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.

what a wonderful trail, recently spent 4 days hiking towards the upper lakes, forbidden lakes was a scramble but beautiful. lots of water. headed back in two weeks to focus on L lake.

4 days ago

Just went on 06-10-17. This was my sixth trip, and while I am still new to backpacking, I feel most any adult could do this trek. The first 3 miles are done with your vehicle which I suggest has some clearance to it (Subarus need not apply) as there are washout along this part. My stock 02 tundra does just fine and I've seen a Honda CRV do it too. 4x4 would be preferred, but I do just fine without. The steepest parts are the very beginning and the end where you find the trailhead. Once on the trail you pretty much just follow along the edge of the creek. It is a beautiful hike! All types of terrain with a few ice patches still left near the lake. Took my 8 yr old friend Tucker and had to carry him over the creek twice, but he's got four legs and is short too! The mountain at the top still has a bit of snow/ice on it. Keeps the lake nice and cold. Snow capped mountain, blue skies, cool breeze, green grass, tall pines, and a clear lake. I really can't imagine a more beautiful spot. And for you fly fishing aficionados try the crack back aero PMD.

Booooo ya. This is heaven.

Great trail although still a bit early in the season. Numerous water crossings can be difficult with children. Absolutely beautiful place.

Enjoyed this hike a great deal.

19 days ago

Just got back from Tangle this weekend 6/4/17: 4th year we've gone and the road up to trailhead is by FAR gnarlier than ever - tons of washouts creating deep, boulder-filled dips in the road. BEEFY TIRES AND 4-WHEEL DRIVE are now a must! All trail signage is also gone except the very last one before the parking area.
Actual trail condition: washed-out in many areas, roughed up from still-melting snow, 3 thigh-high creek-crossings (have a good harness if bringing a dog) but generally GORGEOUS as ever! The snow-capped mountainside and thin layer of ice on the lake was an incredible view to sip our coffee/rum next to. Never a disappointment, just a tad more adventurous this time around!

20 days ago

This is the iconic hike/backpack of the Trinity Alps in Northern Cali. It's on any backpacker's "to do" list. It's a chore to drive to the trailhead about 3 hours from Redding, much of it along scenic rural farmland and in wilderness. The segment of the track takes you gradually up a hill to Hunters Camp. Then you descend a mile through bramble, brush and on switchbacks to the bottom drainage. The descent translates to an ascent on the return, and that's on your mind. From there it's about a 4.5 mile slog to the meadow at the end of which, high up, you see Grizzly Lake. Best to camp in the meadow scramble the next day to the amazing lake and if you have energy, then 1500 feet to Thompson Peak. Take your time climbing back down. I recommend the scramble to the left of the lake lip as opposed to boulder hopping to a trail that leads up but it more precarious. The return was quick until the climb back to Hunters Camp. What a challenge! This is an Alps backpack that will stick with me for sure.

Great hike! Beautiful lake and surrounding granite peaks. Went in June, camped one night and was the only person there. Didn't make it to little or wee bear lakes, had to save for next time.

8 months ago

What a treat! This is a hard hike and took me about 7 hours to get to the meadow. If you plan to go to the lake from the trailhead give yourself plenty of time. The hardest part besides the scramble at the end is the long uphill at the beginning followed immediately by a taxing downhill. Nothing crazy just long. After the hard down you take a long gradual climb to the meadow. What a sight once you finally come into the meadow. Truly an amazing place. Plan to go in mid spring to see the falls raging. I'm not sure if you can cross the falls when they are running hard though. If not your camp sites are limited!

Be aware! When heading up the scramble stay left, there is a point where the trail splits and the left side looks harder than the right. Don't be fooled it's not bad, the right is almost a downright rock climb and there were times I was unsure of our situation. Totally worth every step you take!

One more note, the trailhead is on 37N07, also known as rays gulch I believe, and not 37N02 as labeled on this site. Heading towards 37N02 though you will see signs, follow them they are right.

We actually did the China Gulch TH to Grizzly Lake for a 3 day, 2 night trip. What a workout and amazing experience! The lake was so beautiful. I plan to go back again next year in mid July to see the wildflowers and hopefully experience the falls. I'd love to extend the trip by a day or two and try to summit Thompson Peak.

9 months ago