Trinity Alps

Densely forested and home to 55 lakes and streams, the Trinity Alps Wilderness is the second-largest designated wilderness in California.  It is prime camping country, and there isn’t much to do here except relax and perhaps fish, boat, or hike.  The area is the only county in the state with no freeway and no stop lights.  Promisingly, James Hilton, author of “Lost Horizon,” said in 1941 that Weaverville was as close as he had come to a real-life Shangri-La.  In reality, it is situated midway between Redding and Eureka.  The town has a host of art galleries, and many buildings on Main Street still have metal fire doors and spiral staircases down to the sidewalk.

Trinity Alps attractions

Jake Jackson Museum & History Center and Trinity County Historical Park 
508 Main St., in Weaverville.  By donation. 
Using mining equipment, old bottles, and photographs, this museum uses pioneer relics to traces Trinity County’s history and displays a little bit of everything.  Exhibits include a reconstructed blacksmith shop and miner’s cabin.  Outside, a creek-side picnic area beckons, and a full-size steam-powered stamp mill, located on the block just below the museum, is operated on holidays.

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park 
630 Main St., in Weaverville.  Fee; includes same-day admission to Courthouse Museum at Shasta S.H.P. 
Located in a shaded area beside a creek, this blue-and-red Chinese Taoist temple provides cool respite on a hot summer day.  Built in 1874 on the site of a previous temple that burned to the ground, it is still used for worship and is the last wooden temple in North American and the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in the state.

group waiting to enter Joss House in Weaverville, California; image courtesy of venue
group waiting to enter Joss House
in Weaverville, California;
image courtesy of venue

Trinity Alps hotels

Coffee Creek Ranch  
Off Hwy. 3, in Coffee Creek, 40 mi. N of Weaverville.  15 cabins.  No TVs; wood-burning fireplaces & stoves.  Heated pool (seasonal); children’s wading pool; hot tub; fitness room.  Includes all meals; restaurant. 
Private one- and two-bedroom cabins here are surrounded by trees.  Activities include horse-drawn hayrides, movies, steak frys, outdoor games, square and line dancing, archery, rifle and trap shoot using guns, panning for gold, and supervised activities for children 3 to 17.  Horseback riding is included in the price. 

Trinity Alps Resort 
1750 Trinity Alps Rd., in Trinity Center, 12 mi. N of Weaverville.  43 cabins.  No TVs; all kitchens.  1 tennis court.  Restaurant. 
Arranged especially to please families, this 90-acre resort is composed of rustic 1920s cabins with sleeping verandas–all scattered along rushing Stuart Fork River.  Guests provide their own linens or pay additional to rent them.  Simple pleasures include crossing the river on a suspension bridge, hanging out at the general store, and enjoying dinner on a patio overlooking the river at Bear’s Breath Bar & Grill.  Scheduled activities include square dancing, bingo, and evening movies.  Hiking and fishing are popular activities, and kids can ride their bikes endlessly.  Cabins have a 1-week minimum in summer and a 3-night minimum in spring and fall. 

Trinity Lake Resorts & Marina 
45810 Hwy. 3, in Trinity Center, 15 mi. N of Weaverville, (530) 286-2225.  12 cabins.  No TVs; all kitchens.  Restaurant. 
This quiet spot offers lodging in a cabin in the woods or on a houseboat on Trinity Lake.  Guests provide their own bedding and linens.  The marina also rents boats, houseboats, and slips, and the bar and restaurant offer a terrific view of the lake. 

(; copyright Carole Terwilliger Meyers)