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.

It was a really nice hike all the way to the lake and a nice Camp spot but the lake itself is nothing you'd want to swim in it's pretty much a puddle

backpacking
5 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

There are some great sites along granite lake! Went in September though and the lake was very cold for swimming. We also left our stuff at our camp at granite lake and hiked the four lakes loop, which even as just a day hike with a lighter pack was pretty exhausting, but well worth it. You’ve gotta hike up the bowl of granite lake too, there’s some killer views up there and it doesn’t take long at all. We also saw very few other people along the route. Literally no one the first day. Definitely seems like a good way to go if you’re looking for less crowds as opposed to some of the other trails in the alps.

Backpacked to Boulder lake then to lost lake/ Found lake, scrambled across the mountain and both my partner and I weren’t expecting what all our hard work brought us too, not sure if around this time of year July 6 2018 was a bad time of year to hike to lost and found lake but we were kind of disappointed, the lake was stagnant and dead bugs all around.. wasn’t worth all the hard work we put into getting there.. our opinions, beautiful views though.. our opinion stay at Boulder lake.

backpacking
11 days ago

I would have to say it is one of the nicest lake I have been to the first four miles were easy the last three were the hardest I have seen in a long time there are only two camp sites at the lake but don’t worry there will most likely not be anyone there they unlike me got the memo to go elsewhere

backpacking
15 days ago

As expected, it was strenuous but worth it. We didn’t set off until about 10, so it was pretty hot by the time we got to the unexposed scramble and switchbacks, but we made it to the lake in less than 5 hours at a moderate pace with stops for lunch and to fill up our water and an accidental detour where the trail diverges to the Boulder Creek drainage on the other side of the ridge. The trailhead parking lot was pretty full, as usual on a nice weekend during the summer, and we saw a handful of people on the Stuart Fork trail, but once we veered off to Alpine, we only saw two other people, and they never made it up to the lake, so we had our own private lake on a Saturday night which is pretty unheard of, even for the Trinities. Because there aren’t any big waterfalls flowing in nor a major outlet flowing out, the lake was surprisingly warm, though the sitting water results in the expected layer of algae on the bottom and swarm of insects of all types. By our count, the trail was a little over 17 miles which seemed about right considering the trail map doesn’t include any of the switchbacks, just a straight line up, and the recording has a lot of backtracking. Overall, I’d say it’s not the most gorgeous lake in the area, but offered the most solitude I’ve had yet, so it still gets a 5 in my book.

Went backpacking here, & thoroughly enjoyed it! Short hike, uphill for most of the way there, then a descent into the basin. Camped at Boulder Lake. Very serene. Climbed Tapie peak. Lovely views!

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.

on Boulder Lakes

hiking
23 days ago

Here are the facts to find the trailhead: Sign is easy to find on Hwy 3 (just south of Coffee Creek) takes you to gravel road (#???) that is easy to follow until you get to a sharp right...sign says 35N53 (topomap said 35N55?). Then follow along and stay to the left when you get to an intersection (other options to the right have crappy signs so you can't read them). Then it's fairly easy to follow...about 10 miles from Hwy 3 to the trailhead.

My wife and I did this hike on 6/11. We are both 57 and found the hike fairly easy. Not the death march that some describe below. 2.5 hours up, about 2 hours back down. Mosquitos not a problem.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail with nice variety of ecosystems. The trail isn't that steep in most segments but the ascent is fairly constant the entire 4.5 miles to Big Bear Lake, though significant segments are only slightly inclined. Nonetheless, the overall experience is strenuous and requires moderate fitness.

The trail from parking lot to lake and back is actually 9.0 (rather than 7.8) miles round-trip. Apparently the parking area was moved some years ago and the AllTrails route is outdated. You get to the trailhead by crossing the creek right by the parking area and then climbing the wide "road" for about 100 yards, then the (signed) trailhead will be on the right.

Mosquitoes were moderate at the top but their prevalence prevented any prolonged stops on the hike up. Bring bug spray. Wasn't hot that day but I still drank lots of water - bring plenty or a good filter.

The Big Bear Lake area itself is fairly rocky and scrubby and does not have many camping locations. On the other hand even in early June I did the entire hike without seeing anyone else. Took me about 2.5 hours up and 2.1 hours down.

Big Bear Lake connects to Little Bear Lake, but I did not hike it given the time of day.

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
7 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
8 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
9 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 (mostly) straight up and it gets steeper in the last half 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
11 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
Saturday, July 08, 2017

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
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

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
Monday, June 26, 2017

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
Friday, June 23, 2017

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.

hiking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

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.

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