East Boulder and Upper Boulder Lakes

Callahan, California

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How many Boulder lakes can one wilderness have? This group of Boulders (which includes East, Upper, Middle, West, and Lower) is not to be confused with Big and Little Boulder (near Coffee Creek) or Boulder Creek Lakes (off Canyon Creek). Now that’s cleared up, this particular set of Boulder lakes (East and Upper) occupies one of the most distinctive cirques in this corner of the Trinity Alps. The wide and open East Boulder basin is dominated by steep headwalls of red peridotite rock, crystal clear water, and sprawling meadows as smooth and flat as a putting green. A few stands of stunted trees, including white firs and several pine species (lodgepole, western white, etc.), provide shade on a hot day. The basin also harbors a surprising amount of sage, which looks decidedly out of place up here in a subalpine environment (cows probably brought sage seeds up from their winter home in Scott Valley). Highlights: A short hike to a beautiful, sprawling basin dotted with sparkling lakes, open meadows, and commanding views.

East Boulder and Upper Boulder Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"How many Boulder lakes can one wilderness have? This group of Boulders (which includes East, Upper, Middle, West, and Lower) is not to be confused with Big and Little Boulder (near Coffee Creek) or Boulder Creek Lakes (off Canyon Creek). Now that’s cleared up, this particular set of Boulder lakes (East and Upper) occupies one of the most distinctive cirques in this corner of the Trinity Alps. The wide and open East Boulder basin is dominated by steep headwalls of red peridotite rock, crystal clear water, and sprawling meadows as smooth and flat as a putting green. A few stands of stunted trees, including white firs and several pine species (lodgepole, western white, etc.), provide shade on a hot day. The basin also harbors a surprising amount of sage, which looks decidedly out of place up here in a subalpine environment (cows probably brought sage seeds up from their winter home in Scott Valley). Highlights: A short hike to a beautiful, sprawling basin dotted with sparkling lakes, open meadows, and commanding views."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Callahan
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: Best mid June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 5,750 feet
Top Elevation: 7,500 feet
Local Contacts: Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Billys Peak; USDAFS Trinity Alps Wilderness

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Jun 2018