Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › Suggested Meetup to the Trinity Alps June 14-17
The latest trail reports state that this trip cannot happen for at least another week or two, They say that they were fooled earlier into thinking that this was going to be a “fast melt” year, but in truth this is only true at elevations below 6500 ft or strong south-facing slopes. At higher elevations, the snow is expected to hang on for at least another week. I also spoke with a ranger a couple of days ago, and she told me they had snow down to 4500-5000 for two days this week. Plus, the whole north coast has had fairly cool temperatures for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I have a relatively minor surgical procedure scheduled for next week, which nevertheless will require that I lay low for a period of time afterwards. This week was my window of opportunity to get up there, but unfortunately the stars are misaligned for it.
I'll leave the details up in case someone else wants to do it before I'm able to get out into the wilderness again. All the best to you!
The trip I'm suggesting is the Granite Lake-Bear Basin loop, and including the Four Lakes loop. Total distance will be about 25 miles with about 5000 feet elevation change (up and down). We will likely encounter some areas of snow cover, brushy areas, fallen trees, creek crossings, and of course it's bear and lion country. Therefore this trip is for experienced backpackers only.
Day 1: We start at the Swift Creek TH (4200 ft) and hike to Granite Lake (6000 ft) to camp there the first night.
Day 2: Our destination will be to camp at one of the lakes in the Four Lakes area. This will be the toughest day. The first leg that day involves a climb from about 6000 ft to about 7500 ft. There's a brushy section on that leg, but other than that it's just a good steep climb. After crossing the Seven-up Ridge on the south side of Seven-up Peak we go all the way back down to about 6200 ft at Deer Creek, and then on to the Four Lakes region (which is back up at 7000-7500 feet elevation).
The Four Lakes loop is 6 to 8 miles long at an elevation of 7000 ft. plus or minus several hundred feet. There are many opportunities for photography here, as well as summiting Siligo Peak, fishing, or even swimming in one of the lakes (although the water might be a little cool). Many points afford exceptional views of the entire Trinity Alps region, the Castle Crags, the Sawtooths, and Thompson Peak (the highest peak in the Trinities), as well as Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak. The sunsets at Diamond Lake are spectacular, according to reports. (It would certainly be worth hanging out in this area for a day, but that would extend the trip to 5 days.)
Day 3: We complete the Four Lakes loop, then down to and along Deer Creek on the west side of Seven Up Peak. From Deer Creek, we again climb about 1000 feet through Blacks Basin and up over the pass on the north side of Seven-Up Peak. From here it's all downhill, following the Bear Basin Trail along Bear Creek, and then the Swift Creek Trail along, you guessed it, Swift Creek.
At this writing, there's still some snow remaining on portions of the trail, but it should be mostly clear in a couple of weeks. Even the dreaded Parker Creek crossing was already passable Memorial Day weekend, so it should be easy-peasy by the time we get there. Wild flowers should still be plentiful. Bear canisters are recommended but not officially required in Trintity. If you don't have a bear canister, then all food and fragrant substances must be hung. Permits are required, so it's necessary to have an exact count of hikers.
I am not authorized, so this is not an official Meetup at this time, but merely a "draft". Send me an email or call my message machine at (707) 433-3446 if you're interested in this trip or if you have any questions. All calls will be returned. Peter Biskup
Edited by Peter Biskup on Jun 8, 2012 11:08 PM