Backpacking Trip #2 — Canyon Creek Lake
A little late, but this past 4th of July weekend was spent backpacking in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. I am not a pro backpacker by any means but the hike to Canyon Creek Lake was my second “strenuous” backpacking trip I’ve done and I found it totally worth it. The lake itself sits among the mountains that’s part of the Trinity Alps in California. From the Canyon Creek Lake Trailhead, it’s an 8 mile trek with an elevation gain of 3047 ft. Quick side note: it’s an in and out trail, so it does not loop.
My boyfriend and I decided to split the hike to the lake in half. We arrived Friday evening, hiked 4 miles, then set up camp. We got our backpacking and campfire permits at the ranger station in Weaverville (this is required) and it was pretty cool that we could camp anywhere that looked like someone had camped before. The first part of the hike was not so bad, just a lot of forest. Sadly, we didn’t take many photos of the first 4 miles.
The next morning we finished our hike to the lake and were able to spend the whole day gazing at an amazing view of snow capped mountains and peaceful water. The second set of 4 miles was definitely more strenuous and the incline increased more quickly and the terrain more rocky. I’m no hero, I took a lot of breaks the last 4 miles. The incline got steeper and the 90 degree weather with a 30 pound backpack weighing me down kicked my fanny. But again, seeing Canyon Creek Lake and setting up our little tent for 2 in a more secluded area was totally worth it.
We spent the rest of day 2 just sitting around the campsite reading our books, playing cards and eating salami & cheese all with the most gorgeous view of snow capped mountains. We even took a quick dip in the lake to refresh ourselves (It was literally very quick because the water was FREEZING). Being in a place like that puts you in your place and makes you realize how small you and your problems are. Not to get super philosophical, but you get offered some perspective which some of us need every now and then.
The morning of Day 3, we woke up, made some coffee and started our journey back to the trailhead parking lot. We did the whole 8 miles in one day. I thought it would be a breeze since it was mostly downhill but be warned: the terrain is super rocky and my trekking poles were necessary! It was about 92 degrees outside without a cloud in the sky so that also made things a little rough but nothing some fresh river water and a good cry couldn’t cure. Yes, I cried to let out my frustrations for about 5 minutes then kept trekking. The thought of an In n Out burger was the only thing keeping me going at that point. The last 2 miles back to the trailhead, however, gets quite easy as the terrain turns to soft dirt instead of rocks.
All in all, I’d go back again. I think the strenuous elements are different for everyone so please don’t use my personal physical struggles as a benchmark. Like I said, I’m no pro back packer (maybe later in life), I’m just simply a gal doing cool things to have fun and this was FUN with all caps.
If you enjoyed my post, please ❤ it.
If you’d like more details or have questions about the trail or how we prepped for this trip, leave a comment below — I’d love to share some tips if it can be helpful.
Photo cred: Jasen Moloy