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Recommendation: Trinity Alps on Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 2:59 pm
by mbehlen
Hello! I hope all is well! You folks have always been so helpful and I was hoping I could get some advice. I would like to head to the Trinity Alps the weekend of Memorial Day, Thursday-Sunday, So four full days of trails! I am looking for Alpine Lakes, Views from above (peakbagging and passes), all for photography! I am a level three backpacker and am comfortable with Class 2 and a little class 3 (though some exposure would be good this trip). My last trip I claimed Seven Gables and it was a blast!

Does anyone have any ideas for a loop that is 10/15 miles a day that offers this? I have very limited knowledge of the area and would love your suggestions! Thank you!

Re: Recommendation: Trinity Alps on Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 11:02 pm
by Lumbergh21
One possibility is Caribou Lake which could include the Sawtooth Ridge and a steep decent down to Emerald, Sapphire, and Mirror Lakes with the potential for a loop using Deer Meadow and a climb up Caribou Mt (off trail) on the way in or on the way back out if not doing the loop. All beautiful alpine lakes and in the case of the loop, Morris Meadow is a classic high alpine meadow. The views looking down on Emerald and Sapphire lakes from Sawtooth Ridge also breathtaking. The Four Lakes Loop from the Stoney Ridge Trailhead with potential peak bagging of Granite Peak on the way in or out and Siligo Peak, which offers great views from the center of the loop. You can also visit Billy-be-damned Lake, Echo Lake, and Lake Anna just off the trail near Little Stonewall Pass. With other trails as well to increase the length of the hike if needed. Smith and Morris Lakes, Grizzly Lake, and Papoose Lake are some other classic alpine lakes, but I can't think of long loops including them off the top of my head. Sorry, I don't seem to have photos of these places on my computer.

Re: Recommendation: Trinity Alps on Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 12:44 pm
by Wandering Daisy
Not sure this will help, but we went up Canyon Creek May 10-12 2009 (a 90% snowpack year in Yosemite, not sure exactly what in the Trinities). We were stopped at the lake in the first photo below, not sure exactly where this was. Canyon Creek is the most popular trail and is well maintained and the lakes at the head of the trail are very nice. Given the snow we encountered in 2009, I think you would be able to do it this year. Just "google" Trinity Alps and you will find lots of trip reports.
Lake in Canyon Creek_small.jpg

Re: Recommendation: Trinity Alps on Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 4:49 pm
by Lumbergh21
I was up at Canyon Creek Lakes, Forbidden Lakes, and Boulder Creek Lakes this past weekend (May 8 and 9).
Boulder Creek Lakes Outlet 2.jpg
Boulder Creek Lakes Outlet (see falls in middle of picture)
Beuatiful Boulder Lake Cirque.jpg
Boulder Creek Lake
Lower Lake.jpg
Lower Canyon Creek Lake from south end
Upper Lake 2.jpg
Upper Canyon Creek Lake from south end
I didn't recommend this trail because of the extremely high visitation (expect 60+ on Memorial Day weekend), and because it is an overnight or 3 day trip at most (mine was 2 days and 21 miles, trip report coming soon). It is very beautiful; the best example of why I call the Trinities "the Sierra in miniature."

Re: Recommendation: Trinity Alps on Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: Tue May 12, 2020 9:38 pm
by Willythedog
Just a lil trail condition update:

Was just up at bear lakes. Big is totally clear, wee and little are still frozen.

Had a friend that did emerald the other day too, totally clear. Judging by the pics sapphire is clear too

Trying to figure out where to go next in the next weather window, thinking Thursday afternoon to Saturday morning is the sweet spot. Any recs?

Planning on boulder creek lakes next week once the weather actually gets better too.