Canyon Creek Trailhead to Upper Canyon Creek Lake

July 2, 2016 · Trinity Alps

A steady hike up through the forest to beautiful alpine. Camping near a waterfall and exploring the upper valley.


14.1 mi

Elevation gain

2,837 ft


3 days

The trail

Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.

Sat Jul


Drives, Permits, Sandwiches, and Approaches

The Dece Scouts left early Saturday morning in two cars. Jrock piloted his Subaru, while I drove a rental Prius. The drive to Trinity Alps from SF was longer than our normal trip, but the company in the cars made the time pass by quickly. We picked up our free permit at the Weaverville Ranger Station, and had sandwiches at a nearby shop called Trinidad Cafe.

We were on the trail by 1pm I think. We hiked through forest. Lots of camp spots along the river. We emerged into the alpine just before dusk and found a great camping spot just before the lakes. We had great access to the river, and lots of privacy. We ate, chilled, and watched the stars.

Sun Jul


An Attempt

The next morning we got off to a late start, and hiked up to the lakes with the intent to circumnavigate them and pick our way towards Thompson Peak. We got separated from part of the group, and KP, Jing, Mike, and Jrah continued towards the peak. At some point Jrah decided to turn around. Jing, Mike and KP continued on until the final headwall at 3pm, took some photos, rested, and turned around. They got back to the camp around 6pm.

Mon Jul


The long road back

The next day, we were on the trail hiking back to the car by 8am (I think). We blasted our way down in 3 hours and only took a few breaks. Along the way we passed a hiker who had gotten hurt and was waiting for a helicopter evacuation. During one of our breaks we got to see the helicopter fly up the river gully. The last hour was definitely a slog, and we were happy to change out of our hiking shoes, but less happy to drive back to the city.

Preparing for this trip

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

Trip posted by KP