Canyon Creek Lakes Trail is a 16.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Junction City, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 16.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,969 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Weaverville: Travel east on Highway 299 for about 7 miles, then turn north onto County Road 401 and travel about 10 miles north to the trailhead.

hiking
21 hours ago

Holy gorgeous views Batman!! Amazing mountain scapes, beautiful waterfalls, lush greens, SNOW, and some incredible lakes at the top. Very much worth the trek up.

hiking
muddy
scramble
3 days ago

4 days ago

The first time we went up we did it at night. which turned out not to be a bad idea. part of the trail you are crossing granite that is completely exposed in the day . We were there with the absence of the moon and the milky way lit up the sky so bright it looked like clouds. We camped at the top of the first waterfall and then hiked to the lakes the next morning. We found an awesome swimming hole to cool down in on the way. The lakes were beautiful, and we only saw a hand full of people the qhole weekend

backpacking
4 days ago

Did this trail end of May (not closed) Beautiful trail but has earned the "hard" rating (as a casual backpacker). The first four miles doesn't have much water access so keep that in mind, after that there's plenty. Heading toward the lake is a lot of incline, returning is quick and downhill. Beautiful camp sites by waterfalls. There is a river crossing that can be difficult (especially with dogs). Overall very worth the trek!

backpacking
6 days ago

I loved this hike! great views all the way to the top. Easy trail to follow.

backpacking
7 days ago

Only knocks against this trail are a few sections that are tough to follow, both where the creek needs multiple crossings and up higher when you really start to climb. Luckily, we met a kind, new friend camped near the creek a mile short of the lake who showed us around a bit. There are some sections where it's easy to get on a social trail that looks well-worn but the main trail is usually lined with signs, stones, or cairns so if you don't see any of those you're probably off-track. Otherwise, this is an epic area. The peaks on both sides are amazing. The water is icy and refreshing. There are good campsites most of the way along the trail beyond the halfway point. While we were there the weather was perfect and the Memorial Day crowds had just left so we only saw a few people the whole time, all super friendly. The lady at the store in Junction City gave us bad information about the trail being snowed-in but not sure if that was on purpose or what. Folks at the trailhead set us straight. Bonus: the pit toilet at the trailhead was downright pleasant.

backpacking
2 months ago

Fun hike, I went when the fire was going so lots of smoke but even still a beautiful view of the canyon from the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail is closed due to fire as of 9/15/19

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful waterfall and swimming hole midway through the hike. It’s so refreshing to take a dip.

backpacking
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

Did this at a leisurely pace over 3 days. The trail varies between shadeless rocky switchbacks and long passages of forest, eventually giving way to lush, overgrown meadows and eventually the beautiful cirque at the top. The climb is steady and tiring, but there's plenty of water aside from the walk from the first creek to McKay Camp. Doing it as a day hike sounds a bit much for my legs, but if you're spending a little more time it's a beautiful trail with some choice campsites from the Sinks all the way up to the lakes.

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

8/17/19. Did this as a day hike.. why because we are insane. This really is a 18 mile hike, it says 14 but it’s not. Some parts were pretty overgrown, lots and lots of rocks. Switchbacks were pretty rough. If you do a day hike, start early! We started at 6:30am and didn’t get back to our cars until 8pm getting dark. We are very sore but it was worth it! Absolutely stunning! Will be coming back to stay a few nights

hiking
over grown
scramble
9 months ago

Did this as a day hike, but would love to come back and camp overnight! The second lake is BEAUTIFUL. Trail is slightly overgrown as of 8/10/19. There's one section where it's tricky to stay on the trail -- but cairins from other hikers are super helpful. Highly suggest bringing rain gear. The forecast said "mostly sunny" the day I hiked, but it poured for 3 hours straight. My boots were pools by the end. Great trail nonetheless and a very peaceful hike.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Lower section is buffed out singletrack. upper 2/3 can get fairly technical in places with the majority of the elevation gain coming in the last 1/3. followed Cairns to the upper lake which is about 20 minutes past the lower lake. It was totally worth the extra effort as the views were far superior and we had the whole lake all to ourselves. There is plenty of places to access water for filtering so no need to haul in an over abundance. Bugs were minimal, Highly recommend.

hiking
10 months ago

Fantastic one night backpacking trip. We camped out under impressive granite faces and were able to leisurely hang out/swim at the lakes at the top of the hike on day two. So much reward for not too much work!

hiking
10 months ago

I just got back & was there 7-30 to 8-2-19 My fears of water being too high to cross the creek below Lower Canyon Creek Lake were all for nothing! All was well! The meat bees/yellow jackets were around my camp (@ the Upper Falls) and pesky but no stings/bites! (Thank goodness as I'm allergic.) Beautiful weather, flowers, & photo opportunities abound! People were so nice! BUT despite the moderate elevation gain do not underestimate how brutal it can be for the 'sometimes' hiker on the exposed sections when it's HOT later in the day. START EARLY! You wont be sorry!

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

This trail was definitely worth the effort. If you’re not an avid hiker or in shape to do long hikes, this trail will definitely not be easy to do in just a day trip. The trail was mostly shaded with spots unshaded sporadically throughout the trail. We went on a Thursday in the morning and there weren’t much people at all, maybe about 25 at the most we saw throughout the entire hike. The trail itself is pretty identifiable, however, as you get about 3/4 of the way through, it gets a bit confusing and you need to rely on the cairns people had set up to guid you to the trail. This is especially true when you need to cross the river on some fallen trees. The trees don’t really look like it’s part of the trail, but As you get past the fallen trees there will be and actual trail sign to point you in the right direction. The view of the lake surrounded by all the mountains was definitely a sight to see, and well worth it.

backpacking
muddy
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

Such a beautiful hike! It was challenging but not impossible. A day at the lake makes up for all the sweat and taped blister points :) I loved how the trail changed from gentle slopes on packed dirt, to a covered, cool forest. Then in the second half from an exposed meadow to an even steeper ascent on mostly rocks. I felt like I was walking through Skyrim. CRAZY beautiful. Anyway, there's no snow at the lakes, and heat didn't come in until the afternoon and it wasn't bad. There was a cool breeze every few minutes that took the edge off. I fell asleep under a tree for a 1hr nap before I walked into the water and swam around just past noon. Nighttime was rather warm - I had one leg out of my sleeping bag. The view of the nightsky is every bit as magical as I thought it would be!!!! Here's some takeaways: ~ Trekking poles help. ~ I started getting ready to hike in at and out at dawn - trail is less busy and the weather is prime right now. ~ Break at the waterfall with a swimming hole and to gather more water if you need. This is halfway if I'm not mistaken. ~ Last river crossing is on 4-5 logs connecting to one another at a shallow angle, then you've gotta hop-step to two rocks going in. TIP - keep your quads, calves and core engaged - a loosy-goosy core makes your hips swivel and that's when you lose balance ~ Scramble at the end isn't as hard as I thought it would be - especially after talking to some people on the trail who told me to not even try with a pack. It's steep but you don't need to go on your hands and knees or anything. There's a few cairns guiding you up too as the path curves up the slope to the right. After the scramble, it flattens out to Lower Lake :)

backpacking
bugs
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

Good trail for backpacking, it has a large parking lot but it was pretty packed. The ranger in Weaverville said 300 hikers on a holiday weekend. The trail is tough, mostly up hill with a few scrambles. There is a creek crossing almost a mile in then no water for a couple miles. Up hill granite slopes to the lower falls with plenty of water. The lower falls is halfway to the lake. There is camping there but better camping in the meadow .5 miles past the falls. The next few miles are pretty easy except for the river crossing, bring river shoes or have good balance on the fallen trees and be prepared to jump. Then a tough climb to the upper falls. The lower lake is just beyond that. Great hike just a bit crowded and some hikers don’t know what a cat hole is, so watch out for that.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike! My gps said the hike is more like 19 miles round trip. the trail is all uphill till you get to the Canyon Lakes. trekking poles help. Lots of dogs out there, most of them not on a leash, several dogs being carried due to injuries from the rough rocks. Heavily forested, lots of shade, keeps the heat in check. Just beautiful. we did thre days, two nights. 5.4 miles to campsite first day, then 9 miles round trip to go to the lakes, and back to our campsite. somehow only 4.9 miles back down to the car. Parking lot is packed, and tight, bring a car instead of a truck if possible.

Showing results 1 - 19 of 203