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

Easy hike with views to the northwest, southwest, south and east and the treat of a lake at the end. A regular for the Siskiyou Wanderers, often in winter or spring.

4..0hours to the lake via a a unrelentingly steep trail.

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked this trail as a day hike with my dog and a friend in November 2017. I had seen the previous recording of 14-15 miles and thought that I could do that in a day hike at a quick pace. The trail ended up being 20+ miles to Alpine lake from Stuart Fork TH. We got held up for 30+ minutes trying to find a dry place to cross Stuart Fork about 7 miles into the hike. There was no definite dry crossing established, so we took off our shoes and waded through midcalf deep frigid water. The climb from the creek to alpine lake is steep , a good work out , though hard to do at a fast pace when sunset is nearing. We misjudged the elevation and got stuck in some snow for the last mile. Snow shoes would have allowed us to get to the lake, but we ran out of daylight. There was a beautiful waterfall that we accepted as worthy of our climb and started down to cross the creek before it got dark. Headlamps saved the day for the trek back to trailhead. I'll definitely retry this hike as part of a 3 day backpacking trip including Emerald and sapphire lakes when the snow clears and will re-review at that time. Overall, pretty hike, challenging ascent.

backpacking
6 months ago

This was an awesome 4 day adventure for me and my Buddy.
But, I want to start with a slight disagreement with the All Trails route selection of proceeding directly up (or down) the stream during the "off trail" section to/from Lake Anna. As confirmed by the Rangers I spoke to, and in the book "Trinity Alps & Vicinity," by Mike White, a "better off trail route" for arriving to, or in our case departing from, Lake Anna is to either (if coming in from the North), proceed further along the "official" trail toward Deer Creek Pass, then contour over back to Lake Anna, or if coming from the South, to angle up to the Ridgecrest from the "end" of the "official" Bowerman Meadow Trail, then traverse over to Lake Anna. (I've attached a very, very rough photo - our approx. route is in purple and the ranger's description in green.
Another difference in recommended route selection, would be to avoid the multiple creek crossings in Bowerman Meadow, shown on the Alltrails map, and stick to the meadow trail itself.
Other than those differences, I completely agree with the previous reviews that this is an Epic Backpacking Adventure. We spent 4 days enjoying this Area and will be back. See pics for details.

Very nice trail, especially as access trail to Four Lakes area, which is what we used it for. Difficult to do as a day hike because of massive elevation gain. First 5 miles or so is a monotonous climb of 2,700 ft, which isn't too difficult, relatively speaking, thanks to even grade and smooth forest cover. The views of the lake and the mountains are breathtaking. The last 2.5 miles or so change elevation and scenery rapidly. Some ascents and descents are quite hard on tired legs because of granite stairs or rock. This section is totally gorgeous though. All in all, you should be in excellent shape to enjoy it, and - as I already said - best to use it as a part of a multi-day hike around Red Alps.

Navigation to the trail - beware: if you hit "direction" on this AllTrails trail descriptions to navigate to the trailhead, it will take you to the wrong place! We lost over 2 hours trying to find the trailhead, which is accessible from a different road altogether.

backpacking
7 months ago

The directions provided by Google Maps are unclear if you want to get to the trail head and not park where you must wade across the Trinity River: From route 3, turn onto Bear Creek Loop and that will get you to the trail head.
The hike is not especially long but it is straight up and it gets steeper in the last mile or so. I did not encounter any accessible (late September) water sources until I was well past the halfway point so bring water (1.5 liters was more than sufficient for me). If the campsites at the north side of the lake are taken, there are several campsites further up and along the south side of the lake but that does take work to get to. Once the sun went down, it was chilly and there was frost everywhere late at night and the early morning.
The hike up is worth it because the lake and the surrounding area is beautiful.

We enjoyed this hike very much, as it had been years since we had been out with packs. It was just right to get us warmed up to hiking again. Found some beautiful spots along Union Creek. Beautiful meadows and wild flowers. And we had union lake all to ourselves!! Well almost. Sock eating chipmunks were abundant. Lol. And many many Deer. So peaceful!! July 27th 2017

hiking
9 months ago

Breathtaking... both physically and emotionally! This is the perfect challenging day hike, you'll work your tushie off on the way up but the reward is so, so sweet . Absolutely beautiful scenery and Big Bear Lake is the perfect temp for a dip to cool off at the end. Definitely recommend morning this time of year, I started at noon and it was pretty darn warm. There are several creeks on the way up if you have a doggo who wants to cool off, but I'd suggest still bringing water for Fido just in case cause he'll be working hard, too! Love this hike, I'll be back!

backpacking
10 months ago

Attempted in Feb. Made it to the canyon before Big Bear Lake before the sun went down and the temperature dropped. Snow has 10-15ft deep where we stopped. Snow was hard with 6" of powder. Did not need snowshoes. Also we had to park 2 miles down the road as the road was closed by the highway turnoff.

backpacking
10 months ago

Absolutely spectacular hike up Long Canyon, it really is such a special place and quite a rewarding view for a relatively short hike in. This being said, we never actually made it to Lake Anna due to extra snow pack this year and I wanted to leave a review here for others who may attempt it. The final scramble up to the lake is definitely no joke and should be done with caution. We tried to scramble around a make-shift way but it proved to be too steep. My advice would be to wait until later in the season to attempt this. We probably could have hiked up it on the snow but there is a stream under the snow (the part you typically scramble up the side of) and the snow was very unstable and cracking and wasn't worth the risk of falling down the waterfall below. We ended up camping out on a peak just below the lake overlooking the canyon, the stars at night were breathtaking. Even if we didn't make it all the way, it was still a great hike and we will definitely re-attempt later in the season! As always, keep it wild and leave it better than you found it. the Trinity Alps are one of very few places in California that are still seemingly untouched and unadulterated by humans who over-use the land and don't respect it's delicate balance, I hope everyone has the chance to experience this magical place.

hiking
10 months ago

Big Bear Lake trail was absolutely beautiful. If you are an avid hiker I would consider this trail easy-moderate. If you don't hike frequently, you could consider it more on the hard-challenging side. You will end up climbing a near 3000 ft during this 10 mile hike.

Surprisingly, we saw a gigantic rattle snake at the top of the trail about .5 mi from the lake, so be aware they are still out even at this elevation with snow on the ground. (June 25th)

The views were breathe taking. A jump in the crystal clear lake was very refreshing when we reached the destination. If hiking earlier in the morning (recommended) be prepared to eat some bugs. :p. They don't bite, but they can definitely be an annoyance for the early portion of the trail.

I would most definitely do this trail again, and probably again. The tranquil lake and all it's peaceful surrounding views make for a beautiful hike.

hiking
10 months ago

dont go on this hike! there are wayyyy better hikes all throughout the trinity alps. Huge elevation gain in short period of time. Not well-marked toward the top and not much great scenery.

Follow a bumpy gravel road 6 miles to the trail head but totally approachable in a car. Did it on 5/27 which would be just barley outside the recommended season after a snowy season. We made it about 9 or 10 miles in going counter clockwise close to the north side of seven up peak with mountains surrounding giant meadows. This early we encountered several (4-5) river /creek crossings ranging from a 1.5 to 3 feet. after 6 miles, snow drifts covered more and more of the landscape interrupted by big lush green meadows, making the trail difficult to impossible to trace but we followed the Bear creek occasionally finding stone made pathways and lightly visible trails. We are for sure going to try this again when more snow has melted. It is totally worth it even early in the season if you like an adventure but would totally recommend past June depending on the season.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Great hike! Beautiful lake and surrounding granite peaks. Went in June, camped one night and was the only person there. Didn't make it to little or wee bear lakes, had to save for next time.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We have done this loop counterclockwise, and didn't regret it one bit as it has allowed us to completely avoid the crowds even though it was a long weekend.

A word of caution: even though this trail description says the loop is 14.2 miles, in reality it's closer to 17-18.

On the first day we walked 7.5 miles to Bear Basin and camped on an established camping site. The closest human soul was an entire 1 mile away, and we got an amazing experience of being alone in the wilderness.

On the second day it took us another 5 miles to reach the Seven Up Pass. The Seven Up Pass was the most beautiful part of the hike. Wherever you are hiking from, make sure you traverse it! We were originally thinking to connect to the Four Lakes Loop from there, however, that trail involved going down into the Black Deer Valley and coming up on the other side just as much as we have just done out of the Bear Valley, and we didn't feel up to it.

So we had an amazing lunch in an incredible tucked in spot at Seven up Pass and headed down to the Granite Lake. Granite Lake was a zoo - we counted 10 tents visible just from the trail! It really felt like there needed to be an established bathroom there at this point, it was so overcrowded. So we headed down to the car. The second day for us was 11 miles, which is a bit of a stretch with backpacks.

More photos and description can be found here:
https://csgirllife.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/granite-lake-and-seven-up-pass-trinity-alps-backpacking/

It was pretty steep and fun

camping
Monday, September 21, 2015

This hike was wonderful once we reached the gorgeous lake. the hike, while pretty, was honestly one of the hardest hikes I've done. And I'm an in shape 26 year old. With about 36 pounds on my back. Was definitely not easy I would not recommend this if you are out of shape or taking the kids. Lol or a smoker. It is straight up the almost entire time. It plateaus for about a quarter mile then your bushwacking and Creek climbing for another good 800 to 1000 feet. The next day My brother and I also chose to climb the pyramid like granite peak on the west of the lake. It separates little and big bear and was a challenging boulder mt climb but we'll worth the great view. We then side hilled over to the other two lakes and went down to them. We then hiked back to camp at big bear. Then hiked out, so that was a strenuous day. Again this hike is gorgeous and was worth it but it is by no means easy. Canyon Creek was cake compared to this one.

hiking
Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is a pretty easy hike by Trinity standards. Moderate for first mile, then about 2 miles in goes down to a bridge crossing of Union Creek, then almost level. The lake's about 5 or 6 miles in, traveling near the creek & past a few nice meadows. We had a couple boulder-hop type crossings in June of a dry year, so I imagine in spring/early summer of a normal year they could be tougher.

hiking
Saturday, September 12, 2015

By Trinity standards, this is an easy hike. It starts out moderately for about a mile, then levels out & goes down to a bridge crossing about 2 miles in. There were a few creek crossings that could be difficult in the spring, but they were just boulder-hops in June of a dry year.There are a few nice meadows before you get to Union Lake.

hiking
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Moderate hike to the lake, 5 miles in & passing some cool waterfalls along the way & good views of what's ahead when you emerge out of the forest & into a meadow. Then it gets steep to the gap, where you can see down into the Deer Creek basin, Round Lake, & across to Siligo Peak; & Luella Lake, tucked into a shelf. If you have time, you can just traverse the trail over to Bear Basin & go out that way, re-connecting with the Swift Creek Trail, for a total of 17 or 18 miles.

hiking
Saturday, June 20, 2015

We took this hike late in the fall & were pleasantly distracted from some of the scenery because of the abundance & variety of mushrooms! The hike was moderately difficult, first through forest, then manzanita, before opening up to granite slopes before reaching the lake. The day we went, there were icy streams flowing. Next time, I want to go find Little & Wee Bear Lakes, too!

hiking
Friday, May 22, 2015

My favorite! Definitely not for beginners, tho. Trail up Bowerman Meadows sometimes fades, but once you're there, enjoy the serenity before the climb up to Anna &/or Billy-be-Damned Lakes. Can be done as a somewhat brutal day-hike, but if you can, spend a night or 3! Beautiful lakes surrounded by odd-shaped metamorphic rock & an awesome meadow in between the lakes. Going back down via a scramble to long Canyon you'll get jaw-dropping views & pocket meadows under the rocks. Can be done in reverse or add options such as over ridge to beautiful Echo lake (Beware of steep scree-slope!) & around to Bee Tree gap thru Siligo Meadows.

hiking
Friday, May 22, 2015

nice, fairly easy hike. The upper (Little Boulder lake) was warm for swimming late in the season & we saw decent size trout. The lower lake is bigger & it looked like there were a lot of camp-sites (& campers). Trail continues further beyond in 2 directions if you're seeking more solitude.

hiking
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Did as a day hike. I would rate as moderate due to distance and elevation gain. Big Bear Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes I have ever been to. the water is crystal clear and there are an abundance of trout in the lake. The hike up is borderline amazing, traveling through old growth groves and across granite. If you can do this hike on a weekday, you may be the only person there. love it

camping
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beautiful lakes. Easy trail. I took my 9 year old and she had a nice time in nature. Mosquitos were a problem since there are no campfires allowed at the time of year we went. There was a group of kids on the other side of the lake, so there was a lot of activity. Well worth the crazy drive in, but the GPS map on my car plus the map in my hand got us there just fine. Would go again! Mid-July, 2014. Mosquitos seemed to be less of a problem at little boulder lake.

hiking
Sunday, September 15, 2013

Did big bear with a 2 night, 4-person backpacking trip. With a heavy pack it is quick a trek up and down the trail with the 3k elevation gain. Took our group 6 hours up over mid-day and three hours down over early morning. The lake is in a beautiful bowl with small adolescent salmon jumping out of the water at night and a pair of owls. Saw some bear sign on the way up but no live bears. There are a couple of good campsites right off the trail and possibly one on the other side of the lake (takes a little bit to get there). All sites filled up by Saturday night in early September so it looks well used. Once your there the hike to wee bear can be fun, technical and difficult. Took 4-hours round trip for one pair in our party. Overall the lake is great but it takes a while to get to. Plan ahead and leave early.

hiking
Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nice trail to a pair of beautiful yet very different alpine lakes. Easy trail. Access to trailhead is a bit challenging.

nature trips
8 days ago

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