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black Grizzly Lake from China Spring

  5.0 ( 6 ) Favorite

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Trail

13.8 mile 22.2 kilometer out and back
Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,618' 1,407 m
Descent: -4,618' -1,408 m
High: 7,167' 2,184 m
Low: 4,717' 1,438 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Maria Espino

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

Maria Espino

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.

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Check-Ins

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!
Aug 11, 2016
Marshall Phan
13.8mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 6 votes

#468

Overall
  5.0 from 6 votes
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Rankings

#80

in California

#468

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3,849 Since Jan 12, 2017
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