Explore Trinity Alps - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trinity Alps Map
VIEW FULL MAP
backpacking
4 hours ago

Packed in to camp between the Lower and Upper Canyon Creek Lakes. There are a number of camping spots near both lakes, ample water throughout the hike. Camped mid-October, perhaps 10-12 other people spread between both lakes. Will definitely be back next year! Beautiful views.

Stellar loop. Hiked clockwise and enjoyed hiking past Granite Lake up to the apex of the hike. In early November, the winds were super strong once we rounded the ridge above the lake and started heading down. Moderately strenuous but a manageable day hike. On the top of the ridge, there are a few different trail options and none are very well marked. Took us a moment to find the more horizontal trail that didn’t drop down into bear basin. Our loop measured about 15-16 miles.

I underestimated the difficulty of this trail and busted both my knees doing it all in a one day hike with no trekking poles. I however don’t regret the majestic reward for completing it.

the multiple water falls make this hike fun. otherwise it's boring trees until the last portion where the valley opens up near the lakes. not a hard hike at all, this rating is crazy. very steady with small elevation bumps along the way. felt like a nice walk most of the way

generally: amazing backpack in trinity alps with variety of scenery (river, meadow, valley, mountain ridges, alpine lakes) with many options of camping locations at various distances, uncrowded, gorgeous fall colors
Road conditions: paved until last mile, dirt road with some potholes but passable in low clearance vehicle
Permit: free and unlimited at weaverville ranger station
Trail; well maintained until Morris meadows then slightly overgrown to the lakes
Scenery: first 9 mile along the river with vibrant fall colors; numerous campsites along the river; meadow w sweeping views of the valley, hike to the lakes w continued fall colors, stunning views of sawtooth ridge, gorgeous alpine lakes at the end
Weather: hiked in October and warm (60-70s) during the day and chilly (20-30s at night) but manageable w a fire (allowed at the meadow not the lakes)
Wildlife: birds, deer, close encounter w a mountain lion at our campsite(!); no bears or rattlesnakes
People: saw a handful on our way in and two on our way out; no one camping at the meadow with us or up at the lakes

backpacking
25 days ago

I took a prolonged 5 day trip out on Stuart Fork Trail and I was not disappointed. The views up to Emerald and Sapphire Creek are amazing and the trek is well worth it. The north route to Sapphire Lake was a bit of a climb but from my understanding easier than the southern route.

I gave this 4 stars because of how much traffic there was when we were there. We thought we wouldn't run into too many people due to the time of year and remote location. But there were literally 7 different parties of groups more than 5 people in each party. Everyone was nice, but we like minimal people when we go backpacking, as does everyone I guess :) but I guess maybe they all had the same ideas as we did? lol. :)

Start early in the morning. We started at 10 and we made it to the meadow after 7 hours of hiking. We are in decent shape, however we packed way too much weight. Each of us were carrying nearly 60 lbs! Way way way too much. There are spots to fill up with water once in the gulch, but the trail does steer away from the creek for a long while. I recommend refilling water bottles once you get to the first established campground at the bottom of the decent. Then you should be good to the next watering spot. Like others said before, the CCC did an awesome job clearing the trial! Thanks for the hard work CCC! The meadow is nice, as there were various campsites along the creek. We were worried that we would be close to all the other people, but we weren't. The first night we had two black bears check us out. We had a large dog with us, that warned us of them. They did not mess with us, but be prepared for large wildlife! After staying the night near the meadow, we hiked up the scramble. Follow the stacked rocks as that is the easiest way. The scramble is no joke, if you do not like heights, this might not be the most pleasant situation. Large boulders and steep cliffs grace you throughout the climb. Was a little worried as we were hiking up as people were coming down, knocking rocks towards us, which is something that happens with steep grades, but can be dangerous. If you get injured out here you are screwed, unless you have a gps device, which we did not :( We all concurred at this point, that we were foolish carrying such heavy loads going up the scramble. We finally made it to the lake after some weak knees and conquering some fears of heights. We were worried also about finding a campsite as there were so many parties that past us on the way up. We found a campsite though away from all the large parties to the left when you first get to the lake. We thought campsites would be minimal, but there are more than you think. The lake was amazing, but unfortunately it was very windy that day. The wind calmed at night and stars were spectacular. We were away from people and had no issues with enjoying our own private camp.

We ended up going back the next day to split our hike home in two days. Glad we did, as we had a person in our pack hurt their knee. So it was slow moving. So to wrap it up. Pack light, and prepare for a strenuous but unforgettable adventure!

backpacking
1 month ago

Stellar hike, great challenge to make it to the peak!

Amazing destination. CCC crew has done a lot of trail maintenance. If you plan to sleep on the granite be sure to pack an insulated pad. The scramble is easy if you go way left but otherwise it can be a little sketchy. Well worth the hike.

We just hiked to the lower lake this weekend. It took us
Approx 6 1/2 hours there and 3 1/2 to get back to the trailhead. The home there was a bit challenging. Coming down was easy and fast. It’s absolutely gorgeous! We caught trout and there was a large bear across the lake from us. We decided to go back down 1 1/2 miles where we had camped the night before to spend our night. .

Did a day hike to the Canyon Creek Lakes and L Lake. For the distance, the elevation is quite tame for most of the hike up to the Canyon Creek Lakes. For those who want to journey a bit farther up to L Lake, the trail is loosely marked with cairns as it winds up a drainage area. Beautiful views of the valley from L Lake, worth the extra climbing effort. Will definitely be back to camp when more of the summer smoke has cleared. Passed 30-40 people on my round trip hike over Labor Day weekend.

backpacking
2 months ago

One of the best place to go backpacking in California

Really enjoyed our hike to Canyon Creek Lakes. Yes, it was a challenge but nothing horrible for the mountains. I always expect a slog getting to the reward of lovely scenery and hanging out in a natural environment. Took a day hike to the upper lake. Seemed like there were many more camp areas than the lower lake so if you have a larger party I would plan on staying there. Boulder Lakes had great granite vistas. Quite an uphill climb with narrow trail. Get there early for the better camp spots. Beautiful.

Hiked this trail many times, & always look forward to doing it again.

Did this as a day hike today. Only went to Lower Lake...saw a bear coming down the mountain and we met eyes 40 yards away from each other and then he ran the other way. I only saw 3 people on the trail, which was surprising because I heard this is the most popular trail in this area. Takes a while to get out above the trees but once you do, the mountain views are awesome! Not really all that difficult of a hike, just a steady ascent most of the way. Took me about 5 hours, 15 miles. The waterfall and swimming hole is a great spot for a dip. Mosquitos were pretty annoying on and off.

Great night or two backpacking destination. Warning, water is cold until late summer though!

I did this trail with my best friend when she graduated from Humboldt. It was the best backpacking trip ever! Beautiful and lots of camping places to choose from. We spent a few nights at the top just enjoying the wilderness. It requires a pass at the ranger station with a brief review of where you’ll be along the trail and how many nights you’re camping there.

fishing
3 months ago

The reviews aren't wrong. This hike is definitely worth it, but man, it is straight uphill. Make sure to bring a lot of water. My buddy and I brought a gallon + two pints between the two of us and nearly ran out by the time we got to the lake. Not an easy hike.

We also got pretty damn close to two black bears on our way back which was a bit scary. All in all certainly worth it though. Gorgeous lake.

A note on fishing: as the hike is pretty strenuous I thought the fishing would be good (thought the difficulty would deter others). It wasn't terrible fishing but it also wasn't better than mediocre. Fish were pretty small and we only got a few bites in four hours on the water. The lake is also super hard to get around which confines you to only a couple fishing spots on one end of the lake.

This is an AMAZING hike. We luckily hiked it a few weeks ago before the fire started and did it as a day hike. The ascent is an ass kicker, especially the last mile. It’s worth overnighting simply to allow more time at all the awesome features. There are multiple waterfalls and swimming holes not to mention the lake at the top! In my opinion you get National Park like views with way less people. Enjoy this one! Follow all my adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

An amazing trail! Scenery is unparalleled. Trail is steep at first both up and down for first few miles, then steady up. Took us (average in shape guys) 6.5 hrs up to 1st camp. 1st camp for us was below the falls. 4.5 hrs back from 1st camp to trail head. Would recommend a 3-4 day excursion. One day up to camp (8.5 miles). Second day up to the lake and then up to peak. Then 3 rd day head back if your hurting for time. Stay an extra day and absorb the beauty. On the way back, if your headed NE, go to the kid friendly Etna Brewery for a stellar burger and home brewed root beer. I can’t wait to go back. I went with my 10 and 12 yr olds, but they are mentally tough and physically fit kids. Keep their packs 25 lbs or less.

One of the coolest hikes I’ve done! Make sure to start early since camping spots started to fill up by the time we got close to the lake around 1:00. Beautiful waterfall about half way; great opportunity for a little rest, and refilling on water. Last 2 miles or so are tough, lots of switch backs and exposed in the sun, but worth it for the views and lake.

You do need a permit. They can be picked up the day of (or day before) at the Weaverville Ranger station kiosk, no cost.

can't get any better

Pros: Incredibly, unbelievably beautiful and humbling landscapes that get better and better as you head up the valley. Perfect temperature lakes for swimming (exactly the right reward after the final push across hot exposed rock). Many opportunities to explore surrounding peaks as day hikes if you make a base camp at the lakes for a few days. Solid workout hiking in with overnight packs. Gigantic old trees. Lots o stars. Did I mention that it is just incomprehensibly beautiful?

Cons: Huge numbers of people hiking to the falls and camping at the lakes on the weekend in summer (which should seem obvious but I neglected to consider), so select your time wisely and do not expect solitude depending on when you go. Some dirty toilet paper here and there, but mostly trash and waste free, so please keep it that way. Most of the hike is high above Canyon Creek on the valley side, so you don't get to be near water a whole lot save for a few points.

Overall, if you're trying to decide whether or not to go, definitely do it. Be mindful of the volume of people it attracts and take care to keep this area as clean as possible.

phenomenal hike

Right out of the gate is a large push uphill with decent elevation gain. Not bad from trailhead but coming back TO the trailhead is a burner. After peaking you will encounter sharp annoying brush that encapsulates you. this leads to a split, go left. Ensuing is an easy hike along the river and over a ridgeline. Eventually you hit the meadow which is nice but should be passed on for a campsite at the top of the ledge. The scramble isn't bad at all, a few areas with loose scree and dirt that should be used with caution, very possible to do with a large pack. Follow the cairns, approaching the scramble there is a rock slide to the left behind a small flower patch that appears to be the trail. Do NOT take this, very dangerous. The real path is more to the right. Larger granite slabs await at the top for the final push to the lake. Enjoy the views and take a dip. very refreshing.

plenty of water filling spots, gets very hot, alot 4-6 hours depending on shape. Possible in 3. Start very early to avoid sun. no boots necessary, used pair of keens and performed great. lots of tick opportunities,
deet up. road up in good condition. watch out for fallen rocks

First I want to start with the TH. The directions given are funky and confusing on the link of this site. I would follow this link for overall better information: https://hikemtshasta.com/trails-further-afield/trinity-alps-trails/grizzly-creek-trail/ I found that many people slept at the trailhead the night before. We slept at the North Fork Campground right at the turnoff to the TH. It is a pack in/out campground with a bathroom. We were the only ones there while the TH was crowded with cars. There seemed to be plenty of parking at the TH. Mileage on this site is very off! I had 2 GPS devices and both read just over 8 miles one way to the meadows and another 1 mile scramble to the top of Grizzly falls. This means that round trip it was just over 18 miles. Be prepared for that. This was a beautifully amazing hike that was extremely difficult. If you are in shape you will have no problem. There is plenty of water along the trail so you don’t have to pack it all. Camping is in the meadow and there is space across the water. The scramble was insane and going down was even a greater challenge. People were camping at the lake, but it is more exposed in thunderstorms, which there were when I was there. It was also 91 degrees which made this hike even a greater challenge. Wildlife and deer are plenty. DO not leave ANYTHING outside your tent except for the food you hang. The deer will eat it. They did that to my friend and several other hikers.
I highly recommend this hike for fit people who want an extra challenge. The views are stunning and worth it.

The trail is pretty easy to follow, but maybe they haven’t gone out there yet to clean it up... bushes were covering the trail throughout. & huge trees were in the way of the trail that you have to climb over (not hard to do if you don’t have back problems). Lake is beautiful & if you want there’s random camp sites around the lake. All together it was a little over 4 miles. Would’ve given it more stars if the trail was cleaned up.

Great hike. A little bit of everything. Stream and waterfalls up in to sculpted granite peaks and high mountain lakes. We did it as a 4 day 3 night trip. Night 1 we stayed just above the meadows (approx. 10 miles in) at a great campsite right on the Stuart Fork. Day 2 we went up to Emerald Lake (approx. 5 miles) and found a cool camp spot on the far end of the lake. There is some fishing opportunities in the lake. Day 3 we headed back down and stayed at another awesome campsite off the Stuart Fork again about 5 miles in from the trail head. Day 4 back to the parking lot by 11am. Very steady manageable grade up to the lake. Some bugs in early July but jungle juice did the trick.

There are some great sites along granite lake! Went in September though and the lake was very cold for swimming. We also left our stuff at our camp at granite lake and hiked the four lakes loop, which even as just a day hike with a lighter pack was pretty exhausting, but well worth it. You’ve gotta hike up the bowl of granite lake too, there’s some killer views up there and it doesn’t take long at all. We also saw very few other people along the route. Literally no one the first day. Definitely seems like a good way to go if you’re looking for less crowds as opposed to some of the other trails in the alps.

We hiked the trail to Emerald Lake, setting up camp at Morris Meadows (~8mi from the trailhead, 4-5mi to Emerald Lake). The trail is well shaded for the most part to Morris Meadows and subsequently is densely packed with vegetation. The tree cover is a blessing as the trail does get pretty hot in the afternoon. However, it is also a bane since it eliminates any views of the peaks surrounding the forest. I found the trail to be fairly challenging mentally due to the monotony of just walking through the forest for several miles. It is relatively easy physically, which is probably one of the reasons why it is as crowded as it gets - our campground ran out of campsites by 5 pm.

On the plus side, this region is rich in wildlife - we saw bears, snakes, deer and many birds. Water is also abundant, so you don't have to lug around much if you carry filtration equipment. As a plus, if you have a water-loving dog, they will have a blast (ours definitely did). Finally, the permitting process is one of the easiest in all of California.

Load More