Bear Lakes

Callahan, California

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The Bear Lakes basin presents the classic crowd problem caused by too much beautiful scenery too close to the trailhead. Here the problem is exacerbated by the basin’s limited camping opportunities and lack of alternative trail systems (the hike is a dead-end). Come here on a busy summer weekend, when the trailhead parking is full, and it’ll be hard to find a place to pitch a tent. That said, the Bear Lakes basin is still not as heavily used as many other easy-to-reach destinations in the Alps, and it’s not uncommon to find solitude here on weekdays and out-of-season. I’ve been here in the fall and not seen another soul. Highlights: Classic Trinity Alps setting: granite cirques, great views, and sparkling lakes.

Bear Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"The Bear Lakes basin presents the classic crowd problem caused by too much beautiful scenery too close to the trailhead. Here the problem is exacerbated by the basin’s limited camping opportunities and lack of alternative trail systems (the hike is a dead-end). Come here on a busy summer weekend, when the trailhead parking is full, and it’ll be hard to find a place to pitch a tent. That said, the Bear Lakes basin is still not as heavily used as many other easy-to-reach destinations in the Alps, and it’s not uncommon to find solitude here on weekdays and out-of-season. I’ve been here in the fall and not seen another soul. Highlights: Classic Trinity Alps setting: granite cirques, great views, and sparkling lakes."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Callahan
Distance: 11.2
Elevation Gain: 3,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: Best mid June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 3,000 feet
Top Elevation: 6,100 feet
Local Contacts: Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Tangle Blue Lake; USDAFS Trinity Alps Wilderness

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Jun 2018