Hiking Project Logo

A popular hike into the heart of the Trinity Alps.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key





Out and Back

5,742' 1,750 m


3,121' 951 m


2,629' 801 m


2,629' 801 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Free wilderness permits and campfire permits are required to enter the Trinity Alps Wilderness.


This hike - on the most popular trail in the Trinity Alps - has it all: ancient forests, mountain meadows, waterfalls, and alpine lakes surrounded by jagged peaks.


From the Canyon Creek trailhead, hike north along the east side of Canyon Creek.This is mostly wooded with a gradual incline. You can hear the creek in the distance but it is mostly hidden at this point. About 0.3 miles in you'll cross Bear Creek in a beautiful shaded ravine. Remember this place for your hike out as the perfect place to relax and get one last moment with a mountain stream before returning to your car.

After about 2.5 miles, climb switchbacks to your first real views along the trail. These switchbacks get full sun in the afternoon so take that into account when planning your start time. About 4 miles in, pass Lower Canyon Creek Falls. Pass Middle Canyon Creek Falls around 4.5 miles and hike through Canyon Creek meadows at 5 miles.

The "meadows" is a bit of a misnomer, most of this is an open wooded area with multiple small streams flowing through. There are multiple locations to camp the meadows if you are splitting up the trip.

Pass the junction with Boulder Creek Lakes Trail at 5.8 miles. Climb more switchbacks to Upper Canyon Creek Falls. Hike through a meadow where you cross Canyon Creek at about 6.5 miles. There is a log at the crossing which can be wet when the runoff is still high. Past this you go past the stone house before the final climb to the Canyon Creek Lakes.

Flora & Fauna

Look for Pacific dogwood, bigleaf maple, madrone, Douglas-fir, and canyon live oak at the lower elevations of the trail. As you gain elevation you'll find ponderosa pine, black oak, and incense cedar mixing in.

Brewer spruce, with its weeping boughs, is common along this trail and only grows in the Klamath Mountains of northern California and southwestern Oregon.

There are lizards everywhere you look on the rocks. Also expect to see gopher snakes, rubber boas (the coloring of the juveniles is a surprising orange), and possible a rattle snake.

There are also butterflies everywhere , at least in late spring/early summer. We had many land on us or are gear when we would stop to rest.


Shared By:

Miguel Vieira

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 16 votes


  4.9 from 16 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in California


19 Views Last Month
23,237 Since Jan 12, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate



Canyon Creek can be seen trickling out of the south end of Lower Canyon Creek Lake.
May 21, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Lower Canyon Creek Lake is gorgeous in the summer.
Jun 23, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Canyon Creek atop middle falls.
Sep 6, 2019 near Weaverv…, CA
Tall evergreens line the canyon along the Canyon Creek Lakes Trail.
Jan 14, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Canyon Creek at sunset offers true serenity when seen from Lower Canyon Creek Lake.
Jan 14, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Canyon Creek Trail
Aug 11, 2019 near Weaverv…, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


May 19, 2023
Valerie Norton
May 24, 2022
Haley Miller
Approx. 4 hours to the first lake. Beautiful spot, but the bears are very trained to find food. 10/10 would recommend! — 3h 00m
Jul 24, 2020
Lisa Roach
18mi — 8h 00m
Jun 24, 2020
Fran Moore
There is a bear problem in the basin around Lower Canyon Creek Lake. I met a group hiking out because a bear had got their food. Bear canisters def…
May 23, 2020
Tommy F
Sep 7, 2019
Zachary Wagonis
Jul 5, 2019
Shayan B
Super fun day today a). Started around 3 and got to camp at 8:15. Super amazing dinner. The alps are slept on
Jun 12, 2019
Adam Hirsch

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started