Tangle Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 16 reviews
#9 of 47 trails in

Tangle Blue Lake Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Trinity Center, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from May until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.1 miles
1,200 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



trail running








Directions from Weaverville: The Weaverville Ranger District office is located along Main Street in Weaverville, California. Maps and information available.

10 days ago

Been hiking to this lake since I was little. Last summer was my eighth summer trip there backpacking for 3-4 nights. Absolutely perfect and one of my favorite places on Earth!

2 months ago

Unbelievable lake with a modest hike

3 months ago

Good distance for a day hike. The trail gradually inclines most of the way with a few steeper stretches, overall it is pretty easy walking. The Lake is beautiful with multiple areas for people to access the Lake. The creek crossings weren't bad, but there was lower snow pack this year.

10 months ago

Day hiked this trail 11/4/17. Nice trail with pleasant views of the creek. The trail leads right through Messner’s cabin site. Trail crosses through drainage at times and the water was not bad yet. Don’t remember how many crossings and those were fine too (water isn’t very high at all yet). Ice in some shady areas but still not too cold. Nice views of snow covered peaks on your way back down trail. When circling the lake, the east side had shin deep, boot sucking mud...passable if you cling to the bushes but we were only day hiking so no backpacks— actual mileage may vary.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

First three miles or so are done in a car. A Scion XB had done it when we came back to the car, so as long as you're careful most cars can make it. Signs say 2.5 miles from parking lot, we measured it on the way back and got 4 miles (it feels more like 4 too). Mostly up hill. Lake was gorgeous. The creeks were all very passable and there was no snow what so ever.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I did a day hike to Tangle Blue with a group of 7 extended family members on July 15, 2017. We started hiking at 8am, when it was on 60 degrees. It was over 90 when we returned to the cars at 12 noon, so I really recommend tackling this uphill hike early in the morning in Summer. A lot of the hike is through lush green meadows and the lake is beautiful. The creeks have dropped to summer levels, so all of the crossings were safe. The lake is beautiful and warm enough for a long swim before hiking back. I really recommend a visit to Tangle Blue.

The dirt road to the trailhead has some washouts where culverts failed this past spring but it is not too bad. My Subaru Outback had no trouble at all.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just went on 06-10-17. This was my sixth trip, and while I am still new to backpacking, I feel most any adult could do this trek. The first 3 miles are done with your vehicle which I suggest has some clearance to it (Subarus need not apply) as there are washout along this part. My stock 02 tundra does just fine and I've seen a Honda CRV do it too. 4x4 would be preferred, but I do just fine without. The steepest parts are the very beginning and the end where you find the trailhead. Once on the trail you pretty much just follow along the edge of the creek. It is a beautiful hike! All types of terrain with a few ice patches still left near the lake. Took my 8 yr old friend Tucker and had to carry him over the creek twice, but he's got four legs and is short too! The mountain at the top still has a bit of snow/ice on it. Keeps the lake nice and cold. Snow capped mountain, blue skies, cool breeze, green grass, tall pines, and a clear lake. I really can't imagine a more beautiful spot. And for you fly fishing aficionados try the crack back aero PMD.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Just got back from Tangle this weekend 6/4/17: 4th year we've gone and the road up to trailhead is by FAR gnarlier than ever - tons of washouts creating deep, boulder-filled dips in the road. BEEFY TIRES AND 4-WHEEL DRIVE are now a must! All trail signage is also gone except the very last one before the parking area.
Actual trail condition: washed-out in many areas, roughed up from still-melting snow, 3 thigh-high creek-crossings (have a good harness if bringing a dog) but generally GORGEOUS as ever! The snow-capped mountainside and thin layer of ice on the lake was an incredible view to sip our coffee/rum next to. Never a disappointment, just a tad more adventurous this time around!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Taking into consideration the holiday weekend (we spent Memorial Day holiday here) it was a pleasant trip. Overcrowded, but the beautiful scenery absolutely made up for it. The moderate trail rating is well deserved, especially with a full pack. Bring plenty of water for the hike in and a purifier for camping. We also hiked to Thompson Peak and were rewarded with world-class views of Tangle Blue, Trinity Lake, Mt. Shasta, and the surrounding Alps and mountain meadows. Fishing was rewarding also - we enjoyed a fresh Brook trout dinner our last night there. A must for all Trinity hikers and backpackers.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I was last here around 2005. Took a few friends who had never backpacked before and they enjoyed it. It's not a super easy hike but not hard by any means. The lake is beautiful as are most in the Trinity alps but be careful what time of the year you go as all the water in this area means lots of bugs. Great fishing though.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I took my two kids 9 & 14 on this hike. Kind of a grueling hike, much of it unmarked and the map of the trinity alps is wrong by 6 forks. We took a wrong turn and ended up in grand national mine at the top of a mountain. Our friends put cairns up for people to find the path easier. The last 1/8th of a mile is the worst part. We spent 2 nights and 3 days there. Crosses a stream twice and the meadow is right before the last 1/8th mile steep incline. I would do it again because there was a delicious, sweet spring to the left of the lake where the water was plentiful. August 1-3, 2014.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Enjoyable day hike to lovely Tangle Blue Lake. Without good signage, accessing the trailhead was not trivial. Follow Highway 3 North of Coffee Creek for ~13 miles. About 0.8 miles after Highway 3 begins to ascent Scotts Mountain, take Forest Road 39N20 (not signed) to the left. The turn off is in the middle of a sharp right turn of Highway 3. Get good directions as there are a couple of unmarked turn offs from Forest Road 39N20 before you reach the well marked trailhead. Although this has been a particularly dry season, we still had to fjord 2 streams (no bridges) and found the meadow portions of the trail muddy. The dogs loved it! Most of the trail is wide and easy to follow. Tangle Blue Lake itself was an enjoyable destination. We shared the tranquil shoreline with a pair of other hikers and a group of horseman. The snow capped mountains made a picture perfect backdrop for the lake.

4 months ago

4 months ago

recorded Tangle Blue

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Wednesday, September 07, 2016