Horseshoe and Ward Lakes

Trinity Center, California 96091

Horseshoe and Ward Lakes

Horseshoe and Ward Lakes Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Powerful Swift Creek, miles of meadows, displays of Trinity Alps peaks, and two peaceful mountain lakes highlight this backpacking trip. Flowers, streams, lakes, forests, and peaks—it’s all here."

Horseshoe and Ward Lakes Reviews

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Although stunning in it's own right, this route to Horseshoe and Ward lakes was a precursor to the real beauty on our groups weeklong trek in the Trinity Alps. The initial portion of the hike is mild enough, with dense wooded forests opening to lush (though quite animal trodden in some places) meadows. Our first campsight in Parkers Meadow had me thinking about proximity of animal beds and drinking water (bring plenty o' iodine). We completed the trek to Horseshoe on day two of our trip and it was a magical ascent, indeed. After a series of steps (some quite steep), we crested to find Horseshoe glistening in the mid afternoon sun. Small fish were jumping as we set camp on one of the rocky flat spots above the lake. Boulder scrambling up to higher perches was easy enough and the brisk lake offered a refreshing (if brief) soak. It was a bit windy on the lake with nightime temps in the low 30's. On the way down the steps on route to a Mumford Basin bushwack, we met a couple who stayed at Ward Lake the night earlier. Lucky we picked the right lake to camp at as with most lakes out in these parts, there are only a few true camp spots. The Trinity Alps are a true treat and this particular trail offers a fair sampling of what's available.

Horseshoe and Ward Lakes Photos

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Trail Information

Trinity Center
Nearby City
3,600 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
3 - 4 days
Best mid-June through late September
Weaverville Ranger District, Shasta - Trinity National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Covington Mill, Siligo Peak, Ycatapom; USFS Trinity Alps Wilderness
Local Maps