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blueBlack Stuart Fork Trail

Trail

13.6 mile 21.8 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,582' 1,092 m
Descent: -247' -75 m
High: 6,056' 1,846 m
Low: 2,712' 827 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Miguel Vieira

Hike to two alpine lakes at the headwaters of Stuart Fork.

Miguel Vieira

Features Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

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

Description

From the trailhead, follow an old road to the Trinity Alps Wilderness boundary at Cherry Flat. Climb gradually along the Stuart Fork of the Trinity River.

After 4 miles, the trail crosses Deep Creek over a bridge and then crosses Oak Flat.

At 5 miles, pass the turnoff for the Alpine Lake Trail. The trail continues to climb gently, crossing Deer Creek over a bridge at around 7 miles. Pass the junction with the Deer Creek Trail at 8 miles and reach Morris Meadow at 9 miles.

Morris Meadow has awesome wildflower displays all summer and plenty of campsites.

Beyond the meadow, the trail turns west into more mountainous territory. At 12 miles you'll reach Portuguese Camp, the last good spot to camp before Emerald and Sapphire Lakes.

The trail becomes steep and open as it climbs west toward Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is actually man-made, created for mining operations a century ago. There's still a lot of old mining equipment lying around.

Follow the cairns around Emerald Lake's north shore and then climb 600 feet to the trail's end at Sapphire Lake. At the deep, clear lake, enjoy the views of Thompson Peak and the Sawtooth Ridge.

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Check-Ins

Oct 25, 2018
Jon Dilworth
most scenic trail to date. rock scramble difficult up to last lake. view at emerald lake awesome. saw a frog, blue blue Jay's, a Gartner snake, 3 d… 13.6mi
Jul 3, 2017
Jason Cashdollar
May 30, 2017
Jason Jueckstock

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#480

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  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#72

in California

#480

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387 Views Last Month
3,001 Since Jan 12, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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