Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Fun day trip. The water is amazingly clear. Kids did great! Perfect family outing.

backpacking
1 month ago

I initially reviewed this trail after a misadventure day hike last winter. I returned & backpacked this trail early October 2018, and I am so glad that I gave Alpine Lake another chance. The fall colors were stunning the whole time. I love the yellow maples along Stuart fork trail. The foliage was vibrant - especially from the top (ridge just before the lake) over-looking red mountain. We were the only ones on the trail all day and had the whole lake to ourselves, which was perfect since there are only about two camp sites around Alpine Lake. I will admit, those last 3-4 miles once you cross the Stuart Fork river are strenuous and challenging - but so worth it!

fishing
2 months ago

This is a great day hike. Went 11/11/18. There is a large tree blocking the road about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead. Good fishing.

Did this hike last summer. Excellent hike! The parking lot was packed with cars when we arrived, but only saw 2 other groups of people during the hike to Granite Lake. Passed some beautiful meadows along the way. Took two dogs with us and had a lot of fun.

Stellar loop. Hiked clockwise and enjoyed hiking past Granite Lake up to the apex of the hike. In early November, the winds were super strong once we rounded the ridge above the lake and started heading down. Moderately strenuous but a manageable day hike. On the top of the ridge, there are a few different trail options and none are very well marked. Took us a moment to find the more horizontal trail that didn’t drop down into bear basin. Our loop measured about 15-16 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

A fairly easy hike until the turnoff for alpine lake. From the turnoff, the trail becomes steeper but the sights from the top are well worth the effort. Very cool approach to the lake with views of awesome rock formations ahead and the valley behind. Round trip probably closer to 18-19 miles.

A pretty trail throughout, definitely worthwhile. The first mile or two drive in on Swift Creek Road was paved, the last 3 or 4 miles to the trail head was gravel, some pot holes, not too bad but can't go more than 20 mph. From the turnoff from Hwy 3, the drive is about 30 minutes to the trail head parking, which has spots for maybe 15 cars and an overflow parking very close by that can fit another 30 cars. We went at the end of October, and the temperature was perfect, 50-70 degF between 11am-5:30pm, which is how long it took us, including an hour-long break. Didn't really encounter mosquitoes, there were a few but didn't bother us much, more bees, but not a lot to be bothersome either. Overall very pleasant condition. Fall colors were pretty. We saw a total of 3 other people the entire time even though there were about a total of 7-8 cars at the trail head.

hiking
3 months ago

Difficult hike. First half to the river crossing was relatively flat and easy, the second half was steep with not a lot of access to water. Wanted to make the trek over the saddle to Smith and Morris lake but ran out of gas and camped the two nights at Alpine. Mosquitos were a bit of a pain but nothing beats the view of the sawtooth mountains. Beware, no campfires and camp stoves are allowed with a permit.

3 months ago

This is a great hike for the family. My 5 and 7 year old daughters enjoyed this hike immensely.

hiking
3 months ago

On it's own, not a stunning hike. Mostly an uphill walk in the woods, with beautiful forests, huge Ponderosas and Doug fir. One campsite along the river a few miles in, but for the most part you're well above it.

If you are wanting some good views, the access to Foster & Lion lakes is great. Keep along the trail til the fork and take a right. Good signage. To the left is a longer hike to Boulder Lake, which is a busy lake by backcountry standards and more easily accessed from the east - not worth going to Boulder this way except to get a workout. In short, if you plan to do this hike, take the extra time to head up to Foster & Lion Lakes.

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect amount of hiking and scenery. Loved this hike!

Went in September 2018. Lots of honeybees- better than mosquitoes I guess. Used it as a base camp and hiked to 4 lakes loop. Not an easy feat even without all of our gear. The trouts were very small in lake, but I believe it had just been stocked in August.

3 months ago

Done this twice. Plenty of water, meadows, views, and room to camp on the way up. The lake itself can only hold 3 or 4 group camps, and there were 30+ people there last time during a holiday weekend. That last mile is fairly brutal. Will certainly go back.

on Tangle Blue Lake Trail

backpacking
4 months ago

Been hiking to this lake since I was little. Last summer was my eighth summer trip there backpacking for 3-4 nights. Absolutely perfect and one of my favorite places on Earth!

The last 2 miles were challenging but definitely worth it! The view of the lake is amazing!

backpacking
4 months ago

Friend & I went on a backpacking excursion into the Boulder Lakes area of the California Trinity Alps wilderness. This was an easy hike to the first lake & camp clearings. Within a mile or two of this lake, you can find 4 more small lakes & hike a ridge that overlooks it all. From the base of the ridge you kind find trails connecting in all directions. Some great hikes connect through this trail system including the Pacific Crest Trail. Make camp & hike till you drop. Video on my YouTube- thatDADclint.

Beautiful hike with an amazing private campsite for us and our dogs. Pretty awesome

The reviews aren't wrong. This hike is definitely worth it, but man, it is straight uphill. Make sure to bring a lot of water. My buddy and I brought a gallon + two pints between the two of us and nearly ran out by the time we got to the lake. Not an easy hike.

We also got pretty damn close to two black bears on our way back which was a bit scary. All in all certainly worth it though. Gorgeous lake.

A note on fishing: as the hike is pretty strenuous I thought the fishing would be good (thought the difficulty would deter others). It wasn't terrible fishing but it also wasn't better than mediocre. Fish were pretty small and we only got a few bites in four hours on the water. The lake is also super hard to get around which confines you to only a couple fishing spots on one end of the lake.

hiking
5 months ago

We took this trail down from Big Boulder and little Boulder lakes. There were still many downed trees across the trail and a lot of dust and debris making for sliding conditions on the 8 mile downhill to Coffee Creek. July is not the best time to be here due to heat so pack plenty of water.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike and lake. I followed the directions which the directions Icon gave me on this website and it took me a longer back way. It was very rocky, rutty road. Luckily I drive a jeep. Follow the sign on HWY 3 that says Boulder Lake trail. Big brown sign. I went back the correct way and it was way smoother and faster.

backpacking
5 months ago

Unbelievable lake with a modest hike

6 months ago

July 2018 - 6.5 mile gravel road in off Eagle Creek Loop, don't need 4WD, just be mindful of the rocks and make sure you have a spare tire. Stay on the main gravel road and you will find your way easily. Trail starts further up the road than All Trails map has the trailhead at. Beautiful scenery and meadows, trail is rocky in some places but overall I'd put it on the moderate side of easy. Several springs along the way. I'm not sure if the loop is still a loop, I went out and back the long way around. Beautiful, deep lake with many well used campsites. Temp good for swimming. I loved this lake's modesty. It has everything you love about the Alps without being too showy. Will be back!

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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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!

hiking
6 months ago

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.

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