backpacking
rocky
snow
13 days ago

Beautiful hike to caribou lake. A decently challenging hike in but well worth it. The summit was still covered in snow. If you have waterproof boots, gaiters and don’t mind punching through, can definitely summit it tho!

hiking
15 days ago

Completed 5/22-5/24. Cool that weekend which made the hike in enjoyable. Would be more challenging in the heat. A few obstacles on the trail (snow patches and trees) but passable. Upper Caribou still mostly frozen with a lot of snow on the shores. Set up camp between Snowslide and Lower Caribou. Absolutely one of the most scenic trails I have completed. Highly recommend. Have a stock Jeep Liberty. Road in is not a challenging drive but sharp rocks caused a flat tire on the way out. Make sure you have a spare!

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing scenery. Went a bit too early in the year though when we went in the beginning of May. Still a lot of snow on the ground. Camped at the meadow, which was all covered in snow, except for the sites under the trees. Lots of dangerous snow crossings and about 2 miles before you reach the lakes, the trail is impassable due to snow, so we had to turn around and only caught a view of lower caribou. Can’t wait to come back out when it’s more melted. If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, I would not recommend the drive in... it’s not bad, but if you don’t have clearance, it will take hours.

just got back from long gulch lake Mother’s Day weekend. There’s some confusion with the lake names since they were switched back in the 1990s This is actually long gulch lake but on the all trails app and internet it’s labeled wrong as trail gulch lake. So if you go to the trail head it is correct but may be opposite of app info. Careful Long gulch lake : Lots of snow on the trail. Small avalanche covers the trail halfway up with lots of small trees. Lake is mostly covered in ice still. Gorgeous though. A couple places to pitch tents without snow. Nice Brooke trout caught on power bait. Only nibbles with the fly rod though.

backpacking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Haven't been here in almost 7 years but this is hands-down my favourite place on earth. Disclaimers: Switchbacks at the beginning can be gnarly, there are parts where the trail is 3' wide on a granite precipice, and there is a little bit of scrambling to get to the lake itself. Do not let this deter you, this the most serene place in the world and is 100 percent worth it. You cross through forests, prairies, granite, desert ect and its otherworldly. I went in October, the weather changes rapidly brace yourself for sunbathing and snowshoeing in the same day!

backpacking
1 month ago

I did this hike with a sleep away camp I was at. It was absolutely stunning. There were plenty of spots we could find to spend the night. The trail was in wonderful condition and the views are magnificent.

backpacking
snow
7 months ago

Completed 10/2 as an overnight trip. Good info on taking an hour to drive the dirt/rock road to the campground where the trailhead is. One bathroom at the trailhead. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow. If you get a late start packing in or packing out there is great spots to camp at around mile 5 as mentioned before with fire pits. There was about 2” of snow on the ground when I went. Lakes are beautiful and I wouldn’t say the hike itself is more than a moderate climb with a pack on. Lots of good camping spots once you reached the lakes with great views!

hiking
8 months ago

Completed this hike 9/17/19. A group of folks with the California Conservation Corps were doing trail maintenance at the time, and one of them told me they were clearing up obstacles on the Old Caribou Trail before they finished up as well. You can obtain a Wilderness Permit at the trailhead. I had meant to start my hike on the weekend but moved my start date since I thought I had to wait for the forest service office to open up on Monday to get a permit. Oh well, live and learn I guess, but in case you were worried about such a thing (as I was) you can now rest easy.

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic hike, well worth the struggle. Beautiful views, unlike anything I have ever seen. It is definitely difficult, but so worth it in the end.

hiking
9 months ago

Trip report 8/30 to 8/31/19 FYI there is a trail crew staying up on the eastern edge of the upper caribou lake for the next 2 weeks and horses/donkeys are being used to resupply them. This is a beautiful hike that is worth the payout but it’s definitely hard. Basically all uphill on the way there and lots of the trail is loose dirt/dust so be prepared. Best place to stop for lunch on the way up is once yon cross the river before the final major uphill. There’s some great rocks to sit on and even a campsite. About 5 miles in. Bugs were minimal. When you get to the upper lake I would go left towards the granite face. That’s where the best campsites are.

hiking
9 months ago

difficult but way worth it!

hiking
9 months ago

Little Caribou Amazing Old trail on the way to the meadow, stayed on the old trail until we were at the same altitude as the lake, transversed laterally on the granite to the lake. On the way back we went down the granite to meet the new trail.

Ward Lake Trail Hard Beautiful Hike,Gorgeous Meadow, awesome lake to swim

Yellow Rose Mine Step

running
10 months ago

Awesome experience filled with mountain views and meadows. Difficult but well worth it

hiking
snow
10 months ago

Completed this hike just prior to the 4th of July weekend. The trail was not busy, and we saw just a few other groups at the Caribou lakes. We were in decent shape and broguht ~35lb packs. There are two routes to the lake, the new and old caribou trails. The new caribou trail is much much easier. We took the new trail up and the old trail back down. Taking the new trail up was easy for us, as it is a long gradual accent with only a few switchback sections. Very beautiful sweeping views of the west Trinity alps from along the trail. Caribou lake was iced over and surrounded by snow, but there were a few bare areas and we found a great campsite. The lower lakes were not frozen. We scrambled up sawtooth ridge, though it was difficult because the ridge was mostly covered by snow. The view at the top was incredible and I would highly recommend the scramble. For the return we took the old caribou trail and it was brutal. Nonstop switchbacks brought us up to the top of a ridge with amazing views of the caribou lakes, and an outstanding view of Mt Shasta. Coming down from the ridge there was a lot of snow making it difficult to follow the trail, but we were successful. Overall it was a very fun hike and I would highly recommend it. For beginner hikers I would not attempt the old caribou trail in or out. For more in-shape hikers taking the new trail up and old trail back is a fun challenge with new views. I would not recommend taking the old caribou trail up unless you are in very good shape and looking for a challenge.

hiking
10 months ago

You’ll only be able to do this hike if you aren’t self-conscious.

backpacking
over grown
rocky
10 months ago

Did this hike with a 45 pound pack while not in my best shape, actually terrible shape, and it was probably the hardest thing physically I have ever done to make it to the lakes. We should have camped at Browns Meadow but didn’t spend enough time there to find a decent camping spot. On the way back however we found an incredible spot in the middle of the meadow; will definitely spend the first night there next time. Doing the entirety of this trail with a pack of any substantial weight is not for beginner backpackers whatsoever, but something that you need to make it a goal to complete at some point. The trail leads to one of the most beautiful areas in the alps. The descent back to the parking area was extremely easy with lighter packs and mostly downhill. My group did it in half the time it took to get up. Overall if you are in good shape and enjoy a nice challenge I highly recommend this hike. But camp at Browns Meadow!

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome hike no snow until you get to the actual lake. Lost GPS on the way back.

We completed this hike along with the Coffee Creek Loop 7/6 - 8/2019. Scenery, meadows, views were amazing. So far one of my favorite Trinity hikes. The Coffee Creek Loop was difficult and if I was to do it again - I would just stick to the Long Gulch Loop and forget about the Coffee Creek loop.

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

Completed this hike with my family yesterday. It was a nice short hike. Pretty steep getting there but the lake was gorgeous and had clear water. Still a little snow around the edge of the lake but wasn’t a issue. Bugs were terrible but enjoyed that we were the only ones there besides a small family on the other side of the lake.

backpacking
11 months ago

The 500’ vertical climb felt like it was more elevation than it was; the 1.7 mi length felt shorter...heard intense buzzing at dusk and dawn from mosquitoes but no bites (all male? A different species? Dunno). Campgrounds are super well-established, you won’t feel like you’re forging new territory, but we were alone setting up tents over Fourth of July weekend - I’ll take it! Lake was perfect temperature for a hot day. There’s a good water source on the SW side (walk around the NW, 100 yards past all the camping spots). We spent 2 nights and inbetween hiked the PCT to the south up to the first main saddle - 500’+ ft down from hidden lake and then 1000’ up. Great hike! Views were good at the top (not epic, but worthwhile). Streams along the way to keep the dog cool and refill water.

backpacking
11 months ago

My favorite backpacking trail. We went 4th of July weekend and saw a lot of people, but it was worth it. Most (all?) of the people were camped at Caribou Lakes, as were we, but there are enough spots to accommodate everyone. It's a tough 8 miles to Snowslide/Lower Caribou lakes. The first few are all switchbacks with no view. Then you'll have a few very exposed miles along north-facing slopes through a burnt-out area. Finally you'll turn the corner around Caribou Mtn and get treated to a view down the river valley into the lakes you'll be staying at. Definitely take the time to hike up to Sawtooth ridge to get a view of Stuart Form and Emerald/Sapphire Lakes.

We started up Trail Gulch which had little meadows with flowers and was pretty easy up to Trail Gulch Lake, which still has snow on its banks. From there we headed up to the ridge that gives stunning views above the lake looking north and beautiful views into the Trinity drainage looking south. On you go on the Trinity side through old growth Doug Firs and views of Lassen Peak off in the distance to the SE till you cross back over the ridge into Long Gulch drainage which is steep and we encountered quite a bit of snow, but nothing to make us turn back. This part of the trail has not been open enough to be cleared, but from the lake to the trailhead, is quite clear and maintained.

hiking
11 months ago

After aborting our hike to South Forks Lakes Trail due to heavy snow on the ground, we decided to take the trail to Hidden Lake. We were the only hikers on the trail! This is a charming lake with persistent snow on the banks beneath the cliff. Nice picnic area.

backpacking
11 months ago

Such a hidden gem. Highly recommend for those up to the challenge. Traffic was surprisingly moderate but there was enough space to feel private. Lake Caribou was frozen over but the two smaller lakes were not.

hiking
blowdown
no shade
over grown
11 months ago

Much better access is available by Forest Service road (41N33) across the canyon from Snowslide Gulch. Trail crosses Little North Fork Salmon River and goes up the opposite (west) side of Snowslide Gulch. Trail gets a lot more wildlife travel than human and can be hard to follow. Will try to get a track next time.

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