Canyon Creek Trail - Winter edition

February 3, 2018 · Trinity Alps

A quiet winter slog through soft snow to the Upper Canyon Creek Lakes


14.9 mi

Elevation gain

2,759 ft


2 days



Sat Feb


A drive and a hike

Stani and I left the city around 6:30pm on Friday after work, and inched our way across the bridge. There were a few slowdowns, but once we were past Sacramento, traffic let up.

I parked the car on a rural street just off the highway, about 20 minutes outsite of Weaverville, and slept in the back of the car.

In the morning we were on the road by 7:30 and at the trailhead by 9ish. Stani and I had breakfast at the car, and then started our hike around 9:30.

The trail was clear, but with snow looming as we got further along the trail. After about 3 miles I had to start using snowshoes. It was patchy so the snowshoes would come off and on as the trail switched between snow and dirt.

As the snow got deeper, it also got wetter. The weather was amazing and I was in my short sleeve, but that meant that the snow was wet, deep, and soft. I would regularly sink in even with the snowshoes on.

After a grueling last few miles, we got to the granite outcrop that the scouts had stayed on last time we were in the area. We rested for about 10 minutes, and decided to hike all the way to the lakes. It was another mile with some elevation gain, and I was already pooped. I think Stani was too, because she was walking right behind me, occasionally stepping on the back of my snowshoes.

The frozen lake was beautiful, but windy. I tried to set up the tent on a dry piece of granite, but the wind was too intense. I decided to pack up again and head back to the last rest stop. There was a good amount of dry dirt to set up the tent, and significantly less wind.

Another 30 minutes of down hiking and I was setting up the tent again.

Stani snuggled on my lap while I cooked dinner. Indian potatoes. Stani has kibble.

I sipped on tea while Stani slept, then packed up the food and slung it up a nearby tree, and crawled in to bed with Stani by 6pm.

Sun Feb


Up and out early

After a surprisingly warm and comfortable 12 hours of sleep, we were up at 6am. I boiled some water for a morning coffee, and sipped while I packed up. Stani and I were heading down the trail by 7am with the help of a headlamp. Daylight quickly came and navigating was easy. The snow was a little harder which decreased the amount of sinking for both Stani and I.

We cruised fast down the trail, taking a quick apple break by the river. We were back at the car by 10am and on the road to SF by 10:30am.

Preparing for this trip

Here is some information that comes in handy when preparing for this trip like this.

Trip posted by KP