Castle Crags Secured Within Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Castle Crags in Northern California is home to an expansive cluster of multi-pitch rock climbing and wilderness alpine adventures. In 2013, Access Fund provided Wilderness Land Trust with a $75,000 Climbing Conservation Loan alongside matching funds to secure the property from a timber company.

Today, we are excited to share that Wilderness Land Trust (WLT) has paid back its Climbing Conservation Loan—putting critical funds back into the program to save another threatened climbing area—and transferred the 1,250 acre property to the US Forest Service for inclusion in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, ensuring permanent conservation and public access.

WLT originally acquired this critical conservation property from Roseburg Forest Products to protect mature forests, water quality, and recreational opportunities, including rock climbing adjacent to Castle Crags Wilderness. In addition to an Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan, funding for the original acquisition was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Conservation Alliance.

“It’s a unique experience to visit a wild, backcountry place like Castle Crags, given it’s just a short drive off the interstate,” says Joe Sambataro, National Access Director at Access Fund. Within 30 minutes, you are surrounded by forest, spires, and ridgelines that continue for miles on end. Acquisitions like this are about conservation and recreation. Most importantly, they ensure a future of outdoor experiences for all who visit.”

In addition to increased opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, hunting, mountain biking, and a multitude of other recreational pursuits, climbers will now have access on the northern side of Castle Crags.

To complete the transfer, Wilderness Land Trust and Shasta-Trinity National Forest secured funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the critical federal program that provides public land agencies with funds to secure private property for inclusion in our nation’s public land system.

Each year, Access Fund and our partners within the Outdoor Alliance advocate in Washington, DC to defend, promote, and secure funding for LWCF. It has proven to be a valuable tool in protecting threatened climbing areas around the country.

Congratulations to WLT and Shasta-Trinity National Forest for completing the transfer and paying off the loan!