August 1999
Trinity Alps - Canyon Creek Lakes
Will Galloway

Eight CONFUSED folks backpacked in the Trinity Alps over a weekend. Following is a short account of our adventures...

Our destination was Canyon Creek Lakes in the south-western part of the Alps, about 20 miles from Weaverville. We finalized our route at the South Bay meeting at Tuan's place Wednesday night, and picked up several more participants.

Jack, Steve, Kristina, and I arrived at the trailhead Friday night after a long drive up I-5, and promptly crashed for the night. Mike, Asa, Florian, and Peter met us in the morning, and after comparing pack weight, we all hit the trail. Florian's pack was curiously heavy.

The Canyon Creek trail is about 8 miles long, and gradually climbs toward the lakes. Several waterfalls are located near the trail, including the imaginatively named Canyon Creek Falls. It was here that the contents of Florian's 50 lb. pack began to emerge. We happily passed around at least a pound of peanut M&M's, plus yogurt-covered raisins, crackers, and a large bag of fresh carrots. Florian is welcome on any trip, any time.

On our arrival at the lakes, everyone shed significant amounts of clothing, and plunged into the fairly cold upper lake. (Pictures to follow) We camped Saturday evening on a large granite peninsula between the upper and lower lakes. A flock of bats flew overhead at dusk, and began to hunt insects high over the lake. That night we lay snug in our bags, and watched enormous glittering constellations rise slowly above the horizon before the moon appeared like a floodlight, illuminating the landscape.

On Sunday, six of us spent the morning grunting, crashing, and stumbling our way up a nearly trail-less 1600 ft. ridge north of the upper lake. We were rewarded with a terrific view of several lakes at the mouth of Stuart Fork, as well as Sawtooth Ridge and Thompson Peak, the highest point in the Alps. A possibly unnamed peak rose to our south, which we dubbed Confused Peak. So there.

After repeating the morning's exercise in reverse, we arrived at camp, collected our gear, and headed down the trail. We drove from the trailhead back through Weaverville and Redding, and met in Red Bluff where we stuffed ourselves with a seemingly never-ending variety of tasty Chinese food. Our trip ended well after midnight, and a fine time was had by all.


The End
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