Hiking California's Trinity Alps Wilderness
by Dennis Lewon (Falcon Guides)
© Dennis Lewon/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
My 15 year young son asked me to take his friends & him on a backpack trip. I chose to take them on a challenging hike that had much return on investment so I took them to Grizzly Lake.
The directions were right on & the roads & signs to the trail head were excellent.
The hike begins with a 1.2 mile ascent. 15 minutes into the hike I asked the boys if they were allergic to bees & they answered with a resounding "NO". This was a relief especially since one of the boys was stung twice just minutes later. We're off to a good start!
We rested at Hunters Camp after the climb & then descended 1 mile. The boys began their relationship with Mole Skin half way down the descent & learned to rely on it even more as the weekend went along.
At the bottom, China Camp, we began an uphill trek to Grizzly Meadows. Our legs were tired, but the call of Grizzly Falls & the thought of camp kept us moving.
Along the way we rested & enjoyed the scenery, but finally after 5.5 hours we made it to the meadows.
The following day we day hiked up to view Mirror & Sapphire Lakes & then descended to Grizzly Lake to swim & take pictures. The view off the sheer granite ledge is scary but wonderful, & made great pictures to show the boys' moms. The falls are beautiful & the lake is gorgeous & refreshing. Many people were camping at the lake so it was good that we chose to camp in the meadows.
The hike back was much quicker. The analogy was like a horse towards a barn. However, for us it was kids towards Burger King.
The teenage boys had a wonderful time. The views were marvelous & the hike challenging, but doable. I recommend this hike, but suggest people be in good shape. Plan to spend 5 to 7 hours on the trail if you stay at the lake, depending on the # of stop.
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