Sunday, September 8, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in the Trinity Alps

The summer season is slowly winding down, although temperatures in the Central Valley are still high, field work is wrapping up and I am looking forward to the fall.

Finally had the opportunity to do a short trip over the labor day weekend. Rakesh, Lori and I spent three wonderful days in the Trinity Alps. These are like the little sister to the epic Sierras, just as beautiful but smaller and more gentle. My go to hiking is usually in the Sierras but due to the rim fire sending so much smoke north, it seemed like a good opportunity to explore something different.

We left Davis in the early afternoon on Saturday, this cut our hiking time short on Saturday as we got to the Canyon Creek trailhead around 5 pm. As none of us had been on this trail before we did not know if we would find a decent site to camp before dark but we were all excited to get hiking so we headed anyway.

Canyon Creek trailhead to Canyon Creek Lake

Dueling Trekking Poles

Hiker Geek Love

We hiked for about 3 miles up a gentle ascent. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow and we came to a nice camping spot near water a little before dark.

After filtering water and cooking dinner we enjoyed a bottle of wine and played cards until sleep called us to bed.

Rakesh the Card Shark

SMD Lunar Duo in foreground and Tarptent Double Rainbow in background
The next day was just incredible, we followed the trail which paralleled Canyon Creek. The sun was warm and we could not resist the lure of the creek.

We made it to the lake by the early afternoon. There were tons of people camped along the trail leading up to the lake but almost nobody was camping near the lake itself. We found a great little spot to set up and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Even Lori went for a swim

As the day started to close we noticed a black bear across the lake foraging for berries. It was completely unconcerned about us and we had a great opportunity to watch the bear until dark. We ended up seeing three different bears across the lake, all of them ignoring each other and us while they gorged on berries. Needless to say, we hung our food very carefully that night, just in case.

Bear going for a morning drink

Watching the Bears
When we woke up in the morning the three bears were still foraging and we spent an enjoyable breakfast watching them. I have seen many bears over the years but this was the first time I could watch them for such a long period of time, it was really spectacular.

After a leisurely breakfast, we packed up and hiked out to the trailhead. It felt pretty good to blow by all the other backpackers with their huge packs. With a light pack you can go faster, farther and with less effort.

After a very mediocre lunch in Weaverville, we headed home, refreshed and ready for the week. This was my second trip to the Trinity Alps and I would really like to explore that area some more, hopefully some more trips there in the near future.