Castle and Heart Lakes Trail

Weed, California 96094

Castle and Heart Lakes Trail

Castle and Heart Lakes Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The science helps researchers understand some things about the world’s freshwater: how healthy it is, what’s happening to it, and how water quality can improve with time—and interference by people. What the budding researchers have found is that despite heavy year-round use, Castle Lake continues to be one of the most unspoiled subalpine lakes in the world. Start at Castle Lake and take this trip up to tiny Heart Lake, and you’ll have a great appreciation of these north state gems. This trek in fall offers up many fewer people, and you’ll be able to see the gradual color change, from greens to golds and browns. In the winter months, you’ll still be able to pick your way through the forest and up the ridge, but if the snow is too deep, you can satisfy your exploration needs by following the western shoreline of Castle Lake."

More Castle and Heart Lakes Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Jason Fator
View more trails from this guide book
"Since 1968, students from the University of California at Davis have been studying Castle Lake in the area of limnology, from the Greek word limne, which means “marsh” or “lake.”"

Castle and Heart Lakes Trail Trip Reports

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
Great reward when you reach Heart Lake. The views of Mount Shasta are not to be missed. Plus, it's just a fun little hike. Short, but challenging.

Castle and Heart Lakes Trail Photos

Show off your photography skills ... post your pics of this trail!

Trail Information

Nearby City
700 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
3 hours
Best Mid-May through late October; snowshoe the rest of the year
5,450 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,000 feet
Top Elevation
Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Mount Shasta Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Seven Lakes Basin, Dunsmuir; USFS Castle Crags Wilderness
Local Maps

Trail Log