North Fork Trinity River to Grizzly Lake

MODERATE 2 reviews
#11 of 29 trails in

North Fork Trinity River to Grizzly Lake is a 32.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bar, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
32.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6377 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

This is an outstanding ramble along the idyllic North Fork Trinity River to heavenly Grizzly Lake. You need more than a weekend to do it right, but in return you get to experience both a quiet river drainage and a spectacular lake tucked into a granite cirque below the Trinity Alps' highest peak. Free wilderness permit required for overnight visitors; free campfire permits required for fires and camp stoves. Trails are always open; however, most trailheads access roads are closed or impassable during winter. Note to anglers: Check with the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife before casting a line. The North Fork is subject to fishing restrictions to protect endangered species.

backpacking
5 months ago

***Warning: The 12-mile drive from Highway 299 to the trail head is covered with sharp rocks. There were 3 different flat tires at the trailhead. Make sure you've got an inflated-spare, drive slow & don't hesitate to stop the vehicle to move rocks out of the road.

The hike in starts off easy, then the last 1/3 is a nice challenge. The river crossings (right now) are easy, just grab a stick for added support, and you'll cross just fine. There's three patches in the trail that required pushing through over-growth, but nothing so bad you'd lose the trail.

All the work that you have to put in to get to the lake is absolutely worth it. Grizzly Meadows is gorgeous alone, but the falls and lake put this trip up there with the best of them. The hike out is a breeze, since you put in all the work on the way in. Great backpacking trip, highly recommend it and will do it again!

backpacking
5 months ago

Fairly long and strenuous hike (4x 10 mile days, with 4000ft elevation gain). The first day is pretty mild (we slept at Pegleg campsite), but the second day to grizzly meadows has a lot of bush wacking and a lot of elevation gain (4000 ft). The meadow and waterfall is super nice. There are plenty of campsites in the meadow. From here you can scramble to the top of the fall and Grizzly Lake (1000ft up) the next day. Make sure you follow the cairns, and you will be fine! Grizzly lake is absolutely stunning.
We hiked 4th of July weekend and there was only snow up at the lake, but we could still hike to the lake and top of waterfall. Also there are two river crossings, although water was fairly high, they were passable knee deep.