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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.

backpacking
5 days ago

Beautiful lake. One of my favorites in the Trinity Alps. Moderate hike with some scrambles but not too difficult. The few campsites are on the North side with picturesque views of awesome granite peaks with snowmelt falls cascading down the face.

hiking
5 days ago

Difficult hike. First half to the river crossing was relatively flat and easy, the second half was steep with not a lot of access to water. Wanted to make the trek over the saddle to Smith and Morris lake but ran out of gas and camped the two nights at Alpine. Mosquitos were a bit of a pain but nothing beats the view of the sawtooth mountains. Beware, no campfires and camp stoves are allowed with a permit.

11 days ago

This is a great hike for the family. My 5 and 7 year old daughters enjoyed this hike immensely.

hiking
14 days ago

On it's own, not a stunning hike. Mostly an uphill walk in the woods, with beautiful forests, huge Ponderosas and Doug fir. One campsite along the river a few miles in, but for the most part you're well above it.

If you are wanting some good views, the access to Foster & Lion lakes is great. Keep along the trail til the fork and take a right. Good signage. To the left is a longer hike to Boulder Lake, which is a busy lake by backcountry standards and more easily accessed from the east - not worth going to Boulder this way except to get a workout. In short, if you plan to do this hike, take the extra time to head up to Foster & Lion Lakes.

I gave this 4 stars because of how much traffic there was when we were there. We thought we wouldn't run into too many people due to the time of year and remote location. But there were literally 7 different parties of groups more than 5 people in each party. Everyone was nice, but we like minimal people when we go backpacking, as does everyone I guess :) but I guess maybe they all had the same ideas as we did? lol. :)

Start early in the morning. We started at 10 and we made it to the meadow after 7 hours of hiking. We are in decent shape, however we packed way too much weight. Each of us were carrying nearly 60 lbs! Way way way too much. There are spots to fill up with water once in the gulch, but the trail does steer away from the creek for a long while. I recommend refilling water bottles once you get to the first established campground at the bottom of the decent. Then you should be good to the next watering spot. Like others said before, the CCC did an awesome job clearing the trial! Thanks for the hard work CCC! The meadow is nice, as there were various campsites along the creek. We were worried that we would be close to all the other people, but we weren't. The first night we had two black bears check us out. We had a large dog with us, that warned us of them. They did not mess with us, but be prepared for large wildlife! After staying the night near the meadow, we hiked up the scramble. Follow the stacked rocks as that is the easiest way. The scramble is no joke, if you do not like heights, this might not be the most pleasant situation. Large boulders and steep cliffs grace you throughout the climb. Was a little worried as we were hiking up as people were coming down, knocking rocks towards us, which is something that happens with steep grades, but can be dangerous. If you get injured out here you are screwed, unless you have a gps device, which we did not :( We all concurred at this point, that we were foolish carrying such heavy loads going up the scramble. We finally made it to the lake after some weak knees and conquering some fears of heights. We were worried also about finding a campsite as there were so many parties that past us on the way up. We found a campsite though away from all the large parties to the left when you first get to the lake. We thought campsites would be minimal, but there are more than you think. The lake was amazing, but unfortunately it was very windy that day. The wind calmed at night and stars were spectacular. We were away from people and had no issues with enjoying our own private camp.

We ended up going back the next day to split our hike home in two days. Glad we did, as we had a person in our pack hurt their knee. So it was slow moving. So to wrap it up. Pack light, and prepare for a strenuous but unforgettable adventure!

backpacking
20 days ago

Stellar hike, great challenge to make it to the peak!

Amazing destination. CCC crew has done a lot of trail maintenance. If you plan to sleep on the granite be sure to pack an insulated pad. The scramble is easy if you go way left but otherwise it can be a little sketchy. Well worth the hike.

24 days ago

Done this twice. Plenty of water, meadows, views, and room to camp on the way up. The lake itself can only hold 3 or 4 group camps, and there were 30+ people there last time during a holiday weekend. That last mile is fairly brutal. Will certainly go back.

backpacking
1 month ago

Been hiking to this lake since I was little. Last summer was my eighth summer trip there backpacking for 3-4 nights. Absolutely perfect and one of my favorite places on Earth!

We just hiked to the lower lake this weekend. It took us
Approx 6 1/2 hours there and 3 1/2 to get back to the trailhead. The home there was a bit challenging. Coming down was easy and fast. It’s absolutely gorgeous! We caught trout and there was a large bear across the lake from us. We decided to go back down 1 1/2 miles where we had camped the night before to spend our night. .

Did a day hike to the Canyon Creek Lakes and L Lake. For the distance, the elevation is quite tame for most of the hike up to the Canyon Creek Lakes. For those who want to journey a bit farther up to L Lake, the trail is loosely marked with cairns as it winds up a drainage area. Beautiful views of the valley from L Lake, worth the extra climbing effort. Will definitely be back to camp when more of the summer smoke has cleared. Passed 30-40 people on my round trip hike over Labor Day weekend.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of the best place to go backpacking in California

The last 2 miles were challenging but definitely worth it! The view of the lake is amazing!

Really enjoyed our hike to Canyon Creek Lakes. Yes, it was a challenge but nothing horrible for the mountains. I always expect a slog getting to the reward of lovely scenery and hanging out in a natural environment. Took a day hike to the upper lake. Seemed like there were many more camp areas than the lower lake so if you have a larger party I would plan on staying there. Boulder Lakes had great granite vistas. Quite an uphill climb with narrow trail. Get there early for the better camp spots. Beautiful.

Hiked this trail many times, & always look forward to doing it again.

Did this as a day hike today. Only went to Lower Lake...saw a bear coming down the mountain and we met eyes 40 yards away from each other and then he ran the other way. I only saw 3 people on the trail, which was surprising because I heard this is the most popular trail in this area. Takes a while to get out above the trees but once you do, the mountain views are awesome! Not really all that difficult of a hike, just a steady ascent most of the way. Took me about 5 hours, 15 miles. The waterfall and swimming hole is a great spot for a dip. Mosquitos were pretty annoying on and off.

backpacking
1 month ago

Friend & I went on a backpacking excursion into the Boulder Lakes area of the California Trinity Alps wilderness. This was an easy hike to the first lake & camp clearings. Within a mile or two of this lake, you can find 4 more small lakes & hike a ridge that overlooks it all. From the base of the ridge you kind find trails connecting in all directions. Some great hikes connect through this trail system including the Pacific Crest Trail. Make camp & hike till you drop. Video on my YouTube- thatDADclint.

Great night or two backpacking destination. Warning, water is cold until late summer though!

I did this trail with my best friend when she graduated from Humboldt. It was the best backpacking trip ever! Beautiful and lots of camping places to choose from. We spent a few nights at the top just enjoying the wilderness. It requires a pass at the ranger station with a brief review of where you’ll be along the trail and how many nights you’re camping there.

fishing
2 months ago

The reviews aren't wrong. This hike is definitely worth it, but man, it is straight uphill. Make sure to bring a lot of water. My buddy and I brought a gallon + two pints between the two of us and nearly ran out by the time we got to the lake. Not an easy hike.

We also got pretty damn close to two black bears on our way back which was a bit scary. All in all certainly worth it though. Gorgeous lake.

A note on fishing: as the hike is pretty strenuous I thought the fishing would be good (thought the difficulty would deter others). It wasn't terrible fishing but it also wasn't better than mediocre. Fish were pretty small and we only got a few bites in four hours on the water. The lake is also super hard to get around which confines you to only a couple fishing spots on one end of the lake.

This is an AMAZING hike. We luckily hiked it a few weeks ago before the fire started and did it as a day hike. The ascent is an ass kicker, especially the last mile. It’s worth overnighting simply to allow more time at all the awesome features. There are multiple waterfalls and swimming holes not to mention the lake at the top! In my opinion you get National Park like views with way less people. Enjoy this one! Follow all my adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

An amazing trail! Scenery is unparalleled. Trail is steep at first both up and down for first few miles, then steady up. Took us (average in shape guys) 6.5 hrs up to 1st camp. 1st camp for us was below the falls. 4.5 hrs back from 1st camp to trail head. Would recommend a 3-4 day excursion. One day up to camp (8.5 miles). Second day up to the lake and then up to peak. Then 3 rd day head back if your hurting for time. Stay an extra day and absorb the beauty. On the way back, if your headed NE, go to the kid friendly Etna Brewery for a stellar burger and home brewed root beer. I can’t wait to go back. I went with my 10 and 12 yr olds, but they are mentally tough and physically fit kids. Keep their packs 25 lbs or less.

One of the coolest hikes I’ve done! Make sure to start early since camping spots started to fill up by the time we got close to the lake around 1:00. Beautiful waterfall about half way; great opportunity for a little rest, and refilling on water. Last 2 miles or so are tough, lots of switch backs and exposed in the sun, but worth it for the views and lake.

You do need a permit. They can be picked up the day of (or day before) at the Weaverville Ranger station kiosk, no cost.

can't get any better

hiking
2 months ago

We took this trail down from Big Boulder and little Boulder lakes. There were still many downed trees across the trail and a lot of dust and debris making for sliding conditions on the 8 mile downhill to Coffee Creek. July is not the best time to be here due to heat so pack plenty of water.

Pros: Incredibly, unbelievably beautiful and humbling landscapes that get better and better as you head up the valley. Perfect temperature lakes for swimming (exactly the right reward after the final push across hot exposed rock). Many opportunities to explore surrounding peaks as day hikes if you make a base camp at the lakes for a few days. Solid workout hiking in with overnight packs. Gigantic old trees. Lots o stars. Did I mention that it is just incomprehensibly beautiful?

Cons: Huge numbers of people hiking to the falls and camping at the lakes on the weekend in summer (which should seem obvious but I neglected to consider), so select your time wisely and do not expect solitude depending on when you go. Some dirty toilet paper here and there, but mostly trash and waste free, so please keep it that way. Most of the hike is high above Canyon Creek on the valley side, so you don't get to be near water a whole lot save for a few points.

Overall, if you're trying to decide whether or not to go, definitely do it. Be mindful of the volume of people it attracts and take care to keep this area as clean as possible.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike and lake. I followed the directions which the directions Icon gave me on this website and it took me a longer back way. It was very rocky, rutty road. Luckily I drive a jeep. Follow the sign on HWY 3 that says Boulder Lake trail. Big brown sign. I went back the correct way and it was way smoother and faster.

backpacking
2 months ago

Unbelievable lake with a modest hike

phenomenal hike

Right out of the gate is a large push uphill with decent elevation gain. Not bad from trailhead but coming back TO the trailhead is a burner. After peaking you will encounter sharp annoying brush that encapsulates you. this leads to a split, go left. Ensuing is an easy hike along the river and over a ridgeline. Eventually you hit the meadow which is nice but should be passed on for a campsite at the top of the ledge. The scramble isn't bad at all, a few areas with loose scree and dirt that should be used with caution, very possible to do with a large pack. Follow the cairns, approaching the scramble there is a rock slide to the left behind a small flower patch that appears to be the trail. Do NOT take this, very dangerous. The real path is more to the right. Larger granite slabs await at the top for the final push to the lake. Enjoy the views and take a dip. very refreshing.

plenty of water filling spots, gets very hot, alot 4-6 hours depending on shape. Possible in 3. Start very early to avoid sun. no boots necessary, used pair of keens and performed great. lots of tick opportunities,
deet up. road up in good condition. watch out for fallen rocks

2 months ago

July 2018 - 6.5 mile gravel road in off Eagle Creek Loop, don't need 4WD, just be mindful of the rocks and make sure you have a spare tire. Stay on the main gravel road and you will find your way easily. Trail starts further up the road than All Trails map has the trailhead at. Beautiful scenery and meadows, trail is rocky in some places but overall I'd put it on the moderate side of easy. Several springs along the way. I'm not sure if the loop is still a loop, I went out and back the long way around. Beautiful, deep lake with many well used campsites. Temp good for swimming. I loved this lake's modesty. It has everything you love about the Alps without being too showy. Will be back!

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