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Heart Lake

Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, California

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Heart Lake

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  • Heart Lake.- Heart Lake
  • Castle Lake and Mount Shasta (14,179') from Heart Lake.- Heart Lake
  • Heart Lake.- Heart Lake
  • The view from Heart Lake.- Heart Lake
  • Sunrise from in front of the lake.- Heart Lake
  • Looking east in the afternoon.- Heart Lake
  • From from tent on the east side of the lake.- Heart Lake
  • Meadows and a tent site on the north side of Heart Lake.- Heart Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short hike. Fantastic views.
Cons: 
Steep.
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Region:
Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
600.00 ft (182.88 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,440.00 ft (1,658.11 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Heart Lake is located directly above Castle Lake in Northern California, in proximity to the city of Mount Shasta. This short, 2.2-mile hike offers astonishing views of Mount Shasta, Black Butte and Castle Lake. Castle Lake itself is worth a stop when road access allows it. The crystal-clear water is a perfect temperature for swimming on a hot summer day and a popular stand-up paddle board spot. There are a few campsites on the shores of Castle Lake, as well as one rumored to be near Heart Lake. 

Heart lake is more of a big pond than a lake, but it is definitely worth the hike. To get there, follow the Little Castle Lake trail on the eastern ridge of the Castle Lake. Once you are over the tree line and passing though rocks, start heading south or above the Castle Lake headboard. You will find Heart Lake just over a mile from the beginning of the trail. The Pacific Crest Trail is only a half mile away, although access from Heart Lake may be tricky. The area is rich in wildflowers in June and July, and it is recommended to hike before August to avoid the season's wildfire smoke in the Shasta valley. 

For those brave enough, head to the top of the ridge above Heart Lake for amazing views of the surrounding area and the north side of Castle-Crags. Restrooms are in the parking lot at Castle Lake. Be sure to bring plenty of water and have fun!

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(29 within a 30 mile radius)

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