Canyon Creek Lakes & L Lake Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews
#1 of 15 trails in

Canyon Creek Lakes & L Lake Trail is a 16.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lewiston, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

16.4 miles 4041 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly






nature trips


trail running


horseback riding







wild flowers






Hike up to a hidden lake with many great views of the Trinity Alps This trail is pretty difficult but the views are well worth it if you have the energy. It involves a lot of climbing up switchbacks and even wading through some pretty deep (and cold) water, but once you get to the top you will be glad you fought your way through it because the views of the lakes below and the mountains in the distance is something that you will never forget.

6 months ago

Although we didn't make it all the way to L Lake, we did hike to Canyon Creek Lakes, and it was absolutely gorgeous! The holiday weekend made it a bit busier than I suspect it normally is, but due to the length of the trail, it didn't feel unbearably crowded. After reading about the impressiveness of the lower falls on, we decided to journey through the brush, and it was absolutely worth the scratches I got on my legs. We ended up setting up camp atop a boulder overlooking the falls (See photo). You can find this old trail at the top of a set of switchbacks, where a "TRAIL" sign will point you to the right; the falls are to the left, you can hear them roaring. The trail is generally well maintained, at least as far as we went. It was quite hot in places where the lush vegetation was replaced with steep granite that seemed to magnify the hot summer sun, and this coupled with the incline will certainly leave you sweating; however, I highly recommend the trail for the surrounding beauty, especially as a good multi-day hike, where you could easily spend as little as 2 or as many as 5 days exploring the area.

1 year ago

Ok so to start..the road is a fairly dangerous one to get to the trail head. The ranger will tell you it's 4's not. It's 12+ to get to the trailhead. Keep going and you'll pass 1 lane or less cliff side and other cars. Once you get to the trail it's very clear. It was in the 50-60s all day and 20s at night the colors were great and fires are allowed so bring some shovels and fuel! Waterfalls were flowing too! Have a great time!

1 year ago

One word. Amazing! This area reminds me so much of Yosemite and the Western Sierras. It is the crown jewel of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Never in my life have I seen so many waterfalls on a single hike (over 30, no joke), although you do need to travel a short distance off trial for the rewarding views. This is an excellent trip best spent over a few days.

2 years ago

What a Nor Cal gem! This is a very rad trail which follows Canyon Creek the whole way to its primary source (Upper and Lower Canyon Creek Lakes). The elevation gain is gradual over the 10 mile or so course. There are plenty of spots to stop and camp along the way. Campfires are permitted up until about 1.5 miles from the Lower Lake.
We went in on Friday evening and set up camp before sundown at "The Sinks." It was a beautiful location right next to the creek and a gorgeous doe came into our camp to say hi. I believe it wanted food, which made me think someone's fed it before. Please don't feed them :).
We went on 5 more miles to the sign which marks the campfire boundary. Considering we were about 1.5 miles from the lakes, we set up camp again and went on to the Lakes. There are more EPIC waterfalls than can be counted on one hand and I recommend allowing time to explore them. The lakes provide gorgeous views as well that remind of the Eastern Sierras.
There's no wonder this is one of the most popular trails. Even still, the permits are free and unlimited still and people do a good job of not leaving to harsh of a mark on the wilderness. A GREAT TRAIL.

4 years ago

I have been there tree times sense 1970. Grate: Hiking, Camping, and fishing in the spring. One of my three favorite places. Mybe crowded in the summer.

4 years ago

I went in the spring of 2011 when there was still alot of snow on the ground. The first day we were the only ones there, and the second evening two different couples showed up. Beautiful views and the snow filled trails were more than worth it when we hiked to the upper lake and was the only ones there! You can only see these lakes by yourself if you are the first one of the year or the last to leave. :)

5 years ago

Great trail which follows Canyon Creek past beautiful waterfalls, great scenery, lakes with plenty of campsites. We went in early September, which was very hot, but bearable. I'd highly recommend it.

7 years ago

This is a great day hike if you are camping near the lakes below. We did it in mid-June and there was some snow up by L Lake, but not enough to get in our way (only to make swimming a bad idea--but we did it anyway). You get some great views of lakes and the valley below.