Lake · River/Creek · Views
This is a loop trail from the parking area to the top of Mt. Elwell around Long Lake.
Need to Know
Free parking and pit toilets at the trailhead.
Starting at the parking area there are two different trail starts just a couple dozen yards from each other, so make sure you take the one you want, but you can go either way. You can go directly to Long Lake (the right-hand trail, shorter) or first past Big Bear Lake (the left-hand trail, longer). The trail is well graded but gets steeper near the top. There are supposedly two trail segments from Mud Lake to the ridge, but we only found one.
The actual peak of Mt. Elwell is a very rough scramble from the top of the trail, but the views are amazing. You can see Mt. Shasta to the north. The trail segment from the ridge below the summit across the talus slope above Long Lake is very rugged and challenging. You can always skip that by just returning the way you came.
At the north end of Long Lake is a small dam you'll cross on, but in the spring the overflow may be difficult to cross (no bridge).
Flora & Fauna
We saw minimal fauna in the area: some chipmunks and a few birds. There are various pine trees and scrubby bushes. We saw one scraggly old juniper tree near the dam.
History & Background
Long Lake is natural but has a small dam to raise its level a few feet.
Shared By: Fremont Bainbridge