Canyon Creek Trail

Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California

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Canyon Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Trinity County, California. It is within Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Trinity Alps Wilderness. It is 7.2 miles long and begins at 3,090 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,728 feet.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Canyon Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Trinity County, California. It is within Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Trinity Alps Wilderness. It is 7.2 miles long and begins at 3,090 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,728 feet.
Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Distance: 7.2
Elevation Gain: 3,728 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 3,090 feet
Top Elevation: 5,773 feet
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Canyon Creek Trail
Parks: Trinity Alps Wilderness
Elevation Min/Max: 3090/5773 ft
Elevation Start/End: 3090/3090 ft
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Hiking Northern California

Hiking Northern California

Canyon Creek is a journey into the heart of the Trinity Alps, boasting large waterfalls, meadows, glittering lakes, towering alpine peaks, and old mining relics. This is the most direct route into the splendid core of the Trinity Alps’ granite wonderland.

The Trinity Alps are one of Northern California’s most spectacular mountain ranges. With the exception of the glacier- clad flanks of Mount Shasta, this is the most alpine region in the northernmost part of the state. Here there are towering granite peaks, powerful waterfalls, jewel-like mountain lakes, expansive meadows, and deep, remote forests. Indeed, all the best features of a mountain paradise are found in the Trinity Alps.

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A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity

A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity

Boulder Creek basin and the lovely lakes that mirror the serrated peaks above are a mere 2 miles off the heavily traveled Canyon Creek Lakes Trail, but receive far fewer visitors than the much more popular Canyon Creek lakes. Forbidden Lakes, tucked into a granite cleft 500 vertical feet above Boulder Creek Lakes see hardly anyone at all, thanks to the absence of a maintained trail and a nasty patch of nearly impenetrable brush, but the beautiful, diminutive lake and even smaller tarn are bordered by a permanent snowfield and worth the effort.

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A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity

A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity

This trip samples the sights and activities that make the Trinity Alps unique and marvelous. Thompson Peak, highest of the Alps, soars in snowcapped splendor above the deep, blue waters of Canyon Creek lakes nestled in the upper basin. Above Canyon Creek lakes in a side pocket of granite, contorted, diminutive “El” Lake reflects the permanent snowfields and rugged minarets on the north side of Sawtooth Mountain. A relatively cold microclimate contributes an almost alpinelike character to this basin and the three lakes despite the relatively low elevations, ranging from 5606 feet at Lower Canyon Creek Lake to 6529 feet at El Lake.

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Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

Follow a popular trail into the Trinity Alps Wilderness to the lowest of a series of waterfalls on Canyon Creek.

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Hiking California's Trinity Alps Wilderness

Hiking California's Trinity Alps Wilderness

All of Canyon Creek’s attractions—waterfalls, sweeping granite cliffs, sparkling lakes, spectacular views, swimming holes of near-perfect proportions—can be found elsewhere in the Trinity Alps. But you’d be hardpressed to find anywhere else where they’re all packaged into one pleasant hike. Such an abundance of beauty has not gone unnoticed. Highlights: Simply one of the most beautiful hikes in the Trinity Alps: lush meadows, spectacular waterfalls, gorgeous lakes, and awesome views. Expect lots of company.

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Backpacking California: Mountain, Foothill, Coastal, & Desert Adventures in the Golden State

Backpacking California: Mountain, Foothill, Coastal, & Desert Adventures in the Golden State

A hiking companion posed this question on a recent trip, “What if you could hike only in one mountain range for the rest of your life, which would it be?” After careful thought, I firmly responded, “The Trinity Alps!” From dense, low-elevation coastal forests to glaciated granite peaks and everything in between, few other mountain regions possess the wide range of diversity found in the Trinities. The Canyon Creek Trail takes backpackers into the best of the Alps: sapphire-blue lakes, tumbling creeks, dramatic waterfalls, wildflowers, rugged granite peaks flanked by permanent snowfields, exquisite scenery, and splendid vistas are all here in abundance. Beyond the backpacking, peak-baggers, amateur naturalists, anglers, rock climbers, and cross-country enthusiasts will find diversions aplenty in the heart of the range. This is a popular trail by Trinity Alps standards—with good reason—but perhaps also is the best sampling of what makes this area so spectacular and so unique.

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101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore

101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore

A land of deep canyons and jagged granite ridges, the Trinity Alps are the greatest alpine highlight of the Klamath Mountains. Impossibly alluring, they crown the thick forest of the region, a vibrant playground of lakes, rivers, and wildlife.

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Best Dog Hikes Northern California

Best Dog Hikes Northern California

A paved road into a box canyon provides rare convenient access to an otherwise remote albeit grand mountain kingdom. The creek remains within earshot most of the way between glimpses of the falls and dramatic views of craggy peaks as you gradually climb to a clearing that reveals the best view of the falls and surrounding palisades.

The 2-million-acre Shasta-Trinity National Forest, established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, is the largest national forest in California. The Trinity Alps Wilderness bordering Shasta Trinity and two other national forests was known as the Salmon-Trinity Alps Primitive Area until 1984, when Congress designated it a wilderness area.

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Recent Trail Reviews

10/1/2010
0

Killer Hike/Backpacking check it out pics and description at czalunardo.wordpress.com


9/6/2009
0

Very nice, quite steep and in places very rocky "trail" ... more like a faint track that is lost in the talus fields. Just keep following the red wands marking the track from the Horse Camp hut. Views from the valley rim down to I-5 and the cindercone are wonderful. Next time I'll scramble across the rockfields of the valley and try to climb to the saddle between Shastina and the Shasta summit. Use good shoes, hiking poles and bring enough water. Be prepared for very steep hills and sharp rocks. Considering all this, it's actually quite easy trip.


10/5/2008
0

The view was beautiful, but the weather did not cooperate. Too cold in October, but I will go back next summer to enjoy this great hike.


8/26/2008
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7/28/2008
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May 2018