Explore the most popular hiking trails near Junction City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great night or two backpacking destination. Warning, water is cold until late summer though!

I did this trail with my best friend when she graduated from Humboldt. It was the best backpacking trip ever! Beautiful and lots of camping places to choose from. We spent a few nights at the top just enjoying the wilderness. It requires a pass at the ranger station with a brief review of where you’ll be along the trail and how many nights you’re camping there.

Pretty crazy drive up a steep mountain, and even crazier coming down. Make sure to keep your car in low gear or your brakes will start to burn.

Also, the AllTrails app isn't super accurate to get to the trailhead here. Google maps doesn't realize the road runs all the way up (it's a pretty bumpy old logging road) so it's hard to navigate it with your phone. Best advice would be to drive into Weaverville and follow the signs for the trailhead from there. Just take Weaver Bally Road all the way up to the top.

As for the actual hike, it was pretty nice, but the descent from the ridge to the lake takes longer than it should. Super rocky and some switchbacks. Lake is tiny and not deep, freezes over in winter so the fish can't survive. We fished it for a couple hours and didn't get anything.

This is an AMAZING hike. We luckily hiked it a few weeks ago before the fire started and did it as a day hike. The ascent is an ass kicker, especially the last mile. It’s worth overnighting simply to allow more time at all the awesome features. There are multiple waterfalls and swimming holes not to mention the lake at the top! In my opinion you get National Park like views with way less people. Enjoy this one! Follow all my adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

hiking
1 month ago

I’m not an avid hiker, did this as a day hike and I was fairly sore by the end of the day. I think I walked for about 9 hours in total. Would have definitely been nice to camp overnight. Don’t miss the waterfall with the swim hole marked on the trail map. It’s the first big waterfall you see. The trail map was spot on, saved my ass a couple of times at the top as it got harder to find the trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail is 10 miles in, 10 miles out and incredible along every step of the way. Look to the stacked rocks of three once you advance up the trail about 8 miles and start to reach the lakes for help keeping on the trail.

My first backpacking trip for my 31st birthday! It was still early June and was freezing cold at night, it actually rained and snowed the first two nights. We stayed under the tree cover during the storm and finally made it to the lakes the 3rd day when the weather improved slightly. Of course it was super nice on the way back and we jumped in the river several times!

Did this as a day hike Memorial Day weekend 2018. More than doable in one day. Almost everyone on trail was backpacking. As expected a good amount of foot traffic on a holiday weekend but nothing compared to a national park. This hike is absolutely stunning. Everything you could ask for on a hike. Plenty of running water. Just be careful of the river/creek crossing. Will need some degree of balance to cross over a log. If you are camping over night there is tons of room at the lakes.

backpacking
2 months ago

Good beginner/intermediate backpack trip.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was an amazing backpacking trip that id recommend to anyone. Our GPS had the mileage longer than this and so did the signs at the trail head.The hike to the canyon creek lakes is more like 16 or 17 miles. It was a busy memorial day weekend but you can still find plenty of solitude. Most of the people are found at around 5.5 miles up near the middle falls. We stayed at boulder creek lakes our first night which were even more beautiful than the canyon creek lakes

backpacking
2 months ago

Excellent 3 day hike. Amazing views, crystal clear waters! Rugged in some spots for short duration and parts of the trail just before the upper lakes and around the upper lakes is difficult to make out and follow if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s unfortunate how popular this one is though. You see a lot of ill prepared people due to its popularity. Lots of folks without water filtration/purification abilities. We gave a lighter to one group that had no means to light their stoves and two burning logs from our fire to another group that didn’t know how to start a fire. To be clear, it’s not difficult but please bring appropriate gear.

hiking
2 months ago

Really great doggie-friendly backpacking trail with lots of different terrains and waterfalls

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Several waterfalls and lakes. We did Sat-Mon with 2 nights at McKay Camp. Wish we camped further up the trail but we arrived very late on Sat and decided to just say hike to the lakes and back. When I recorded the trail coming back from the lakes, it said it was closer to 8 miles rather than 7

backpacking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Went Sun-Mon of Memorial Day weekend and there were a decent amount of people, but it wasn’t super crowded. Our GPS said it was closer to 9 miles than 7 like this says, probably doesn’t account for all the switchbacks going up the mountain.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best hikes we are ever done!! Superb views and the waterfall was awesome. Must do !

Saw my first bear there!

backpacking
3 months ago

Amazing views! Wish I had been in better shape when I went. Would highly recommend.

backpacking
3 months ago

I hiked in Saturday morning to the second Canyon Creek lake. It took about 5 hours from the trailhead, with stops to snack and take photos along the way. There was plenty of water along the route. It was never too challenging or too steep. There was one other group camping at the second lake but we rarely saw each other. There were snow patches here and there and some of the trail included hiking through shallow snow. It wasn't too hot or too cold. It took 3.5 hours to hike out the next day. The trip was full of natural beauty. I definitely hope to return.

Don't try to use the alltrails app to get directions to this trail. It took me to a completely different, sketchy area behind some peoples houses. There was a trail back there but it was not maintained very well. I still got a hike in but it was a lot more strenuous than I was planning.

backpacking
7 months ago

What a great hike for exploring and getting a good sample of what the alps have to offer. The Trinity Alps are so beautiful and one of my favorite wildernesses to backpack.

I did this hike first week of December with my dog. The drive up to the trailhead was almost as beautiful as the actual hike - beautiful views of the Weaverville and surrounding mountains the whole way up to the lookout tower. If you're looking for a beautiful drive (a little under 2 hour drive from Redding - AWD or 4WD recommended but not necessary) and an easy hike to a beautiful alpine lake, then this is it. Easy as far as short in distance, there is still incline both ways to consider. I happened to get caught in a snow storm during the hike, so visibility of the lake wasn't ideal. But the granite ridges, iced over lake and surrounding evergreens along the trail covered in snow was a beautiful scene. I can't wait to go back and hike this again once the snow clears.

it was nice im from there and love the outdoors iv only been to the sinks lake here i come soon

I can't even handle how beautiful this adventure was for our family. Epic.

backpacking
11 months ago

We had a great time on this trail. We hikes about 6 miles to middle falls and set camp by the creek. It's nice and shady and plenty of water around. We hung out by the waterfalls and enjoyed the swimming holes!
Once you go pass the middle falls and climb up above the falls, you can no longer set fire - so if you are looking to have camp fire don't go beyond this point.
On Saturday we did a day hike up to the upper lakes, and boulder lake (can do both in 1 long hiking day). Swam in the lakes, and enjoyed the scenery.
So beautiful!! Will be back for other trails in this area!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Enjoy 12 mile curvy road into the Ripstein campground located at the beginning of the trail head. Recommend that you come up stay night and hit trail early to cover ground before sun gets to hot! Great trail for the adventurous soul! Continuous uphill grade for 8 miles thru pine forest and granite switch backs. Traverse the log bridge to stay on trail. Take a cold water dip in a nice deep natural blue hole with a water fall shower. At the split you can stay about quarter mile in toward bolder creek and burn fire as no fires are allowed around lakes. Camping spots thru out trail and surround both upper and lower lake. Temperature drops at night so be prepared. Fish jumping in lake all day and evening bring a pole or a float. Family and Dog friendly trail. Moon and star lit night makes for a blissful sky gazing evening. Loved it recommend it to all just bring your stamina for the uphill grades.

backpacking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Great hike/camp with the dog.
We went in mid-August and there was daily afternoon thunderstorms.

Tips:
- if you are late on reaching the trail heads, there are plenty of camping spaces along the trail appox 4 miles in. (Ripstein Campground is also good to prep - but limited scenery)
- the trail map here is a close appox of the actual trail. There are some minor switchbacks not shown.
- the final water crossing can be tricky to find (the map will lead you to the wrong place). Look for a small wooden 'trail' sign across the stream on a tree. Also look for a long log that goes across the stream.

backpacking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

This is one of the best hikes I have done till date, period! Some might argue, there are similar granite formations in Yosemite etc, but this one is with low to no crowd. I would have met 20-25 people on the whole trail between 2 days. Melted snow made lakes, surrounded by tall granite peaks with green trees everywhere make it one the best scenery. The hike provides all kinds of terrain, rock, mud, marshy land, creek crossing and what not. I can count 4 water falls disregarding any falls above the Upper Canyon creek lake, and each one is more beautiful than another. We did this hike in 2 days since this was our first backpacking. We camped next to a waterfall (~7 miles from trailhead). The view from campsite overlooking the valley was simply the best. I underestimated the beauty of this wilderness. Given chance, I would definitely want to visit this spot some time again in future for few more days and do Little lake on top of it.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This was my awesome dog's first backpacking trip and my first 'solo', and I could not have asked for a better trail. Unfortunately I got a late start, getting to the trailhead around 2:15pm. The meadow, wildflowers, creeks, and cliffs were breathtaking all the way up. We were tempted to stop early and camp by the creek about a mile before the trail junction but decided to push on, up the very steep granite to the lower lake.

With a few stops for rest and photo ops, we made it up to to the Lower Canyon Creek Lake as the sun dipped behind the mountain tops around 8pm. We had a few neighbors around the lake, but none close enough to feel crowded. We stayed up late and star-gazed, then slept in late to wake up to a blistering morning sun. After eating breakfast and spending a bit of time playing fetch in the lake, we packed up and headed back down the trail.

I wish we would have been able to stay longer, but I didn't take into account how hot the granite surrounding the lakes would be and was worried about burning my pup's poor feet. Additionally, by my second water stop on the hike it, my steripen decided to kick the bucket. Although I had Iodine tablets (which I used when I had time to wait), I ended up drinking water straight from the creeks. Call me crazy but the potential giardia was well worth the views.

I cannot wait to go back to this trail, hopefully by the end of the summer. Next time, I plan to stay in the Ripstein Campground the night before my trip so that I can get a very early morning start before going all the way up Ell Lake.

Long story short: I highly recommend this trail for the experienced and hydrated hikers. Your dog will love it and you will leave hungry for your next trip.

backpacking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

This trail is B-E-A-UTIFUL! My girlfriend and I were able to make it to the lakes in roughly 6 hours (including stopping for photos). We were only able to stay 1 night which isn't long enough considering the hike in is 8 miles BUT it was totally worth it! We're planning to come back for a 3-4 night adventure soon!

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