Wolverine Sighted in Shasta County, California

There was an unconfirmed sighting of a wolverine in Shasta County, California a year ago, on Friday, September 26, 2008. The sighting occurred at 1 PM on a sunny day. The wolverine was crossing Highway 89 from north to south. It was walking fast more than running.

It was described as paler than most photos the observer had seen – more of a dark tan. This color is actually common for wolverines, and if this was an actual California wolverine, this subspecies was known to have a much lighter coloration. He observed it crossing the road at about 50 feet away until it vanished into the forest.

The observer assumed it was a pretty common animal until he went on the Net and did some research and found out how rare it was. He reported the sighting to this blog, and I believe him. Anyone who wants to talk to the observer about this sighting can try to contact him via me at my email

This area of California has actually had a number of wolverine sightings in recent years, including some by wildlife biologists. In addition, loggers, utility workers and Forest Service workers have been reporting sightings in the Lassen/Almanor area for years now. Bizarrely, even sightings by wildlife biologists are said to be “unconfirmed”.

The sighting was around Dead Horse Summit, about 20-30 miles west of McCloud, between the small towns of Bartle and Pondosa. This area is near MacArthur-Burney Falls State Park. That’s a really beautiful area. This part of California is very White, deeply conservative and very sparsely settled. I have been near this part of California, but it was so long ago, I don’t even remember it.

Dead Horse Summit. This is where the far southern end of the Cascades Range of Washington, Oregon and northern California meets the far northern end of the Sierra Nevada. This is an area where the California spotted owl probably intergrades with the Northern spotted owl. Wolverines are already known to exist at decent populations in southern Oregon.
These are definitely California wolverines. If the California wolverine subspecies is to repopulate California and the Sierra Nevada, it will be through this corridor linking the two ranges.
There is a fascinating old railroad track that runs through this area. You can take these little several man-railroad cars that cruise along the tracks and check out this train track. It’s really popular with model railroad fans for some weird reason. I’m not even sure if this track is even used by real trains anymore. As far as I can tell, it’s a tourist trap for model railroad dudes. Funny.
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14 thoughts on “Wolverine Sighted in Shasta County, California”

  1. As I recall back in 1992 I was a student at Shasta College and the now passed instructor Dave DuBois and myself spoke in depth on this subject of the sightings of Wolverines. We both new of information within the Forest Service at that time verifying that they were around the region . This was confirmed at that time with fur samples left behind on the same type of bait poles used recently. I always wanted to observe one in the wild but was never lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. I have great memories of the time spent throughout Northern Ca. and especially the S hasta Trinity Forest, Cascades, and the Lassen Range. I was very fortunate to have done extensive back country research and watershed analysis. working for both the Forest Service and the private consulting firm Hydro Science enabled me to see just about every reclusive creature in the state. Including sightings of Fisher, Bobcat, Mountain Lions on three occasions, But my highlite would have had to been the ringtails above all and of course always at night when I leased expected it. Of course they are nocturnal and it stopped my heart the first time. Someday I will make it back to all my stomping grounds…….skin your lids as Dave use to say.

    1. I saw a ringtail once at night in a streambed in Yosemite National Park. It was a great experience! Never seen a fisher or a mountain lion before. Seen bobcats a number of times. I observed one once up close for about 5 minutes!

      1. You are fortunate to live where you do……There is not a day that goes bythat I don’t think about the time spent out west, 12 years…….and 2 of them at your state on the Flying M as a hunting and fishing guide for Barron Hilton.

        1. Sorry, thought you were from Nevada. The Ranch did have land both in CA and NV. It was a 500,000,000 acre ranch in 1982-1984, and BTW someone needs to bitch slap Romney the next time he brings up that 15% corporate tax B.S. in Canada, it doesn’t take into account the provincial taxes that run an additional 8-15%.

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