dog friendly


trail running





wild flowers

nature trips



kid friendly


horseback riding

Formerly known as the Salmon-Trinity Alps Primitive Area, the Trinity Alps Wilderness is located 50 miles west of Redding California. The area contains the Wild and Scenic Trinity River in the south and the Wild and Scenic Salmon River in the north. Numerous rushing streams feed into these rivers, many of them emerging from the region's 55 lakes. Scattered stands of timber, most of them virgin, are opened by large meadows with wildflowers in July and August, and shadowed by barren rock cliffs and stark peaks with elevations up to 9,000 feet. Black bears are common (despite the name, they're often colored brown or blond), sharing the area with an abundance of other wildlife species. As much as 12 feet of snow falls on the high country every year. Currently the entire Wilderness (one of the state's largest) is situated on, and managed solely by, the USFS. The Trinity Alps Wilderness contains a total of 550 miles of maintained trails. Numerous loop hikes are available, requiring three to five days to complete. Seventeen miles of the Pacific Crest Trail run through the northern part of the wilderness. There are many areas within the wilderness capable of providing opportunities for solitude.

This trail will kick your butt! Long steep hot cold. Worth every ache and pain!

Enjoy 12 mile curvy road into the Ripstein campground located at the beginning of the trail head. Recommend that you come up stay night and hit trail early to cover ground before sun gets to hot! Great trail for the adventurous soul! Continuous uphill grade for 8 miles thru pine forest and granite switch backs. Traverse the log bridge to stay on trail. Take a cold water dip in a nice deep natural blue hole with a water fall shower. At the split you can stay about quarter mile in toward bolder creek and burn fire as no fires are allowed around lakes. Camping spots thru out trail and surround both upper and lower lake. Temperature drops at night so be prepared. Fish jumping in lake all day and evening bring a pole or a float. Family and Dog friendly trail. Moon and star lit night makes for a blissful sky gazing evening. Loved it recommend it to all just bring your stamina for the uphill grades.

We enjoyed this hike very much, as it had been years since we had been out with packs. It was just right to get us warmed up to hiking again. Found some beautiful spots along Union Creek. Beautiful meadows and wild flowers. And we had union lake all to ourselves!! Well almost. Sock eating chipmunks were abundant. Lol. And many many Deer. So peaceful!! July 27th 2017

12 days ago

Great hike/camp with the dog.
We went in mid-August and there was daily afternoon thunderstorms.

- if you are late on reaching the trail heads, there are plenty of camping spaces along the trail appox 4 miles in. (Ripstein Campground is also good to prep - but limited scenery)
- the trail map here is a close appox of the actual trail. There are some minor switchbacks not shown.
- the final water crossing can be tricky to find (the map will lead you to the wrong place). Look for a small wooden 'trail' sign across the stream on a tree. Also look for a long log that goes across the stream.

Spectacular ridge views and rivers. Super rewarding loop- I'm definitely coming back!

I hiked this loop but took Swift Creek from Sunrise to access Granite Lake, from Granite I hiked to Deer Creek. This added a considerable amount of miles but its a doable three day loop.

Trail conditions on Sunrise are dismal- no track, and few/small cairns. Same story for the top of Triforest coming from Deer Creek. Good idea to bring several maps. A trail crew was working up Sunrise from the bottom of the valley, so conditions might get better soon.

I would rate these ridges as difficult, especially during the day time when the temperature gets up in the 90's. Also, lots of bear scat.

way too many people but awesome

18 days ago

This is one of the best hikes I have done till date, period! Some might argue, there are similar granite formations in Yosemite etc, but this one is with low to no crowd. I would have met 20-25 people on the whole trail between 2 days. Melted snow made lakes, surrounded by tall granite peaks with green trees everywhere make it one the best scenery. The hike provides all kinds of terrain, rock, mud, marshy land, creek crossing and what not. I can count 4 water falls disregarding any falls above the Upper Canyon creek lake, and each one is more beautiful than another. We did this hike in 2 days since this was our first backpacking. We camped next to a waterfall (~7 miles from trailhead). The view from campsite overlooking the valley was simply the best. I underestimated the beauty of this wilderness. Given chance, I would definitely want to visit this spot some time again in future for few more days and do Little lake on top of it.

22 days ago

Great Lake and the other two lakes are just as amazing. Hike in and of early in the morning to avoid the heat.

23 days ago

Breathtaking... both physically and emotionally! This is the perfect challenging day hike, you'll work your tushie off on the way up but the reward is so, so sweet . Absolutely beautiful scenery and Big Bear Lake is the perfect temp for a dip to cool off at the end. Definitely recommend morning this time of year, I started at noon and it was pretty darn warm. There are several creeks on the way up if you have a doggo who wants to cool off, but I'd suggest still bringing water for Fido just in case cause he'll be working hard, too! Love this hike, I'll be back!

23 days ago

This was a nice short trail for my first time up in the year. It's short but at a steady incline right from the start. As you get closer to East Boulder lake, it get fairly steep but with the switchbacks, it's doable for all levels. at the top of the trail, you get a beautiful view of the valley and the amazing creek coming down from the lake. A couple of down falls are the lack of descent camp spots, dried cow pies everywhere (good for fire fuel though), and quite a bit of mosquitoes. there is a great 6-7 mile day hike around the ridge that hits the PCT. Absolutely beautiful. would definitely do it again.

24 days ago

I'm getting ready to head up here in three weeks. Any idea of how the fishing is?

24 days ago

Not Easy!!! Moderate hike with a good elevation gain. Nice for people who are afraid of heights.

25 days ago

First three miles or so are done in a car. A Scion XB had done it when we came back to the car, so as long as you're careful most cars can make it. Signs say 2.5 miles from parking lot, we measured it on the way back and got 4 miles (it feels more like 4 too). Mostly up hill. Lake was gorgeous. The creeks were all very passable and there was no snow what so ever.

29 days ago

This was my awesome dog's first backpacking trip and my first 'solo', and I could not have asked for a better trail. Unfortunately I got a late start, getting to the trailhead around 2:15pm. The meadow, wildflowers, creeks, and cliffs were breathtaking all the way up. We were tempted to stop early and camp by the creek about a mile before the trail junction but decided to push on, up the very steep granite to the lower lake.

With a few stops for rest and photo ops, we made it up to to the Lower Canyon Creek Lake as the sun dipped behind the mountain tops around 8pm. We had a few neighbors around the lake, but none close enough to feel crowded. We stayed up late and star-gazed, then slept in late to wake up to a blistering morning sun. After eating breakfast and spending a bit of time playing fetch in the lake, we packed up and headed back down the trail.

I wish we would have been able to stay longer, but I didn't take into account how hot the granite surrounding the lakes would be and was worried about burning my pup's poor feet. Additionally, by my second water stop on the hike it, my steripen decided to kick the bucket. Although I had Iodine tablets (which I used when I had time to wait), I ended up drinking water straight from the creeks. Call me crazy but the potential giardia was well worth the views.

I cannot wait to go back to this trail, hopefully by the end of the summer. Next time, I plan to stay in the Ripstein Campground the night before my trip so that I can get a very early morning start before going all the way up Ell Lake.

Long story short: I highly recommend this trail for the experienced and hydrated hikers. Your dog will love it and you will leave hungry for your next trip.

1 month ago

This trail is B-E-A-UTIFUL! My girlfriend and I were able to make it to the lakes in roughly 6 hours (including stopping for photos). We were only able to stay 1 night which isn't long enough considering the hike in is 8 miles BUT it was totally worth it! We're planning to come back for a 3-4 night adventure soon!

My husband and I completed this as a 2 day, 1 night backpacking trip with our 1 1/2 year old, 2 friends and their 10 month old. We were some of the first people out this season ( Mid June) and the trail was quite overgrown and difficult to find at times, but much of it was beautiful! The hike to Grizzly falls took us about 6 hours and seemed like it was much longer than 6 miles. We took several breaks because of the heat and the babies. We set up camp upon arrival, there were quite a few mosquitoes along the hike and at camp. We checked out the scramble up to the lake but there was still heavy snow pack towards the top and wouldn't have been safe- could have been done but the majority of the group was shot from the hike and heat. The meadow was gorgeous and the falls were as well. We went to sleep early and woke up early to head out at 6am. The hike back only took 3.5 hours, but the climb to Hunter's camp was killer!
Saw two bears, they were not interested in us at all. The kids had a blast exploring and we all had a blast too.

On our way out the trail crew showed to to do some clearing- we will try this again later in the season!

We are late 20's early 30's group of friends, active hikers each carrying 40-50lbs. ( babies included)