The Canyon Creek watershed is the most popular destination for hiking and backpacking in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Once you have witnessed this canyon's beauty, it is very easy to see why. During the summer months more than five waterfalls can be seen or heard from the trail to the Canyon Creek Lakes. During late spring and early summer over 50 waterfalls can be found in this watershed, some of which require backcountry travel to observe. The largest and most impressive of these waterfalls is Canyon Creek Falls. Here nearly all of the water from hundreds of small streams in the upper portions of the canyon flow over a series of large drops.
This set of cascades is sometimes missed by travelers because they mistake the small falls a half mile up the trail for being Canyon Creek Falls, while All the while the real set of falls is nestled off the beaten path nearby. Off-trail travel and scrambling is necessary to access the falls. Because there is no official access trail, this can lead to damage being done by those searching for the waterfall. Please be respectful to the forest by minimizing your impact on the surrounding plants, animals, and waterways. The best location to leave the trail and head to the falls is immediately after crossing a large (often dry) creek bed. Immediately after the trail bends right there is a "Trail ->" sign. Instead of following the trail, go straight past this sign, into the forest, and down the hillside.
For any visitors looking to stay overnight near Canyon Creek Falls there are several sites near the smaller falls up the trail. Utilizing existing camps helps preserve the wilderness by concentrating use in a small area while leaving other areas untouched. Also, be sure to pick up a wilderness permit from the ranger station in Weaverville before heading out.