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Canyon Creek and Boulder Creek Lakes [CLOSED]

HARD 23 reviews
#44 of 50 trails in

Canyon Creek and Boulder Creek Lakes [CLOSED] is a 16.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Weaverville, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 16.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly








wild flowers





As of October 2019, trailhead is still closed due to the Middle Fire. Check here for updates:

3 months ago

I had put off doing this trail in the alps because of knowing how popular it is. Well there is a reason for that, and having just done it in late August I have to say that I never even noticed many other campers/hikers. This is an absolutely fantastic trail, there is so much to see and do and amazing swimming/jumping spots. Definitely the best destination in the alps!

5 months ago

Hiked last weekend of June 2019. Rivers still flowing strong. Be ready to wade through slightly less than knee-deep waters about 1/3 mile after the Boulder Creek split off. (Sandals would help) Final 0.5mile up to the lake is quite steep but the payoff is well worth the climb. Follow cairns towards the lake after climbing the final ridge. I saw 5 or 6 well established campsites and a number of other areas that could easily be made into a sleeping area.

Mon Sep 10 2018

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. .

Tue Aug 28 2018

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.

Mon Jul 16 2018

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.

Mon Jul 02 2018

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.

Wed Jun 27 2018

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!

Mon Aug 07 2017

way too many people but awesome veiws

Tue Jul 05 2016

We spent 4 days and 3 nights exploring the Canyon Creek area over the 4th of July weekend. Although it was quite busy, due at least in part to the holiday weekend I presume, the views were incredible, and I highly recommend visiting! We first camped atop a boulder overlooking the off-trail Lower Canyon Creek Falls I learned about on and then camped near the junction of the Canyon Creek Lakes and Boulder Creek Lakes trails as a departure point to explore the destinations on both trails over the remainder of our trip. The peaks of granite, lush vegetation, and countless waterfalls made for spectacular views in every direction. The trail will undoubtedly leave you sweating at times, due to both the incline and the heat (Depending on the time of year), but the rewards are worth it, making this hike is a must!

Sat Apr 23 2016

Hiked up one day stayed the night. Hiked down the second day. I was beat & sore for about a week. I'm not in the best shape though since I drive for a living. It started out easy to moderate. The 1/3 or 1/4 or so was very steep. The lakes are very rewarding with beauty. There's plenty of water and campsites along the way. If I do it again I'd like to take an extra day. One night was not enough for me.

Mon Aug 03 2015

This is another one of my favorite places! The amount of granite surrounding the basin is amazing, & one time we were there early season & counted 7 streams flowing down around us from a rest spot at the biggest lake. Plus, there are numerous ponds, & a neat rock shelf extending into the big lake. The trail has been improved, too, last year or the year before, so it wasn't the bushwhack we encountered our first time there.

Wed Dec 24 2014

To go from Upper Canyon Creek Lake to Papoose, an 89 hour hike on granite. From the west boulder field from Upper Lake go to top of boulders, down into marshy area and up the west wall, traverse north to the lowest ravine with snow, go uphill to narrow pass, down the other side bear right, avoid grassy area to lake, cross small ravine to the right and down rocky ridge to lake outlet.

Tue Jul 26 2011

I love this Trail with all my heart. I have hiked it 4 times now and constantly think about going back. It is a little on the tough side, but I first hiked it when i was only 12 and have taken 2 novice hikers all the way to boulder creek lakes. As long as you have someone with you that knows backpacking, its a great trail!

5 months ago

Sat Dec 30 2017

Wed Jul 05 2017

Fri Jul 15 2016