Explore the most popular fishing trails in Trinity Alps Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail is a bit overgrown, but still a great place for solitude. The lakes are clear and beautiful!

backpacking
13 days ago

Amazing views! Wish I had been in better shape when I went. Would highly recommend.

backpacking
16 days ago

I hiked in Saturday morning to the second Canyon Creek lake. It took about 5 hours from the trailhead, with stops to snack and take photos along the way. There was plenty of water along the route. It was never too challenging or too steep. There was one other group camping at the second lake but we rarely saw each other. There were snow patches here and there and some of the trail included hiking through shallow snow. It wasn't too hot or too cold. It took 3.5 hours to hike out the next day. The trip was full of natural beauty. I definitely hope to return.

some snow past 3 miles, but mostly passable. no visible poison oak or ticks. a couple flowering plants but almost no flowers yet.

My group of six backpacked this route in March of 2014 over a weekend. We started our hike late morning, camped at the Canyon Creek Lakes at the top, spent the entire next day hiking around the bowl and up to L Lake, and then hiked back the next day. March was a little early to be hiking up there and crossing the river (maybe too dangerous in hindsight). The river looked safe to cross on the way up, but on the way back the river had rose significantly and felt quite treacherous. The nights were brutally cold, but L Lake covered in snow was the most beautiful sight I've seen to this day. Climbing up to L Lake can be intimidating for some. I don't recommend bringing your backpack up there. Camp below and make a day hike up there. Did I mention we had the entire place to ourselves the whole time? Best part of it all. I highly recommend this trail; stunning views, waterfalls, rivers, beautiful boulders, and whimsical wooded areas. Be careful when you're hiking around on the rocks and boulders--they get slippery--and be cautious around flowing waters. Don't miss L Lake!

4..0hours to the lake via a a unrelentingly steep trail.

backpacking
4 months ago

What a great hike for exploring and getting a good sample of what the alps have to offer. The Trinity Alps are so beautiful and one of my favorite wildernesses to backpack.

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked this trail as a day hike with my dog and a friend in November 2017. I had seen the previous recording of 14-15 miles and thought that I could do that in a day hike at a quick pace. The trail ended up being 20+ miles to Alpine lake from Stuart Fork TH. We got held up for 30+ minutes trying to find a dry place to cross Stuart Fork about 7 miles into the hike. There was no definite dry crossing established, so we took off our shoes and waded through midcalf deep frigid water. The climb from the creek to alpine lake is steep , a good work out , though hard to do at a fast pace when sunset is nearing. We misjudged the elevation and got stuck in some snow for the last mile. Snow shoes would have allowed us to get to the lake, but we ran out of daylight. There was a beautiful waterfall that we accepted as worthy of our climb and started down to cross the creek before it got dark. Headlamps saved the day for the trek back to trailhead. I'll definitely retry this hike as part of a 3 day backpacking trip including Emerald and sapphire lakes when the snow clears and will re-review at that time. Overall, pretty hike, challenging ascent.

it was nice im from there and love the outdoors iv only been to the sinks lake here i come soon

I can't even handle how beautiful this adventure was for our family. Epic.

backpacking
8 months ago

The directions provided by Google Maps are unclear if you want to get to the trail head and not park where you must wade across the Trinity River: From route 3, turn onto Bear Creek Loop and that will get you to the trail head.
The hike is not especially long but it is straight up and it gets steeper in the last mile or so. I did not encounter any accessible (late September) water sources until I was well past the halfway point so bring water (1.5 liters was more than sufficient for me). If the campsites at the north side of the lake are taken, there are several campsites further up and along the south side of the lake but that does take work to get to. Once the sun went down, it was chilly and there was frost everywhere late at night and the early morning.
The hike up is worth it because the lake and the surrounding area is beautiful.

Had an amazing 2 nights up here. Absolutely stunning. ❤️❤️❤️

backpacking
8 months ago

We had a great time on this trail. We hikes about 6 miles to middle falls and set camp by the creek. It's nice and shady and plenty of water around. We hung out by the waterfalls and enjoyed the swimming holes!
Once you go pass the middle falls and climb up above the falls, you can no longer set fire - so if you are looking to have camp fire don't go beyond this point.
On Saturday we did a day hike up to the upper lakes, and boulder lake (can do both in 1 long hiking day). Swam in the lakes, and enjoyed the scenery.
So beautiful!! Will be back for other trails in this area!

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.

backpacking
9 months ago

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

Tips:
- 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.

way too many people but awesome
veiws

backpacking
9 months 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.

hiking
9 months 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!

Went a few weeks ago with some friends and it was a beautiful hike with views of mountains and waterfalls popping out as the trail turned and wound its way up the mountains, a gorgeous crystal clear green river that followed us for much of the way, and the beautiful granite and mountain-surrounded lakes at the end. The two less ideal aspects of the trip were the facts that the Upper and Lower Canyon Lakes are completely exposed with very little shade, so spending a day up there can be quite brutal (the water is freezing cold so you can't really stay in there for too long), and the hordes of people all along the trail and at the lake. it was very difficult to find a campsite and you were always within view and earshot of other groups, not to mention the strain that must put on the ecology. On the way back, we stopped by the crystalline river to have lunch, but it was marred by the smell of human waste. Please bury your waste and keep it off the trail and definitely at least 100 feet away from water.

hiking
9 months ago

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

backpacking
10 months 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.

backpacking
10 months 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!

Amazing! After the first four miles it's BEAUTIFUL the whole way! :)

10 months ago

Sonya ST gave good description. water temperature for swimming in early July.

backpacking
10 months ago

Me and a friend took our 10 year old and 12 year old daughters on a three day two night backpacking trip to Fox Creek Lake. This was there first experience with backpacking and this was a good introduction. Just the right distance into the basecamp at Fox Creek Lake and a great campsite right by a stream with just the right amount of shade and fantastic options for hanging hammocks. We decided to scramble up to Section Lake for lunch and a swim, and then on up to the top of the crest above the lake with a good view of the Scott Valley. Decent fishing at Fox Creek Lake, caught 4 trout and the water was perfect for swimming. Later in the afternoon we saw a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle. It was a fantastic hike for a couple of kids' first backpacking trip!

backpacking
10 months ago

Our first time on this trail--and in Trinity Alps. Did 3 day backpack and loved it! Stayed above upper falls on the small island in the stream, then 2 nights at Lower Canyon Creek lake. Saw Osprey hunting in the evening at the lake. There is a cord over the log used to cross Canyon Creek below the outlet from the lower lake, but it's still a challenge to stay balanced with a full pack. We day hiked up to Boulder Creek lakes which are a bit warmer and the vistas are amazing. Trail is a bit overgrown but doable. People were taking full packs up. Bugs were minimal and weather warm to hot during days. Heard that there were sightings of a mountain lion but we didn't see any large animals.

Great hike I've done it five times always something new to find! Went up to L this time had a great time route was easy to find best way up, is up lol! Still some snow up at L, Kalmia is my next goal in a few weeks in August!! Be back soon

***Warning: The 12-mile drive from Highway 299 to the trail head is covered with sharp rocks. There were 3 different flat tires at the trailhead. Make sure you've got an inflated-spare, drive slow & don't hesitate to stop the vehicle to move rocks out of the road.

The hike in starts off easy, then the last 1/3 is a nice challenge. The river crossings (right now) are easy, just grab a stick for added support, and you'll cross just fine. There's three patches in the trail that required pushing through over-growth, but nothing so bad you'd lose the trail.

All the work that you have to put in to get to the lake is absolutely worth it. Grizzly Meadows is gorgeous alone, but the falls and lake put this trip up there with the best of them. The hike out is a breeze, since you put in all the work on the way in. Great backpacking trip, highly recommend it and will do it again!

backpacking
10 months ago

Attempted in Feb. Made it to the canyon before Big Bear Lake before the sun went down and the temperature dropped. Snow has 10-15ft deep where we stopped. Snow was hard with 6" of powder. Did not need snowshoes. Also we had to park 2 miles down the road as the road was closed by the highway turnoff.

backpacking
10 months ago

This trail was absolutely beautiful, there was plenty of space for camping right on the trail, and given that it was a holiday weekend, It wasn't that packed, although the parking lot was building and we had to park about a 1/4 mile down the road. Plenty of spots to refill your water.

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