Trail Gulch Lake Trail

Trinity Alps Wilderness, California

Elevation Gain141ft
Trailhead Elevation6,307ft
Elevation Min/Max6307/6411ft
Elevation Start/End6307/6307ft

Trail Gulch Lake Trail

Trail Gulch Lake Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Siskiyou County, California. It is within Trinity Alps Wilderness. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 6,307 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 141 feet. This trail connects with the following: Tail Gulch Trail 9w15 and Trail Gulch Trail 9w15.

Trail Gulch Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"There are two excellent reasons to take this trip: Long Gulch Lake and Trail Gulch Lake at the head of their respective “gulches,” or very pleasant valleys filled with meadows and forests and threaded by delightful creeks. The lakes are virtual twins, cradled in spectacular cirques beneath crenellated peaks rising more than 1200 feet above the surface of the water. Bare rock and talus cover the south shores of both lakes, while stands of red firs and mountain hemlocks, interrupted by meadows and patches of willows, cover the rest of the shorelines. Despite their stunning beauty, both lakes were excluded from the original Salmon-Trinity Primitive Area, a glaring mistake corrected by their inclusion in the current Trinity Alps Wilderness."

"This short loop makes a nice day hike or a good overnight (especially if you have little kids in tow). The two lakes en route, Trail Gulch and Long Gulch, are deep and blue and tucked into nearly identical, deep-set granite cirques. They aren’t quite as spectacular as the Alps’ more famous lakes (like Caribou and Sapphire), but they’re a lot easier to reach, and they get a mere fraction of the visitors the more popular lakes get. Still, the trails on the north side of the Scott Mountains have been “discovered” in recent years, so visitors are more numerous than they used to be. Highlights: A hike with great swimming, fishing, and ridgetop views."

Trail Gulch Lake Trail Reviews

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This is a pretty loop, and you will see very few people on it. It is marred by cattle grazing, so expect to see more cows than people and to have to avoid manure piles. The cows also degrade the water quality along the streams and lakes, and they mean that the wildflowers aren't a big attraction here. The guide on this website is at least 10 years out of date. There's now a new trail that goes directly along up the ridge to the high point of the hike. That lead us astray since we were hoping to camp in the meadow that is described between the two lakes. The meadow itself is now down the middle fork trail from the ridge, and it is mostly overgrown with alders so it's not much of a meadow anymore. Fortunately it does have a small stream in it, so we were able to camp there. The meadow turned out to be a nice base for some day hikes down into the Coffee Creek watershed.

Trail Gulch Lake Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Trinity Alps Wilderness
Nearby City
Trinity Alps Wilderness
Additional Use
Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS Deadman Peak; USDAFS Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018