Trinity Alps’ Canyon Creek Trail

It began to pour the moment we pulled into our campsite. So we napped in the car waiting for our friends who were a few hours behind us. The rain had passed by the time Julie, Patrice, and their daughter Eva arrived, but the trees were still dripping, so we ate dinner that night with our rain jackets on.

Justin, Stephanie, Julie, Pat, and Eva at the Canyon Creek Trailhead in the Trinity Alps
The gang at the Canyon Creek Trailhead

Next morning the sky was clear. We packed up our campsite and drove to the Canyon Creek Trailhead. The trail began in the forest, offering occasional glimpses of the Trinity Alps. We stopped on a flat rock along the creek to eat a backpacker’s lunch: jerky, cheese, almonds, cherry tomatoes, and hummus. Hikers heading in the opposite direction said that the campsites around the lakes were pretty crowded, so we set up our tents before reaching them. It was still early in the afternoon so Stephanie and I hiked out toward Boulder Creek Lakes. It was a tough climb, but worth it for the overlook just before the lake.

Stephanie and Justin at the Boulder Creek Lakes overlook in the Trinity Alps
Taking a break at the Boulder Creek Lakes overlook

That night the mosquitoes put a damper on any campfire camaraderie. Once we finished our dehydrated meals, we retired to the safety of our tents. In the morning I learned that Stephanie had spent the night “squatting over catholes”. She didn’t feel up for any hiking, so she stayed behind with Julie while Patrice, Eva, and I ventured onward. The trail was difficult to follow—several times we veered off in the wrong direction, only realizing it when we hit a dead-end. We crossed a thigh-high stream rushing between the Upper and Lower Canyon Lakes which necessitated removing shoes and pants—a first. Shortly thereafter we decided we’d hiked enough, so we stopped to have a snack on a bluff above the lake. Of course heading back the way we came meant re-crossing the stream we had just crossed.

Justin posing in front of the Trinity Alps near Lower Canyon Lake
Justin in the Trinity Alps

That night we traded mosquitoes for raindrops. It began to drizzle while we boiled water to rehydrate our dinners. We ate quickly, huddled together under a tree. The rain really started coming down as soon as we got into our tents. Next morning it was clear again. Stephanie was feeling better—not great—but at least well enough to hike six miles back to the trailhead.

Colorful packs on the Canyon Creek Trail
Colorful packs on the trail

1 Comment

The stream crossing sounds a little harrowing… if you took of shoes – just crossed with bare feet? And, poor Stephanie! :-(

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