hiking
5 days ago

The drive to the trailhead is bumpy. Make sure you have a good pickup truck. 11 mile drive to the trailhead. Great trail. Uphill most of the way there, which can be a little difficult for some people. Just make sure you take a breather on the way up and you’ll be fine. Downhill hike right before you get to the lake. Easy and enjoyable hike on the way back to the trailhead. The lake and the reflections are absolutely beautiful. It’s a bit wet in places, so make sure you watch your step. We saw what we thought was a bald eagle grabbing fish out of the lake. It could have been an osprey. Not 100% sure. But it was awesome watching it dive into the water to catch fish. Bring lunch. If you have time and aren’t afraid of getting your feet a little wet, check out the carnivorous pitcher plants in the marshy area to the right of the boulder area. So awesome!!

hiking
11 days ago

Boulder lake was beautiful and the trail was short and easy. If you want to make your hike longer there are signs to continue on to some of the smaller lakes that are past boulder lake such as lily pad lake. Right before getting to the parking lot there are very epic views of mount shasta! Getting to the trailhead is the most challenging part. DO NOT follow the google maps gps directions given on alltrails. We took that way and we made it to the trailhead; however, there were huge bumps and ditches in the road. Would not be able to make it in a small sedan. We also thought we were going the wrong way and almost turned back a few times. I highly recommend following the written directions on AllTrails instead to get there. Off Highway 3 you will see a sign for boulder lake trailhead and take this way instead. This dirt road is much easier and faster to drive on.

hiking
11 days ago

Attempted this as a day trip after camping at the campground near the trailhead. Very busy backpacking area and trailhead. River crossing impassible near end of May. We went up and down searching and attempted to cross twice but turned back due to speed and depth (waist deep). Hiked up to the meadow instead (18 miles round trip). Beautiful hike, old growth pine and river crossing with a few bridges and waterfalls, however unless you’re backpacking and going further in to other lakes, I wouldn’t suggest as a day trip until the river is crossable.

on Boulder Lakes

hiking
snow
28 days ago

Trail is well maintained but patchy snow present, a lot more snow on little boulder trail, we hiked until we could view little boulder then turned around. Big boulder has plenty of flat campsites under large pines, green grass/marsh on one aide, clear water, jumping fish, and partially snow covered granite in background. Will return when the snow melts.

hiking
snow
29 days ago

Easy to find road to trail head from Hwy 3. Drive up is about 11 miles. Parking at trail head is ample. Went up Friday and camped at a lookout about 1.5 miles before trail. Saw a large bear on the road on the way up. Snow on the road to trail from this spot on, sometimes as deep as 18 inches or a little more. Need 4x4 and good tread on tires. Sat hiked up to Boulder Lake. Some snow to hike through but not dangerous. Warm days but temp was wonderful. Walked/hiked around the lake. There isn't a trail really but it's a fun little adventure. Lots of nice spots to camp. Lots of day hikers but no one else overnight. No bugs/mosquito problems except a few on Sat eve while pumping water by the outlet. Windy but not uncomfortably windy. Calm periods. Osprey hunting fish through dusk. No cell reception on Hwy 3 on. Was able to shoot off a text randomly at the lookout spot but didn't receive the ones that were sent back. I'd also done a day hike to Little Boulder in July of 2019. Obviously it was much hotter but still a lot of the trail was shaded as was the campsite at the lake.

We only made it half way but that’s cuz a rain storm rolled in and flooded the trail and we were doing it just as a day trip would recommend staying the night if you do, do this trail. It was so beautiful worth it!!

My girlfriend and I decided to go for an early year hike up to Big Bear on April 24, 2020. Consistent up hill the entire way there and we ran into some pretty heavy snow about 1-1.5 miles from the lake. Last mile of hiking was in fairly deep snow and pretty slow going. Arrived to a beautifully ice/snow covered lake which was quite the sight to see. It was pretty cold at night (sleeping in a tent) but we had good sleeping bags and layered up so it wasn’t much of a problem. No bugs this time of year. No way to get over to Little Bear lake at this time of year unless you have a some crazy in you. (SNOW) Don’t follow the directions on the “directions” button on the AllTrails application. It will bring you to the incorrect side of Bear Creek Loop (which is a road) and you’ll arrive at a nicely washed out road and dead end into the river. Take Highway 3 up until you see the other end of Bear Creek Loop and take a left into what appears to be some type of camping resort area with cabins or whatever they are. Pass that and follow the road down all the way to the parking lot area. Do not drive a normal sedan, the road is not good and whoever’s car it is will be pissed because it will get messed up. Drive an SUV, truck, or something like that. Enjoy!

Lots of creek crossings and passed a small lake.

hiking
7 months ago

We were unable to complete the hike. It rained all night the previous night and made the water crossing too difficult. The water was too high and moving too rapidly for us to get safely across. We reached the water crossing in about 2 hours from the parking lot, and then spent time exploring off trail. Easy gradual hike up to the fork crossing with lots of water streams

Day hiked 10-5-19. The branch point for Smith/Morris is marked by an inconspicuous cairn that is along the right side of the trail as it approaches Alpine Lake. Hit this turnoff while you’re still headed north. If you begin to turn West toward Alpine Lake or have crossed a creek, you may need to back track to find the turnoff. The hike from Alpine cutoff to Smith is mostly following cairns that are for the first 1/4 of the ascent located amongst manzanitas and brush. There is an occasional piece of pink tape wrapped around a branch to help guide. After cresting the ridge, the final potion of the hike drops down and to the left (west) towards Smith lake. We drifted too far to the left and ended up down-climbing a very steep face to drop down to the lake. Best to try to hit the lake at it’s southeast border, rather than father to the west. One of the more challenging day hikes I’ve done in Trinity. Pedometer clocked us at 20+ miles, though we did a fair amount of backtracking and zig zagging during the final mile.

Amazing lake, trail and experience. Only to be surpassed by its cousin lake, Little Bear Lake, the conditions could not have been better and one of the most serene lakes in the Trinity Alps. Being in decent shape I would not categorize the hike in as difficult, as the ascent is pretty steady and consistent across all 4+ miles and is aided by the generous tree coverage over 90% of the trail. No experience with bugs at all and temperatures could not be more ideal. Having ample water is suggested as after crossing the footbridge, there is no real access to water until the last 3/4 mile to the lake itself.

This is our second time up here and I’d do it again! Lots of bugs for first hour of hike due to being in shade near the creek. However, bugs were not an issue after crossing the bridge. A solid climb the whole way but so worth the effort! Once you get close to the lake, you get an amazing panoramic view out towards Mount Shasta and are surrounded by white granite. Stunning and breathtaking. We had lake to ourselves on Labor Day. When we were headed up to the lake, about seven different parties passed on their way down. Very peaceful and beautiful lake. Awesome spot right when you get to the lake with a fairly flat granite slab to sunbathe and relax on. Just perfect!

hiking
8 months ago

This is an easy trial for all ages. The only people that may have a hard time is those who are out of shape and or not use to hiking in higher altitudes. Overall this was a fun hike. The two boulder lakes are great spots for a picnic.

Trail is a relatively easy, wide old wagon road for the first ~4 miles. After that it narrows and makes a gentle climb up to the lake. The lake it’s self is shallow and not a great option for swimming. But the surrounding meadows and ridges that are a backdrop to the area are superb. Many day hike options from Union lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Direction as listed in description was very helpful, google maps isn’t correct. Hike itself was fantastic, not too long, with great payoff at lake. We had a nice swim and picnic by the water. Saw a few people on way out, otherwise empty. Trailhead sign is gone, but you see where it used to be to identify starting point

hiking
muddy
off trail
scramble
9 months ago

The hike was beautiful and the views breathtaking. However the lake and the end was disappointing not to mention very difficult to find. We took first time hikers and a special needs child so we had a few challenges. The lake is shallow and muddy and had recently had cattle grazing.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome if u have kids bc it’s easy and gorgeous. Little Boulder has 5 sites but if they are taken, you can always head back down to Big Boulder Lake bc the hike in isn’t exhausting. Little is better than Big. Less bugs, cleaner lake, and awesome granite hillside. Please pack out your poopy paper, people! Also, turn off 3 at the sign. DONT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN HERE FROM GOOGLE MAPS. LAME THAT THEIR ICON LEADS YOU TO INCORRECT DIRECTIONS.

River Loup Easy pleasant hike

hiking
10 months ago

Short, easy to moderate trail leading to access to two, shallow alpine lakes. A lot of day hikers, but pleasant enough to camp a night or two with plenty of well established tent sites. Little Boulder lake was the least buggy of the group of lakes in early August. There were no less than 8 downed trees that obstructed the path. With a little extra off trail effort, access to Tapie, Found and Lost (not identified on most maps) lakes are within an hour's worth of scrambling.

hiking
10 months ago

Seriously this trail is hard as hell.

hiking
bugs
over grown
10 months ago

Easy my ass.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail! Mainly uphill to Alpine Lake. Crossed the river from the first campsite in oak flat. Beautiful river crossing. Bring a rope and carabeaner if more people are crossing the river. Set the line for the group and y'all should be ensured fine. Go left after the river crossing. Stick to the trail, you're on it. The scramble is easy, not a climb. The scramble is walking through the waterfall run off granite trail. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Keep the trail beautiful. Love this place. Dress for inclement weather. Bring extra food. Bring band aids for blisters, I hike in chacos.

hiking
10 months ago

July 2, 2019 Could not cross the creek after the fork due to high, rushing water level. After spending 30 minutes or so hiking up and down the creek we failed to find a passable crossing. So we turned around, went back to the fork and marched on to Morris Meadows, which was magnificent. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to stay and enjoy it for very long as we needed to hike back out before dark. I think we hiked 20 miles round trip, very tired legs at the end.

We completed this hike along with Trail Gulch and Long Gulch Lake loop on 7/6 - 8/2019. We Parked at the trailhead for Trail Gulch and we hiked the loops CCW. First night at Trail Gulch Lake, second night at Long Gulch Lake. There are no switchbacks on the Coffee Creek trail so it was pretty difficult on the ascents/descents. One major issue was that All Trails has the trail wrong at the NE leg. I have included a pic. of a trail map from an old Trinity Hiking guide 1983 that has the correct path that leads to the junction of Long Gulch Lake at the NE corner of Coffee Creek loop. The All Trails map has you cut back NW at a near 90 degrees towards the marsh but if you cross over the stream and follow the ducks NE in a straight line you will meet up at the saddle where the two loops meet - where the the All Trails map shows that little spur jutting down. Spent 30 minutes trying to figure this out so I wanted to save others the same frustration. Probably would not recommend this hike for the most part. I'd just stick with the Long Gulch/Trail Gulch Loop and not bother with the Coffee Creek loop at all

4th of July weekend and still some snow. A few challenging spots with overgrowth and downed trees. Two rattlesnakes on way back late afternoon.

Absolutely magical day, although snow turned us around before the first peak. I do a lot of "trail shopping" on AllTrails which means that I often don't know what I'm walking into. I very rarely find a trail that is as beautiful, well maintained, easy to follow, and with such a diversity of scenery as this. It was just the right amount of challenging without actually feeling dangerous (except when I tried to scramble off-trail over the rocks on the back side of Stonewall Pass to try to get around the snow). Scenery is absolutely jaw-dropping; a must-see. In late June 2019 there was still too much snow on the back of Stonewall Pass for me to get through without snow gear and navigation equipment, but I will definitely come back later in the season when it's had more time to melt. My dog loved it too, but he loves any hike where he can be off leash! Note: As other commenters have mentioned, Google Maps takes you to the wrong place. (from the south) Do NOT pull off on Trinity Alps road after the bridge. Continue on Rte 3N and look for signs to the trailhead. Turn-off is about a mile after the bridge, and the trailhead is about 6 miles up the dirt road.

We did this hike June 26-30, 2019. Many trails and trail junctions are horribly marked, so a GPS was extremely handy to have. We lost the trail extremely frequently in certain parts, mostly on the return trip on the east side (we did the loop clockwise). Long Gulch Lake and Trail gulch lake are mislabeled on many maps. Long Gulch Lake is the western lake of the two.

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