hiking
4 days ago

Boulder lake was beautiful and the trail was short and easy. If you want to make your hike longer there are signs to continue on to some of the smaller lakes that are past boulder lake such as lily pad lake. Right before getting to the parking lot there are very epic views of mount shasta! Getting to the trailhead is the most challenging part. DO NOT follow the google maps gps directions given on alltrails. We took that way and we made it to the trailhead; however, there were huge bumps and ditches in the road. Would not be able to make it in a small sedan. We also thought we were going the wrong way and almost turned back a few times. I highly recommend following the written directions on AllTrails instead to get there. Off Highway 3 you will see a sign for boulder lake trailhead and take this way instead. This dirt road is much easier and faster to drive on.

hiking
4 days ago

Attempted this as a day trip after camping at the campground near the trailhead. Very busy backpacking area and trailhead. River crossing impassible near end of May. We went up and down searching and attempted to cross twice but turned back due to speed and depth (waist deep). Hiked up to the meadow instead (18 miles round trip). Beautiful hike, old growth pine and river crossing with a few bridges and waterfalls, however unless you’re backpacking and going further in to other lakes, I wouldn’t suggest as a day trip until the river is crossable.

Went here with my fur babies over Memorial Day Weekend and except for the occasional day hiker, I had the place to myself. The snow covered granite peaks were amazing views to wake up to and ponder the day, feeling blessed to have my health to enjoy such wonder.

backpacking
rocky
snow
6 days ago

Beautiful hike to caribou lake. A decently challenging hike in but well worth it. The summit was still covered in snow. If you have waterproof boots, gaiters and don’t mind punching through, can definitely summit it tho!

backpacking
over grown
9 days ago

My dog Stani and I drove up to Hobo Gultch Trailhead on Wednesday night and slept in the car. The next morning we set of for the meadows at the base of Grizzly Lake. We made a wrong turn at the first fork, and accidentally took the low water trail. After 6 icy cold river crossings, we backtracked and got on the high water trail. The trail was clear and pleasant to follow until a few miles after the cabin. Lots of overgrowth and downfall. There were also lots of ticks. I had to pull quite a few off my pup, and I found two on my chest at night that I had to pull off. The views at the meadow were beautiful. Still some snow on the scramble up to the lake. After 21 miles (due to the low water detour), we were happy to skip the scramble and enjoy the waterfall. The next day, we hiked back to the car, with a round trip of about 40 miles. Looking forward to going back and getting to the lake.

Great area. Good hike. But that trail could really use some maintenance. There were areas that the only way you knew it was a trail was because it was a 6” wide area that was just a little less steep than the rest of the hillside.

hiking
14 days ago

Amazing scenery. Went a bit too early in the year though when we went in the beginning of May. Still a lot of snow on the ground. Camped at the meadow, which was all covered in snow, except for the sites under the trees. Lots of dangerous snow crossings and about 2 miles before you reach the lakes, the trail is impassable due to snow, so we had to turn around and only caught a view of lower caribou. Can’t wait to come back out when it’s more melted. If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, I would not recommend the drive in... it’s not bad, but if you don’t have clearance, it will take hours.

just got back from long gulch lake Mother’s Day weekend. There’s some confusion with the lake names since they were switched back in the 1990s This is actually long gulch lake but on the all trails app and internet it’s labeled wrong as trail gulch lake. So if you go to the trail head it is correct but may be opposite of app info. Careful Long gulch lake : Lots of snow on the trail. Small avalanche covers the trail halfway up with lots of small trees. Lake is mostly covered in ice still. Gorgeous though. A couple places to pitch tents without snow. Nice Brooke trout caught on power bait. Only nibbles with the fly rod though.

on Boulder Lakes

hiking
snow
21 days ago

Trail is well maintained but patchy snow present, a lot more snow on little boulder trail, we hiked until we could view little boulder then turned around. Big boulder has plenty of flat campsites under large pines, green grass/marsh on one aide, clear water, jumping fish, and partially snow covered granite in background. Will return when the snow melts.

hiking
snow
22 days ago

Easy to find road to trail head from Hwy 3. Drive up is about 11 miles. Parking at trail head is ample. Went up Friday and camped at a lookout about 1.5 miles before trail. Saw a large bear on the road on the way up. Snow on the road to trail from this spot on, sometimes as deep as 18 inches or a little more. Need 4x4 and good tread on tires. Sat hiked up to Boulder Lake. Some snow to hike through but not dangerous. Warm days but temp was wonderful. Walked/hiked around the lake. There isn't a trail really but it's a fun little adventure. Lots of nice spots to camp. Lots of day hikers but no one else overnight. No bugs/mosquito problems except a few on Sat eve while pumping water by the outlet. Windy but not uncomfortably windy. Calm periods. Osprey hunting fish through dusk. No cell reception on Hwy 3 on. Was able to shoot off a text randomly at the lookout spot but didn't receive the ones that were sent back. I'd also done a day hike to Little Boulder in July of 2019. Obviously it was much hotter but still a lot of the trail was shaded as was the campsite at the lake.

backpacking
rocky
snow
27 days ago

Haven't been here in almost 7 years but this is hands-down my favourite place on earth. Disclaimers: Switchbacks at the beginning can be gnarly, there are parts where the trail is 3' wide on a granite precipice, and there is a little bit of scrambling to get to the lake itself. Do not let this deter you, this the most serene place in the world and is 100 percent worth it. You cross through forests, prairies, granite, desert ect and its otherworldly. I went in October, the weather changes rapidly brace yourself for sunbathing and snowshoeing in the same day!

We only made it half way but that’s cuz a rain storm rolled in and flooded the trail and we were doing it just as a day trip would recommend staying the night if you do, do this trail. It was so beautiful worth it!!

My girlfriend and I decided to go for an early year hike up to Big Bear on April 24, 2020. Consistent up hill the entire way there and we ran into some pretty heavy snow about 1-1.5 miles from the lake. Last mile of hiking was in fairly deep snow and pretty slow going. Arrived to a beautifully ice/snow covered lake which was quite the sight to see. It was pretty cold at night (sleeping in a tent) but we had good sleeping bags and layered up so it wasn’t much of a problem. No bugs this time of year. No way to get over to Little Bear lake at this time of year unless you have a some crazy in you. (SNOW) Don’t follow the directions on the “directions” button on the AllTrails application. It will bring you to the incorrect side of Bear Creek Loop (which is a road) and you’ll arrive at a nicely washed out road and dead end into the river. Take Highway 3 up until you see the other end of Bear Creek Loop and take a left into what appears to be some type of camping resort area with cabins or whatever they are. Pass that and follow the road down all the way to the parking lot area. Do not drive a normal sedan, the road is not good and whoever’s car it is will be pissed because it will get messed up. Drive an SUV, truck, or something like that. Enjoy!

backpacking
1 month ago

I did this hike with a sleep away camp I was at. It was absolutely stunning. There were plenty of spots we could find to spend the night. The trail was in wonderful condition and the views are magnificent.

This was my first backpacking trip back in October of 2018. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to backpacking in the back country than this trail. I was accompanied by a family of six with four little girls and a very old bulldog. It’s an easy, beautiful, and enjoyable hike for all!

Lots of creek crossings and passed a small lake.

hiking
7 months ago

We were unable to complete the hike. It rained all night the previous night and made the water crossing too difficult. The water was too high and moving too rapidly for us to get safely across. We reached the water crossing in about 2 hours from the parking lot, and then spent time exploring off trail. Easy gradual hike up to the fork crossing with lots of water streams

backpacking
snow
7 months ago

Completed 10/2 as an overnight trip. Good info on taking an hour to drive the dirt/rock road to the campground where the trailhead is. One bathroom at the trailhead. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow. If you get a late start packing in or packing out there is great spots to camp at around mile 5 as mentioned before with fire pits. There was about 2” of snow on the ground when I went. Lakes are beautiful and I wouldn’t say the hike itself is more than a moderate climb with a pack on. Lots of good camping spots once you reached the lakes with great views!

hiking
blowdown
bugs
7 months ago

Follow signs for Papoose Lake unless you’re looking for the Hobo Gulch campground.

Day hiked 10-5-19. The branch point for Smith/Morris is marked by an inconspicuous cairn that is along the right side of the trail as it approaches Alpine Lake. Hit this turnoff while you’re still headed north. If you begin to turn West toward Alpine Lake or have crossed a creek, you may need to back track to find the turnoff. The hike from Alpine cutoff to Smith is mostly following cairns that are for the first 1/4 of the ascent located amongst manzanitas and brush. There is an occasional piece of pink tape wrapped around a branch to help guide. After cresting the ridge, the final potion of the hike drops down and to the left (west) towards Smith lake. We drifted too far to the left and ended up down-climbing a very steep face to drop down to the lake. Best to try to hit the lake at it’s southeast border, rather than father to the west. One of the more challenging day hikes I’ve done in Trinity. Pedometer clocked us at 20+ miles, though we did a fair amount of backtracking and zig zagging during the final mile.

hiking
8 months ago

Completed this hike 9/17/19. A group of folks with the California Conservation Corps were doing trail maintenance at the time, and one of them told me they were clearing up obstacles on the Old Caribou Trail before they finished up as well. You can obtain a Wilderness Permit at the trailhead. I had meant to start my hike on the weekend but moved my start date since I thought I had to wait for the forest service office to open up on Monday to get a permit. Oh well, live and learn I guess, but in case you were worried about such a thing (as I was) you can now rest easy.

Amazing lake, trail and experience. Only to be surpassed by its cousin lake, Little Bear Lake, the conditions could not have been better and one of the most serene lakes in the Trinity Alps. Being in decent shape I would not categorize the hike in as difficult, as the ascent is pretty steady and consistent across all 4+ miles and is aided by the generous tree coverage over 90% of the trail. No experience with bugs at all and temperatures could not be more ideal. Having ample water is suggested as after crossing the footbridge, there is no real access to water until the last 3/4 mile to the lake itself.

This hike is a grind! It goes pretty much straight up to the lake. I give it five stars because at Echo Lake you are rewarded with one of the most beautiful campsites I’ve ever been at. There are plenty of little water streams to refill and there is a parking lot for your car at the entrance of the trail. Be aware of that it is a 6 mile dirt road to the trail head, which can be navigated even with a Prius in good conditions.

This is our second time up here and I’d do it again! Lots of bugs for first hour of hike due to being in shade near the creek. However, bugs were not an issue after crossing the bridge. A solid climb the whole way but so worth the effort! Once you get close to the lake, you get an amazing panoramic view out towards Mount Shasta and are surrounded by white granite. Stunning and breathtaking. We had lake to ourselves on Labor Day. When we were headed up to the lake, about seven different parties passed on their way down. Very peaceful and beautiful lake. Awesome spot right when you get to the lake with a fairly flat granite slab to sunbathe and relax on. Just perfect!

hiking
8 months ago

This is an easy trial for all ages. The only people that may have a hard time is those who are out of shape and or not use to hiking in higher altitudes. Overall this was a fun hike. The two boulder lakes are great spots for a picnic.

Trail is a relatively easy, wide old wagon road for the first ~4 miles. After that it narrows and makes a gentle climb up to the lake. The lake it’s self is shallow and not a great option for swimming. But the surrounding meadows and ridges that are a backdrop to the area are superb. Many day hike options from Union lake.

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