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8 days ago

Don't use the link within the app for directions on an iOS device. It's fine getting you to Fort Jones and on to Quartz Valley Rd, but from there Siri and Apple Maps have you turn on to Sniktaw Ln to cut over to Shackleford Creek Rd. This is incorrect and takes you back into a sketchy rural area on a poorly maintained gravel road. Stay on Quartz Valley Rd another mile and you'll come to Shackeford Creek Rd which is the correct route to the trailhead.

The hike to Campbell lake is beautiful and in shade by late afternoon due to all the mature trees along the route. I'd rate the trail moderate for all but that last difficult mile. I used trekking poles because I'm not in great shape and my knees are starting to wear out. They helped a lot with the last mile where the rapid elevation change had me huffing and puffing, but it was totally worth it once we got to Campbell Lake.

The lake area was very quiet for our mid-week stay and the trout fishing was pretty good. Here's a link to the USDA page for more info on the fishing in Campbell and other area lakes:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5110486.pdf


Overnight temps were in the low 60's to high 50's so a little chilly for the fleece sleeping bags we brought instead of our normal gear.

Smoke from the fire burning well south (west of Etna) only occasionally wafted into the Campbell Lake area. We had a brief rain shower just before sunset from an isolated thunderstorm which helped keep the air clear our first night there.

On 8/9/17 there was still a sign at the trailhead that says campfires are ok with a permit. You can get one for free at:
http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/

Consider reviewing the notes and downloading the routes/maps for all three lakes in this area if you plan to explore Summit or Cliff Lake from this trailhead.

Overall I highly recommend this hike. Next time we'll try Summit or Cliff Lake.

on Campbell Lake

8 days ago

Only hard the last mile-ish. Maybe only half mile. Lot's of gain via switchbacks. Before that the trail is rolling. Overall, I would say the trail is moderate and I am an obese, lazy man. I still made it to the lake in less than two hours. I rate a hard trail a bit differently.

A friend and I took my 14 year old daughter on her first multi-day backpacking trip to Cliff Lake via the Shackleford Trail in mid-July and we loved it. The All Trails map is about .5 miles short from the Shackleford trailhead so the hike in is more like 6 miles if you go to the far south campsite at Cliff Lake. Also the first mile that's not on the All Trails map is uphill and has about 350 feet of elevation gain. No problem but something that we hadn't expected. The meadows hadn't been destroyed by the cattle yet and there were several small streams to cross on our way to Campbell and Cliff Lakes. Campbell had several groups camping there but we had Cliff all to ourselves for the three days we were there. Fishing at Campbell was really good. Also took a side hike from Cliff Lake up to Angel Lake and found the view to be well worth a little off trail bush-whacking. Few mosquitoes and great views. Definitely a hike we'd highly recommend.

For the first 20 hours of the trip we did not see any other human beings. The stillness of this tiny glacially-carved lake was eclipsed only by the beauty of the full moon rising out of the mist streaming from the mountaintops above. Highly recommended!