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Dual Sporting on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Hidden treasures come in many forms. But to the dual-sport motorcyclist those gems usually consist of exploring remote corners of this nation's backcountry areas on scenic roads and trails.
For those of you riders who want to see some of the most spectacular views one will ever have the privilege to view, I suggest a trip to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest located in Northwest California. One of my favorite areas of primitive Forest Service road networks are the routes between Dubakella Mountain and Stuart Gap just south of Highway 36.
According to government information, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest contains over 3,280 square miles of public lands. The forests are managed for the long-term sustainability and protection of natural resources. This area contains literally hundreds of miles of routes that take you through deep forests, by rushing trout streams and up to mountain top vistas.
The elevation ranges from about 2,500 ft. to over 9,000 ft. on the peaks of the Trinity Alps. You have the high probability of seeing a wide variety of animals that can include black bear, bobcat, deer, quail, red-tail hawks, and pileated woodpeckers. Also, if you tour during late June you will be treated to spectacular wildflower blooms that are simply a sight to behold.
As some riders know, drug lords who grow marijuana are now using our National Forest System lands. Forest Service publications caution dual-sport enthusiasts and other public lands interests that remote timber lands with some access to water are highly valued by marijuana growers. They ask you to be alert and watch for signs of illegal marijuana cultivation activities that include; PVC or copper plumbing pipe, ditches, cultivated soil, and stockpiles of fertilizer or pesticides.
Marijuana plantations can be dangerous for the rider including being shot by those guarding the crops or from booby-traps. If you encounter a suspicious situation they and I urge you to change your travel plans immediately! Go back the way you came and report your findings to the Forest Service or Sheriff's Department.
Before heading up to the area, be sure and check in with the Forest Service to see if there are any restrictions such as rain closures or access restrictions based on extreme wildfire risks. For information regarding access to the South Fork Management Unit call: 530.628.5227 or online at:
--Don Amador is the BlueRibbon Coalition Western Representative. For questions or comments on this article or related issues, he may be contacted through the BRC main office: 4555 Burley Drive, Suite A, Pocatello, ID 83202. Phone: 208-237-1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email: