Smith and Morris Lakes

HARD 2 reviews
#28 of 45 trails in

Smith and Morris Lakes is a 16.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Trinity Center, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. 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
16.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6,564 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

This tough hike requires a steep off-trail climb, with both terrain and navigation challenges. One of the prettiest lakes in the wilderness - a deep, blue gem tucked under the soaring granite of Sawtooth Mountain. Free wilderness permit required for overnight visitors. Free campfire permits required for fires and camp stoves. Trails in the Trinity Alps are always open: however, most trailhead access roads are closed or impassable during winter.

backpacking
3 days ago

Trail completed (7-12-18) this trail is for no faint of heart. I recommend experienced hikers only, and common knowledge of maps and navigation. I flaged the trail off with pink flagging. I spent the night at alpine lake the hiked up to Smith from there. To get to Smith trail head, head back to the trail that takes to you alpine lake. After you cross the outlet creek of alpine lake begin to keep an eye out for the pink flaging or look for cairns to northeast off the marked trail. once you spot the cairns or flagging the begin the hike. good luck! the lake is beautiful and fishing is good too.

this will help, https://www.backpacker.com/trips/redding-ca-stuart-fork-to-smith-lake

hiking
21 days ago

The trail starts off as a very gradual ascent at the Stuart Fork trailhead but once you ford (call the ranger station in Weaverville to make sure the river is passable) the Stuart Fork river, it gets steep and stays steep till Alpine Lake: Make sure you stock up on plenty of water after you cross the river because we did not encounter any viable water sources till Alpine Lake (Don’t leave your bug spray or your tent at home! There were a lot of mosquitoes all day and night at Alpine Lake in mid-June!). From Alpine Lake till you get to the saddle above Smith Lake is about one mile or so but it is a route rife with boulder fields, steep dense brush, slabs of rocks and exposed sun. It took us hours to make the saddle. There are very few spots with water access and a place to pitch tents at Smith Lake: the best spots are mostly on the southeast side of the lake by the drainage. Morris Lake has better lake access for swimming and fishing, so we camped there. This is a very long and tough hike.