Canyon Creek Lakes & L Lake Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews
#1 of 15 trails in

Canyon Creek Lakes & L Lake Trail is a 16.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lewiston, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
16.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4041 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

horseback riding

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

snow

Hike up to a hidden lake with many great views of the Trinity Alps. This trail involves a lot of climbing up switchbacks and wading through some pretty deep water.

backpacking
2 months ago

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

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

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.

backpacking
4 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

Hiked in last weekend on a beautiful early spring day. A LOT of snow past the big waterfall. Slow going through sections of deep snow drifts, but well worth it for the views and the solitude. I've also hiked this trail in fall when the extra colour makes all the views extra special. Highly recommend.

backpacking
6 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

Canyon creek had some great views, fun to swim in the water with all the waterfalls. Plenty of areas for camping out.

backpacking
Monday, September 26, 2016

backpacking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Although we didn't make it all the way to L Lake, we did hike to Canyon Creek Lakes, and it was absolutely gorgeous! The holiday weekend made it a bit busier than I suspect it normally is, but due to the length of the trail, it didn't feel unbearably crowded. After reading about the impressiveness of the lower falls on summitpost.org, we decided to journey through the brush, and it was absolutely worth the scratches I got on my legs. We ended up setting up camp atop a boulder overlooking the falls (See photo). You can find this old trail at the top of a set of switchbacks, where a "TRAIL" sign will point you to the right; the falls are to the left, you can hear them roaring. The trail is generally well maintained, at least as far as we went. It was quite hot in places where the lush vegetation was replaced with steep granite that seemed to magnify the hot summer sun, and this coupled with the incline will certainly leave you sweating; however, I highly recommend the trail for the surrounding beauty, especially as a good multi-day hike, where you could easily spend as little as 2 or as many as 5 days exploring the area.

camping
Sunday, November 08, 2015

Ok so to start..the road is a fairly dangerous one to get to the trail head. The ranger will tell you it's 4 miles..it's not. It's 12+ to get to the trailhead. Keep going and you'll pass 1 lane or less cliff side and other cars. Once you get to the trail it's very clear. It was in the 50-60s all day and 20s at night the colors were great and fires are allowed so bring some shovels and fuel! Waterfalls were flowing too! Have a great time!

camping
Monday, September 21, 2015

hiking
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One word. Amazing! This area reminds me so much of Yosemite and the Western Sierras. It is the crown jewel of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Never in my life have I seen so many waterfalls on a single hike (over 30, no joke), although you do need to travel a short distance off trial for the rewarding views. This is an excellent trip best spent over a few days.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

hiking
Friday, May 30, 2014

hiking
Monday, May 05, 2014

What a Nor Cal gem! This is a very rad trail which follows Canyon Creek the whole way to its primary source (Upper and Lower Canyon Creek Lakes). The elevation gain is gradual over the 10 mile or so course. There are plenty of spots to stop and camp along the way. Campfires are permitted up until about 1.5 miles from the Lower Lake.
We went in on Friday evening and set up camp before sundown at "The Sinks." It was a beautiful location right next to the creek and a gorgeous doe came into our camp to say hi. I believe it wanted food, which made me think someone's fed it before. Please don't feed them :).
We went on 5 more miles to the sign which marks the campfire boundary. Considering we were about 1.5 miles from the lakes, we set up camp again and went on to the Lakes. There are more EPIC waterfalls than can be counted on one hand and I recommend allowing time to explore them. The lakes provide gorgeous views as well that remind of the Eastern Sierras.
There's no wonder this is one of the most popular trails. Even still, the permits are free and unlimited still and people do a good job of not leaving to harsh of a mark on the wilderness. A GREAT TRAIL.