Mill Creek Lake and Washbasin Lake

Callahan, California

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Mill Creek Lake is a pretty little backcountry pond that seems to go unnoticed—and unvisited—by most Trinity Alps hikers. The 3-acre lake is neatly hidden in a cleft gouged into a granite cirque 3 miles up the Little Mill Trail. You won’t miss the lake if you approach from below, but hikers coming over the ridge from East Boulder Lake may mistake an unnamed pond high in the Little Mill Creek drainage for the lake itself, and never actually descend far enough to see Mill Creek Lake. Even more rarely seen is Lake Washbasin Lake, a larger body of water located one drainage to the east. No trail leads to Washbasin, and it remains well off the beaten track for most Alps hikers. Highlights: A little-used trail to a little lake with an optional offtrail trek to Washbasin Lake; big views of Scott Valley.

Mill Creek Lake and Washbasin Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Mill Creek Lake is a pretty little backcountry pond that seems to go unnoticed—and unvisited—by most Trinity Alps hikers. The 3-acre lake is neatly hidden in a cleft gouged into a granite cirque 3 miles up the Little Mill Trail. You won’t miss the lake if you approach from below, but hikers coming over the ridge from East Boulder Lake may mistake an unnamed pond high in the Little Mill Creek drainage for the lake itself, and never actually descend far enough to see Mill Creek Lake. Even more rarely seen is Lake Washbasin Lake, a larger body of water located one drainage to the east. No trail leads to Washbasin, and it remains well off the beaten track for most Alps hikers. Highlights: A little-used trail to a little lake with an optional offtrail trek to Washbasin Lake; big views of Scott Valley."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Callahan
Distance: 8.2
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: Best mid June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 5,250 feet
Top Elevation: 7,490 feet
Local Contacts: Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Billys Peak, Callahan; USDAFS Trinity Alps Wilderness

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Jun 2018