubes and caves, and fresh water springs. The park is also along the Pacific Flyway and hosts an abundance of migratory as well as resident birds. Park visitors get a truly wilderness experience in a place of natural beauty only minimally marked by man.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Wildlife can be viewed while hiking the trails or boating in the lake.

Viewing Tips: STATE PARK ACCESSED BY BOAT ONLY. Park map at boat ramp. The park is a huge wilderness area and is famous for its bird watching opportunities. Waterfowl, excellent, spring through fall. American white pelicans, excellent, summer. Swans and geese, excellent, winter. WATCH FOR RATTLESNAKES.

Site Notes: The name 'Ahjumawi' is a Native American term for 'where the waters come together'. The park is at the head of Big Lake, Tule River, Little Tule River, Fall River and several pristine springs, most notably Ja She Creek. Together they form one of the largest systems of fresh water springs in the world. And in fact, the park is accessible only by kayak or canoe. Visitors will have magnificent vistas of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and many other nearby peaks. Most of the park is covered by recent lava flows broken by great faults and deep cracks, lava tubes and craters.

Nearby Viewing Sites:  McArthur-Burney Falls State Park

Visitor Information: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Asso -- California Welcome Center - (530) 365-7500 - http://www.shastacascade.com/home/contactus
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: No
Open: Sun,Mon,Tues,Wed,Thur,Fri,Sat
Hours: Sunrise to sunset Hours may change, check park website
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Dirt. 
Road Hazards: Note 3. Public safety. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information.
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: No
Parking Notes: No vehicles in the park. Accessible only by canoe or kayak. Parking fee subject to change. See park website.

Note 3. Public safety. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information.

How to Get There: From Redding, take Highway 299 east to McArthur. Turn north on Main Street. Road becomes dirt past fairgrounds. Follow sign for McArthur Swamp, shortly after sign, take right fork of road, cross canal, pass through gate and drive 3 miles to lake.
 

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Agency Site URL: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=464
Physical Address:24898 Hwy 89
Burney, CA 96013
Agency 2:24898 Hwy 89
Burney, CA 96013
Manager Phone:(530) 335-2777
Site Phone:(530) 335-2777
County: Shasta
Addition Website: