Explore the most popular lake 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.

First I want to start with the TH. The directions given are funky and confusing on the link of this site. I would follow this link for overall better information: https://hikemtshasta.com/trails-further-afield/trinity-alps-trails/grizzly-creek-trail/ I found that many people slept at the trailhead the night before. We slept at the North Fork Campground right at the turnoff to the TH. It is a pack in/out campground with a bathroom. We were the only ones there while the TH was crowded with cars. There seemed to be plenty of parking at the TH. Mileage on this site is very off! I had 2 GPS devices and both read just over 8 miles one way to the meadows and another 1 mile scramble to the top of Grizzly falls. This means that round trip it was just over 18 miles. Be prepared for that. This was a beautifully amazing hike that was extremely difficult. If you are in shape you will have no problem. There is plenty of water along the trail so you don’t have to pack it all. Camping is in the meadow and there is space across the water. The scramble was insane and going down was even a greater challenge. People were camping at the lake, but it is more exposed in thunderstorms, which there were when I was there. It was also 91 degrees which made this hike even a greater challenge. Wildlife and deer are plenty. DO not leave ANYTHING outside your tent except for the food you hang. The deer will eat it. They did that to my friend and several other hikers.
I highly recommend this hike for fit people who want an extra challenge. The views are stunning and worth it.

The trail is pretty easy to follow, but maybe they haven’t gone out there yet to clean it up... bushes were covering the trail throughout. & huge trees were in the way of the trail that you have to climb over (not hard to do if you don’t have back problems). Lake is beautiful & if you want there’s random camp sites around the lake. All together it was a little over 4 miles. Would’ve given it more stars if the trail was cleaned up.

It was a really nice hike all the way to the lake and a nice Camp spot but the lake itself is nothing you'd want to swim in it's pretty much a puddle

backpacking
5 days ago

Trail completed (7-12-18) this trail is for no faint of heart. I recommend experienced hikers only, and common knowledge of maps and navigation. I flaged the trail off with pink flagging. I spent the night at alpine lake the hiked up to Smith from there. To get to Smith trail head, head back to the trail that takes to you alpine lake. After you cross the outlet creek of alpine lake begin to keep an eye out for the pink flaging or look for cairns to northeast off the marked trail. once you spot the cairns or flagging the begin the hike. good luck! the lake is beautiful and fishing is good too.

this will help, https://www.backpacker.com/trips/redding-ca-stuart-fork-to-smith-lake

Lots and lots of flies and mosquitoes camped by the outlet stream 7-2018.

Great hike. A little bit of everything. Stream and waterfalls up in to sculpted granite peaks and high mountain lakes. We did it as a 4 day 3 night trip. Night 1 we stayed just above the meadows (approx. 10 miles in) at a great campsite right on the Stuart Fork. Day 2 we went up to Emerald Lake (approx. 5 miles) and found a cool camp spot on the far end of the lake. There is some fishing opportunities in the lake. Day 3 we headed back down and stayed at another awesome campsite off the Stuart Fork again about 5 miles in from the trail head. Day 4 back to the parking lot by 11am. Very steady manageable grade up to the lake. Some bugs in early July but jungle juice did the trick.

Backpacked to Boulder lake then to lost lake/ Found lake, scrambled across the mountain and both my partner and I weren’t expecting what all our hard work brought us too, not sure if around this time of year July 6 2018 was a bad time of year to hike to lost and found lake but we were kind of disappointed, the lake was stagnant and dead bugs all around.. wasn’t worth all the hard work we put into getting there.. our opinions, beautiful views though.. our opinion stay at Boulder lake.

Went on 7/7/2018. Easy to find, well maintained forest service road. I would rate as easy because the incline is so gradual. Wildflowers were nearing the end, but thousands of butterflies along the creek, probably because of the blooming milkweed. I believe they were Acmon Blues. Because of the westerly wind direction, no smoke from the Klamathon fire. Forest, meadows, creeks, waterfalls, pristine lake. What more could one ask for?

backpacking
11 days ago

I would have to say it is one of the nicest lake I have been to the first four miles were easy the last three were the hardest I have seen in a long time there are only two camp sites at the lake but don’t worry there will most likely not be anyone there they unlike me got the memo to go elsewhere

We hiked the trail to Emerald Lake, setting up camp at Morris Meadows (~8mi from the trailhead, 4-5mi to Emerald Lake). The trail is well shaded for the most part to Morris Meadows and subsequently is densely packed with vegetation. The tree cover is a blessing as the trail does get pretty hot in the afternoon. However, it is also a bane since it eliminates any views of the peaks surrounding the forest. I found the trail to be fairly challenging mentally due to the monotony of just walking through the forest for several miles. It is relatively easy physically, which is probably one of the reasons why it is as crowded as it gets - our campground ran out of campsites by 5 pm.

On the plus side, this region is rich in wildlife - we saw bears, snakes, deer and many birds. Water is also abundant, so you don't have to lug around much if you carry filtration equipment. As a plus, if you have a water-loving dog, they will have a blast (ours definitely did). Finally, the permitting process is one of the easiest in all of California.

well deserved hike went in on walked in on Sunday before 4th of July very very busy parking lot was full must cross paths was about 18 other hikers walking down the hill it well physical demanding Trail. took our time going in to soak it all in first night stayed probably about a mile past the hobo hobo Gulch intersection. continue the next morning to The Meadows which were beautiful time we got there there was no one left in the Meadows sub for one small group that ended up going back down Sunday night so we have the Whole Meadow to ourselves which was awesome. the next morning we proceeded to Summit Caesars Peak. it was awesome I cannot explain words and pictures cannot Define the beautifulness of our Northern California area. downside numerous people decided to leave the trash in Camp. and Scattered about the trail I just reminder people if you want to continue exploring places like this pack in and pack out.

Beautiful! Trail well maintained, clean, and tons of wildflowers in bloom right now! We went on the 4th of July 2018. Great place for all ages!

backpacking
15 days ago

As expected, it was strenuous but worth it. We didn’t set off until about 10, so it was pretty hot by the time we got to the unexposed scramble and switchbacks, but we made it to the lake in less than 5 hours at a moderate pace with stops for lunch and to fill up our water and an accidental detour where the trail diverges to the Boulder Creek drainage on the other side of the ridge. The trailhead parking lot was pretty full, as usual on a nice weekend during the summer, and we saw a handful of people on the Stuart Fork trail, but once we veered off to Alpine, we only saw two other people, and they never made it up to the lake, so we had our own private lake on a Saturday night which is pretty unheard of, even for the Trinities. Because there aren’t any big waterfalls flowing in nor a major outlet flowing out, the lake was surprisingly warm, though the sitting water results in the expected layer of algae on the bottom and swarm of insects of all types. By our count, the trail was a little over 17 miles which seemed about right considering the trail map doesn’t include any of the switchbacks, just a straight line up, and the recording has a lot of backtracking. Overall, I’d say it’s not the most gorgeous lake in the area, but offered the most solitude I’ve had yet, so it still gets a 5 in my book.

went there at the end of June weather was perfect.scenery offered a variety of wild flowers as well as jagged rock formations. wild fern lined the valley floor with plenty of places ro camp. with sun light lasting until 9.45 PM gives plenty of time to make it to the top even with a late start. enjoyed this hike and will do it again.

Loved this hike. Beautiful!! Loved being close to the PCT too!

Went backpacking here, & thoroughly enjoyed it! Short hike, uphill for most of the way there, then a descent into the basin. Camped at Boulder Lake. Very serene. Climbed Tapie peak. Lovely views!

Great hike, questioning why this is labeled as difficult. This is a very timid hike with great views throughout.
I would suggest to hike about 5-6 miles and set up a basecamp along the creek. Hiking to Boulder Lake was a little bit of a scramble, but very doable for most.
Overall, good beginner hike!

hiking
22 days ago

I’m not an avid hiker, did this as a day hike and I was fairly sore by the end of the day. I think I walked for about 9 hours in total. Would have definitely been nice to camp overnight. Don’t miss the waterfall with the swim hole marked on the trail map. It’s the first big waterfall you see. The trail map was spot on, saved my ass a couple of times at the top as it got harder to find the trail.

backpacking
22 days ago

This trail is 10 miles in, 10 miles out and incredible along every step of the way. Look to the stacked rocks of three once you advance up the trail about 8 miles and start to reach the lakes for help keeping on the trail.

The trail starts off as a very gradual ascent at the Stuart Fork trailhead but once you ford (call the ranger station in Weaverville to make sure the river is passable) the Stuart Fork river, it gets steep and stays steep till Alpine Lake: Make sure you stock up on plenty of water after you cross the river because we did not encounter any viable water sources till Alpine Lake (Don’t leave your bug spray or your tent at home! There were a lot of mosquitoes all day and night at Alpine Lake in mid-June!). From Alpine Lake till you get to the saddle above Smith Lake is about one mile or so but it is a route rife with boulder fields, steep dense brush, slabs of rocks and exposed sun. It took us hours to make the saddle. There are very few spots with water access and a place to pitch tents at Smith Lake: the best spots are mostly on the southeast side of the lake by the drainage. Morris Lake has better lake access for swimming and fishing, so we camped there. This is a very long and tough hike.

on Boulder Lakes

hiking
23 days ago

Here are the facts to find the trailhead: Sign is easy to find on Hwy 3 (just south of Coffee Creek) takes you to gravel road (#???) that is easy to follow until you get to a sharp right...sign says 35N53 (topomap said 35N55?). Then follow along and stay to the left when you get to an intersection (other options to the right have crappy signs so you can't read them). Then it's fairly easy to follow...about 10 miles from Hwy 3 to the trailhead.

Went in May, one of the most gorgeous hikes I’ve ever done.

The trail is relatively well marked except for in the meadow areas, but since all you do is follow the canyon up to the lake it's hard to get lost. The incline is steady, but not steep until the last 1/4 mile. Once you arrive at the lowest lake there are not very many camp grounds, but there appears to be two upper lakes that you can visit.. There are beautiful views of the valley below and the lake is lovely, but it is difficult to get access to the water. There were many little trout (4-6") jumping and you could see dozens of them swimming around the edge, so maybe bring a fishing pole! Bonus points for there being constant water access along the trail for dogs.

Canyon creek never disappoints!

My first backpacking trip for my 31st birthday! It was still early June and was freezing cold at night, it actually rained and snowed the first two nights. We stayed under the tree cover during the storm and finally made it to the lakes the 3rd day when the weather improved slightly. Of course it was super nice on the way back and we jumped in the river several times!

Good distance for a day hike. The trail gradually inclines most of the way with a few steeper stretches, overall it is pretty easy walking. The Lake is beautiful with multiple areas for people to access the Lake. The creek crossings weren't bad, but there was lower snow pack this year.

Nice moderate hike and very rewarding views for the effort. The one caution is that parts of the trail are gravelly and exposed and trail is narrow so if you have anyone in your family who is acrophobic might be slightly tense.

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