Canyon Creek

Backpacking in California's Trinity Alps

Aug 15, 2011

Last weekend I got the chance to go hiking in Trinity Alps Wilderness in Northern CA. It's an area I've been wanting to visit for some time, but logistics are challenging - it's a roughly 6hr drive from the Bay Area and much of the year it can be covered in snow.

Upper and Lower Canyon Creek Lakes

The Trinity Alps area is very large, we hiked only one valley. The trail starts down the valley shown in the upper left side of the above photo, climbs slowly along Canyon Creek, and then there is a short scramble up to these lakes: Lower and Upper Canyon Creek Lakes at around the 8 mile mark. The trail then cuts between the two lakes and after a short stream fording wraps around to the northern side of the upper creek (right side of photo). Most folks stop and camp around here.

The trail crosses the creek running between these two lakes.

We cut east (camera in the above photo is facing west) climbing at a 40-60% grade for the another mile up to L Lake (some maps show "el" or "ell"). We camped on the granite domes above and to the south. That last mile was quite tiring, but rewarding. We were sitting in a bowl with a great view of the surrounding area and night sky. We enjoyed the Perseid meteor shower until around 11pm when the full moon rose above the nearby ridges and the whole valley was illuminated.

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A few other photos taken along this amazing route.