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Porcupine & Toad Lake

We will start meeting at 7:45 am, form into carpools and depart by 8:15 am, to be on the trail by 10:00 am. This hike is one of the more scenic hikes along the PCT in the Mt. Shasta area. We will be able to view several lakes along the trail, as well as different views of Mt. Shasta, the Trinity Alps and Mt. Eddy. There are several meadows and saddles as we make our way to Porcupine Lake or Toad Lake, which is .2 miles further and in plain sight.

My hiking book says the hike is 12 miles round trip, and while it has been years since last doing this hike, I think 8-10 miles round trip is more accurate.

To reach the trailhead take I-5 North to the Central Mt. Shasta exit. Head west & south on Old Stage Road, then W. A. Barr Road. Follow Road 26 past Lake Siskiyou. Gumboot Lake on the left 13 miles further, continue on another 2 miles to the parking lot/trailhead on the right.

As with all hikes, bring plenty of water, lunch, trail snacks, and because the weather can change at any time a light weight rain coat. Sun screen, good hiking boots, hat, camera and binoculars for a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.

**We will stop in Mt. Shasta or Dunsmuir on the way home for dinner and celebration of a day well spent.

** This is completely optional. Should the day be too long carpool with those not interested in stopping.

 

 

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  • Tim

    Thanks Al for planning a great hike. It was great to meet new people and meet up with those we hadn't seen in a while.

    2 · May 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nearly perfect weather, gorgeous hike, and just long enough to test your limits.

    2 · May 18, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Beautiful scenery, weather, flowers, lakes, and trees and a nap "on the rocks" beside Porcupine Lake. After the 12 mi. hike, we enjoyed an excellent dinner @ Goat Tavern, refueling before returning home.

    3 · May 17, 2014

  • Trips-A-Foot

    Seeing some great pictures. Looks like everyone had a great time. I tried to connect by coming south on the PCT but was stopped by a large snowfield north of Toad Lake.

    2 · May 17, 2014

    • Al S.

      Sorry we missed you. It was a great day to be on the trail. Hopefully next time.

      May 17, 2014

  • Al S.

    That ladies & gentlemen was a hike. The weather was a cool 70, the pine scented trail, shaded for the most part, with views of Picayune & Gumboot Lakes as well as Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta kept us company as we made our way a total of 11.7 miles. A cameo by Bernie & Andy, and a nice after hike dinner at The Goat completed our day. Thanks to everyone.

    5 · May 17, 2014

  • Mary Lynn B.

    Beautiful area, great weather, and nice people! Fun!

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Al S.

    Alan & Brian, I appreciate your comments. It's nice to know others take an interest in the trail we use to restore balance in our lives. Having hosted too many events to remember, I take certain things in consideration when posting an event. Size, weather conditions and both length and difficulty of the hike itself. Having hiked the nine day West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, and Inca Trail in Peru, and sharing the trail with hundreds of other like minded hikers, I've yet to encounter a problem. A smile or friendly hello or greeting in passing is all that's ever required . Dead Fall Lakes in summer is full of church, youth groups, and everyone has a splendid time. We share the earth, we share the trail. This is a hiking group, the idea is to get out.Years ago a group of 25 was greeted with enthusiasm.

    5 · May 16, 2014

  • Patricia L.

    I can't imagine everyone sticking together in a large group, but because of the size, I've made other plans that involve less people in a different location. I would like to hike this section sometime soon.

    May 16, 2014

  • Alan

    Al and Brian. I feel both of you have good points regarding the number of hikers who participate in Meetup events.

    Solo hiking? Small group hiking? Large group hiking? There are advantages to each and we all hike for different reasons.

    Yes, the trail can "handle" many more hikers than groups of 20 but the question remains...What about others who are hiking the same trail, on the same day, to enjoy the solitude of a peaceful mountain experience? By the time we throw in meetup groups, church groups, youth groups, work groups, college groups and others, solitude may fade and civilization may seep in... That would be a bummer.

    I think my concern is similar to Brians when I see back-country hiking limits set at 25. BUT THEN AGAIN I love solo hiking so my opinion may be slightly jaded. I have hiked this trail twice in the last two years and I strongly recommend bringing a swim suit. SWIM THE LAKE! The experience will make your trip a true alpine experience. Burrr but worth it!

    May 16, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Al, I was checking the map & couldn't find Porcupine Lake in the Gumboot area, however, Picayune Lake is within approx. 2 mi. of Gumboot. Check it out before we "take off"! We hosers want to show up at the right lake, eh? I'm betting a 24 of Elsinore that "the Hose knows.

    May 15, 2014

    • Steve R.

      Gumboot Lake is at the bottom of the map and Toad Lake is north, at the top of this map.

      1 · May 15, 2014

    • Al S.

      Greg, A good Hoser always does his homework, but the Knob knows better. Nice try though. We will be able to see Picayune Lake from the trail, and it's an awesome sight. Porcupine Lake is a favorite spot to camp overnight because it's a little hard to find. I've walked by the trail twice, so I'm hopin the third time is a charm.....

      May 16, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Al, it's been some time since I've been up there. Is the road paved all the way or dirt near the end?

    May 14, 2014

    • Denise P.

      I think I see where the confusion is. I believe we're staying on W.A. Barr Rd, which is paved and does not go through a creek. I think the road Steve is looking at is the one that goes directly to Gumboot. I traced back to where the Y is & followed W.A.Barr around and then stayed to the left when it Y'd again. It helps looking at it in Earth mode.

      1 · May 15, 2014

  • Kathy

    I am so bummed to not be able to go on this hike, but it is my grandson's 2nd birthday party and that only comes once, where I can hike this another day. Everyone have fun.

    May 15, 2014

  • Patricia L.

    Hi Al, I'm still going. I'm getting my gear together, and tonight at 6 I am going to John Livingston's presentation on his 16 year PCT section hike. John is a Sierra Club outings leader, he completed the PCT in Canada last summer.

    1 · May 15, 2014

  • BRIAN F.

    24 PEOPLE IS WHY TO MANY,IT'S JUST SO WRONG.

    May 14, 2014

    • Denise P.

      I'm usually the one at the back of the group because I'm always stopping to take pictures.

      May 14, 2014

    • Al S.

      Vegas set the over/under at 8. Good call

      1 · May 14, 2014

  • betsy and w.

    betsy and wayne still going!

    1 · May 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lol, no worries fellas, you know half these people won't show.

    2 · May 12, 2014

    • Al S.

      My guess is 8-9.

      May 13, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Well, Al, it's no more surprising than that NOBODY EVER takes their family vacation at the RCIMI. Now, I think we're over the limits of good taste; no more increases. I know who I am.

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Take off, eh! My semi- official nickname is Hoser or The Hose, as in "ask The Hose, he knows". Knob is used as more of a descriptive term, I think, but only a real Canadian could tell for sure.
    The subtleties of hoserism are somewhat difficult to grasp, requiring at least 10 viewings of Strange Brew before mastery can be expected, at which point there is no return!

    1 · May 12, 2014

    • Al S.

      You know, I'm a little surprised Hose or Hoser isn't a more popular kids name??

      1 · May 12, 2014

  • Al S.

    Knob- I increased the limit just for you. You know who you are...

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Steve R.

    Good move to postpone this a week. I went and camped at Gumboot Lake any way this past weekend. And it was snowing a lot Saturday and frosty Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon was very pleasant, though. Temps were around 30 in the morning but warmed up nicely for the afternoon.

    2 · May 11, 2014

    • Steve R.

      Yes, Shirley, it is unimproved. There's pits for fires and a pit for a toilet. No water. No picnic tables. No trash bins. No food bins either.

      May 12, 2014

    • Al S.

      Denise, yes it is. If memory serves the road goes uphill, south, and when the road levels the trailhead is on the right, with views east toward Gumboot.

      1 · May 12, 2014

  • Shirley G.

    Sorry, can't make it on the 17th. Have a great time and let me know what it's like up there as I'm curious.

    May 8, 2014

  • Patricia L.

    17th's good for me.

    May 8, 2014

  • Steve R.

    I'm thinking of camping nearby Friday and Saturday nights. Anybody have a suggestion for a good nearby campground that's open?

    May 8, 2014

    • Jan

      Check on Toad Lake and Gumboot Lake Campgrounds. They are very near and should be open.

      1 · May 8, 2014

    • Steve R.

      Thanks, Jan. I'll try to get a spot at Gumboot Lake Campground. There's only 4, so I'm not sure I'll be successful. No matter where I stay, I'll meet up with everyone at the trailhead.

      May 8, 2014

  • Shirley G.

    Here's a map I found of the area. I'd like to chip in for gas as my Prius doesn't really do well on the back roads.

    May 7, 2014

    • Denise P.

      The red on the map is a hiking trail. The road to it, if I remember correctly from going to Dead Fall Lake, is paved the whole way.

      May 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wouldn't mind car pooling as well~

    May 5, 2014

    • Al S.

      It's easier the morning of the hike to form into carpools. Someone always has room.

      1 · May 6, 2014

  • Trips-A-Foot

    If my schedule permits I'll be backpacking the Sisson Calahan NRT and camped in a Meadow below below your route. I'll catch you along the route or meet over at Porcupine.

    April 21, 2014

    • Trips-A-Foot

      Al, I won't mark the connection at Porcupine this weekend. Wishing everyone a great hike.

      1 · May 5, 2014

    • Al S.

      Hope to catch you on the next hike. Always a plus to cross paths with someone on the trail.

      May 6, 2014

  • Bonita M.

    Ahhh:( Would love to go. I will be working on Saturday.
    Have fun!!

    May 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to ride with people returning home for dinner.

    May 4, 2014

  • Laurie H

    Just an FYI. If you hike to Toad Lake, you're looking at about 14 miles RT. Porcupine Lake is closer to 12 miles RT. BTW I did PCT trail maintenance from the Gumboot TH past the springs on the left last year and helped put in water checks near Toad Lake the year before. Enjoy the results as you walk along the trail. :-)

    1 · May 3, 2014

    • Jan

      Laurie, I believe they are driving to Toad Lake and taking the connect trail to Porcupine vs the Gumboot via the PCT trailhead, but I could be wrong :)

      May 3, 2014

    • Laurie H

      I don't see driving directions to Toad Lake Jan, in the above; I see directions to what appears to be the Gumboot TH on the PCT. My 12 -14 miles is from the Gumboot TH to Porcupine Lake ≈ 6 miles, 12 RT (my book says 5.7 miles to Porcupine Lake turn off, then hiking into the lake being more) and about another mile to Toad Lake, down and back up, about 2 miles more RT. Have fun!

      May 3, 2014

  • Linda W.

    Would love to go but volunteered that weekend to Susanville prison. Have fun. Enjoy

    May 2, 2014

  • Denise P.

    Hey Al, are dogs welcome?

    April 16, 2014

    • Al S.

      If it's possible to sit in the patio of either restaurant that's open, you could probably let your dog sit with the group.

      April 22, 2014

    • Denise P.

      I think I've decided to leave Piper home, don't want to risk having to carry her out :-)

      April 30, 2014

  • Steve R.

    What is this trail's difficulty, Al? Is there much of a vertical climb?

    April 28, 2014

    • Al S.

      Steve, It has been a few years since doing this hike, but I remember a mild to moderate hike of 8-9 miles, with no real hills to climb. There are a few saddles, there isn't a great deal of shade along the trail, but excellent views all day long!! My book says it's a 12 mile, moderate hike, but I just don't remember it being that long??

      1 · April 29, 2014

  • Mary Lynn B.

    Will need a ride and would love stopping for dinner. Thx.

    April 25, 2014

    • betsy and w.

      Mary Lynn you can ride with Wayne and me if you like...... Betsy

      1 · April 25, 2014

    • Mary Lynn B.

      I would like - thanks Betsy - see you soon!

      April 25, 2014

  • Debra M. N.

    I can drive if needed, I drive a 5 passenger truck.
    Would stop for dinner!

    1 · April 22, 2014

    • Kathy

      Well, either you or I can drive then, sounds good to me either way :)

      April 23, 2014

  • Patricia L.

    Dinner sounds wonderful...my car is for pavement only.

    April 21, 2014

    • Patricia L.

      Kathy, may I ride with you, and you'll let us know if you must work that day

      April 22, 2014

    • Kathy

      Sure thing, I sure hope I can do this hike :)

      April 22, 2014

  • Kelli S.

    Thank you Kathy. My phone # is[masked]-9158. You call me or text me and let me know. Thank you again.

    April 20, 2014

    • Kathy

      I will let you know right after I find out my schedule, my cell is[masked]

      April 20, 2014

  • Kelli S.

    I would love to go, but I will need to carpool with someone because I don't drive. Is there anyone willing to carpool? I can give you money for gas. I live behind Waterwork, so we could meet in the Shopko parking lot by Arby's. Let me know.

    April 19, 2014

    • Kathy

      I will be glad to pick you up, I am sooooo hoping I do not have to work, I will know by next thursday what my schedule is. BTW I have room for 5 in my truck :)

      April 19, 2014

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