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Sky High Lakes Basin

Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, California

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Sky High Lakes Basin

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  • Sky High Lakes Basin from above.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • The gorgeous Marble Valley.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • The upper fall of the last creek you cross. - Sky High Lakes Basin
  • A gorgeous sunset and the last showing of ice on Frying Pan Lake.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • A clear night in the Sky High Lakes Basin.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Glacier lillies.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Relaxing in the Sky High Lakes Basin.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Aspen is plentiful once you break into the higher elevations.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Lots of marble rock on this trek.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Winter deadfall is usually cleaned up later in the summer.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • One of many creek crossings.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Relaxing in the Sky High Lakes Basin.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Gorgous views on the hike to the Sky High Lakes Basin.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Spring snow in the Ski High Lakes Basin.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • One of several falls in the area.- Sky High Lakes Basin
  • Parking for the trailhead.- Sky High Lakes Basin
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Secluded. Gorgeous views. Well maintained trail. Paved access to the trailhead.
Cons: 
Lots of climbing. Lots of bear activity. Rattlesnakes in the summer.
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Region:
Trinity Alps + Marble Mountain Wilderness, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,300.00 ft (1,310.64 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

In an area well known for standout destinations such as Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak and the Castle Crags Wilderness, the Marble Mountains are truly a hidden gem. It is an area that you can easily enjoy for days at a time without seeing another person, and an area that rewards deeper exploration with better and better views in more secluded terrain. Whether you are looking for caves, lakes, or mountains, the Marble Mountains have it all.

Sky High Lakes are located nearly 7 miles from the Lovers Camp Trailhead along the Canyon Creek Trail (note that this is a different trail from the Canyon Creek Trail in the Trinities). Three separate lakes make up the Sky High Lake Basin: Upper Sky High Lake, Lower Sky High Lake, and little Frying Pan Lake (which really looks like a frying pan from above). With a variety of campsites scattered around these lakes, there are plenty of options for enjoying a weekend in the woods.

The Canyon Creek Trail starts from a well maintained camp area and climbs nearly 1,300 feet deep into the Marble Mountains. Once the spring snow has melted, the Canyon Creek Trail is easy to follow and maintains a moderate grade. A relatively flat first 600 feet will have you crossing multiple creeks, so you may get a little wet on the way. The final creek crossing offers a view from the top of a 40-foot waterfall that you get to navigate across. From this last creek crossing you then enter the official "Marble Valley," though you still have a couple of miles and about 650 feet more to climb before you reach the meadows of the valley itself.

Take a left at a fork in the trail approximately a quarter of a mile from the the entrance to the valley. As this trail continues to climb you will get multiple views of the canyon below you and the amazing Marble Rim above you. Passing little Gate Lake and cresting into the meadows will have you entering the rather massive basin where there are multiple paths to follow. All of them will lead to one of the lakes, great camping, and a great base camp from which to explore the area! 

Note that once this trail is stock friendly once winter deadfall has been cleared. Campfires are allowed with a free permit that can be picked up at the Klamath National Forest Ranger Station, 1711 Main Street, Yreka, California. Also, due to heavy bear activity it is strongly recommended that you carry a bear canister for your food keep bear spray with you at all times. Please remember pack out what you pack in and Leave No Trace.

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