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Grizzly Lake from China Spring

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 5.0 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike to the stunning Grizzly Lake and Grizzly Falls deep within the Trinity Alps.


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Map Key

13.8

Miles

22.2

KM

Out and Back

7,167' 2,184 m

High

4,717' 1,438 m

Low

4,618' 1,407 m

Up

4,618' 1,408 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

47%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

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

Overview

Grizzly Lake—fed by a glacier on the Trinity Alps' highest peak—doesn't have an outlet stream, but rather a spectacular 600-foot waterfall. Hike through ancient forests and meadows on a journey to this awesome sight.

Description

From the trailhead, take the China Spring Trail and pass the boundary for the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Climb to Hunters Camp at the top of a ridge covered in burnt trees left by a recent fire.

From Hunters Camp drop into Grizzly Creek Canyon. There, you'll find a junction the North Fork Trail. Turn left to head east up Grizzly Creek.

Continue on this level section of trail for about two miles, paralleling Grizzly Creek through old-growth forest.

The trail begins to climb again and emerges onto open rock and then passes by a tall waterfall on Grizzly Creek. Keep climbing past numerous waterfalls. At length you'll see Grizzly Falls and Thompson Peak, the highest in the Trinity Alps, ahead.

The trail levels off again and traverses Grizzly Meadows beginning at around 5.5 miles. There are several good campsites here. After the meadows, climb steep switchbacks next to the falls. The climb takes you to a rocky bench with fantastic views of Grizzly Meadows.

From the bench, climb again, up a talus slope with cairns marking the way. At the top, you'll be rewarded with Grizzly Lake.

Return the way you came.

Contacts

Shared By:

Maria Espino

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 9 votes

#456

Overall
  5.0 from 9 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#79

in California

#456

Overall
850 Views Last Month
7,638 Since Jan 12, 2017
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Photos

Grizzly Falls
Aug 27, 2018 near Weaverv…, CA
Grizzly Lake in the Trinity Alps.
Oct 13, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Grizzly Lake with Thompson Peak on the horizon.
Nov 17, 2018 near Weaverv…, CA
Grizzly Lake with Thompson Peak on the horizon.
Nov 17, 2018 near Weaverv…, CA
Crossing the outlet of Grizzly Lake, 20 feet from a 200-foot cliff
Nov 17, 2018 near Weaverv…, CA
Grizzly Lake from the slopes of Thompson Peak
Nov 17, 2018 near Weaverv…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jun 21, 2020
Marc Daniel
With Mila — 16h 04m
May 23, 2020
Allison Isaacson
Three day trip to the lake, took a half a day each way with room for breaks. Great trail. 14mi
Jul 20, 2019
Davis Griffin
Starting hike to grizzly lake — 11h 00m
Aug 7, 2018
Seth Bleazard
Amazing hike. The base of the first ridge has a camp with a lot of rotten logs full of bee hives. 14mi — 72h 00m
Jul 27, 2018
Dave L.
Jul 13, 2018
Maria Espino
A Challenging beautiful hike 18.6mi
Dec 29, 2017
Katherine Sjoberg
Jul 29, 2017
Bruce Hope
Passed Grizzly Lake on way to Thompson Peak. Lake and its outfall waterfall are amazing! The climb to the lake is steeper than that up to the peak!