The hike to Canyon Creek Lakes takes you deep into the Trinity Alps, past dramatic waterfalls, lush meadows and old growth forests to pristine turquoise lakes beneath towering, jagged granite spires. This is jaw-dropping territory, where superlatives fail. It’s no wonder that this is the most popular hike in the Trinity Alps, and yet even at the height of the season there is plenty of room to roam about and retain a sense of solitude.
The trailhead is quite accessible, and the 7 mile hike to the lakes considered easy to moderate. The steepest part is the last half mile as you approach the lakes.
From the Canyon Creek trailhead the trail heads north, along the east side of Canyon Creek. After a short distance the trail crosses Bear Creek. Stay to the left, off Bear Trail. The hike will take you through woodlands, an extensive upland meadow, past four very impressive waterfalls, and eventually to Canyon Creek Lakes. Past Boulder Creek (about 6 miles in) no open campfires are permitted, although you may use a camping stove if you have a California campfire permit. No fires of any sort are permitted in the wilderness area without a campfire permit, and any overnight visits require a Wilderness Permit. Both are available at no charge from the ranger station in Weaverville. The area is open year-round, although enough snow in winter can effectively close the trail.
WHERE: From Weaverville, take Hwy 299 west for 8 miles to Junction City. At Junction City bear right onto Canyon Creek Rd. and follow it north about 13 miles, a 35-minute drive along a narrow, twisty road, to the trailhead. (google map)
MORE INFO: Weaverville Ranger District for the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, 530-623-2121 | SummitPost.org