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Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon

Trinity Alps Wilderness

Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, California

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Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
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  • Entering the Trinity Alps Wilderness.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Deep in the woods of Long Canyon.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • The transition from forest to meadows in Long Canyon.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • The view looking back down Long Canyon.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Trailside wildflowers in Long Canyon.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Upper reaches of Long Canyon in the "Red Trinities."- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Western pasqueflower in upper Long Canyon.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • The southwest view from Bee Tree Gap.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Deer Lake from Deer Creek Pass.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Looking east toward Deer Lake from near Sligo Peak. - Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Summit Lake in the Red Trinities.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Diamond Lake with the White Trinities in the background. - Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • A sheltered camping spot near Diamond Lake.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Diamond Lake sunset. - Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
  • Sunrise on the White Trinities from near Diamond Lake.- Four Lakes Loop via Long Canyon
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Lightly visited. Big views. Summer wildflowers. Swimming.
Cons: 
Strenuous. Dirt road approach.
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Region:
Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
4,000.00 ft (1,219.20 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
17.20 mi (27.68 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,760.00 ft (1,146.05 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

With over 600 miles of trails and 500,000 acres of wilderness land, the Trinity Alps form an alpine wonderland in far northern California. The heavily forested west side of the alps form the Green Trinities, and the rugged granite peaks in the heart of the range make up the White Trinities. This trip takes you to the crest of the eastern portion of the Trinity Alps: the peridotite-stained Red Trinities.

Long Canyon is the shortest of several routes that can take you to the Four Lakes Loop. Six miles of steady uphill hiking will take you from the trailhead to Bee Tree Gap at 7,560 feet and then on to Deer Creek Pass, the high point of the trail at 7,760 feet. This section alone makes for a worthwhile trip. The trail begins under the cover of mature Douglas fir and incense cedar trees before breaking out into subalpine meadows after about 2.5 miles. These meadows will provide a full palette of color when hiked in the summer during the wildflower season. The geology of the area will add to the color palette with red and white stone spires competing for your attention.

Once you make it to Deer Creek Pass the first of the four lakes appears (Deer Lake, of course). The 5.2-mile Four Lakes Loop connects here and begins its circumnavigation of Sligo Peak. After skirting the periphery of Deer Lake's bowl, Summit Lake appears with its own short spur trail. Continue west and you will eventually descend toward the jewel of the four lakes, Diamond Lake. When you make it to the eastern shore of the lake and look west, the lake forms an infinity pool with the White Trinities as the backdrop. Flat ground for camping can be found on the north side of the lake.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

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(17 within a 30 mile radius)

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