Friday, October 25, 2013

Backpacking in Trinity Alps Wilderness

backpacking trinity alps

The great thing about the Trinity Alps is you get to see some truly stunning and spectacular alpine scenery, but without the crowds you might encounter in the Sierras. There are miles and miles of trails to explore, but since we had limited time, we decided to try the Canyon Creek Lakes trail, one of the more popular trails in the area. Our ultimate destination was Boulder Creek Lakes, which are accessed by an offshoot from the main trail. This simple detour took us from a relatively busy trail to our own private spot in the Trinity Alps, and we found the setting to be prettier than the Canyon Creek Lakes.

The total hike was about 16 miles out-and-back, but we took our usual leisurely pace and spent a few days to enjoy it. The trail essentially follows a river which cascades down the granite incline, so there are plenty of opportunities for swim breaks.

swimming waterfall

While the waterfalls and granite peaks command a lot of attention, there are just as many things to appreciate on a smaller scale. The flora and fauna of the area can be equally beautiful in its own way.

trailside flower

The trail would best be described as moderate. Not an easy stroll, but by no means difficult. The only portion that I would describe as somewhat technical was the offshoot trail to Boulder Creek Lakes. Since it is not used very much, portions of the trail are somewhat overgrown, and you have to duck and push your way through some of it. But the reward comes when you reach the end, revealing a cluster of small lakes surrounded on all sides by towering granite peaks.

boulder creek lakes

We set up camp and marveled at our spot, then wasted no time in taking another swim. Since it was late summer, the water seemed the perfect temperature; not too cold, yet cool enough to take the edge off the summer heat. We spent the entire next day in this spot, swimming in the lake, lounging on the sun warmed boulders, and exploring the area. At the edge of the shelf these lakes rest on, there is a spectacular view of nearby Sawtooth Peak.

sawtooth peak

We encountered one bit of gear failure on the return hike. The sole of Julie's boot began to separate from the shoe. With no cobbler nearby, we had to make due with an improvised trailside repair. It actually worked surprisingly well, but it's still fortunate that we only had an 8 mile hike back to civilization.

boot fail

boot repair

For those who are interested in going, you might want to check out this write up which describes the hike and the area in much more detail.

1 comment:

  1. With those boots and tools around, I'm sure the guy in the picture is more than ready for some hiking adventure.

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