North Fork Trinity River to Papoose Lake

Weaverville, California

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The Rattlesnake Creek Trail to Papoose Lake traverses one of the most intensely mined areas in the entire Trinity Alps. Enormous rock piles, pits, ditches, and mining relics, dating from the early ’49er days to the present, litter the first 4 miles of steep-walled Rattlesnake Canyon from the confluence with the North Fork Trinity River all the way to Mill Creek. Somewhere between 50 and 100 Americans and an unrecorded number of Chinese immigrants lived and grubbed here in the mid- to late 19th century. Most of the gold the miners extracted from Mother Nature now lies hidden in vaults, but the evidence of their labor will remain for centuries to come. The scars left behind by the miners should not deter you from taking this trip. Fortunately, present-day mining activity is fairly minimal, although claims are still posted throughout the canyon.

North Fork Trinity River to Papoose Lake Professional Review and Guide

"The Rattlesnake Creek Trail to Papoose Lake traverses one of the most intensely mined areas in the entire Trinity Alps. Enormous rock piles, pits, ditches, and mining relics, dating from the early ’49er days to the present, litter the first 4 miles of steep-walled Rattlesnake Canyon from the confluence with the North Fork Trinity River all the way to Mill Creek. Somewhere between 50 and 100 Americans and an unrecorded number of Chinese immigrants lived and grubbed here in the mid- to late 19th century. Most of the gold the miners extracted from Mother Nature now lies hidden in vaults, but the evidence of their labor will remain for centuries to come. The scars left behind by the miners should not deter you from taking this trip. Fortunately, present-day mining activity is fairly minimal, although claims are still posted throughout the canyon."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Weaverville
Distance: 25
Elevation Gain: 3,695 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: July through October
Local Contacts: Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Thurston Peaks

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Jun 2018