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Copper Creek Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

13.4 mile 21.6 kilometer out and back
64% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 5,263' 1,604 m
Descent: -5,262' -1,604 m
High: 10,369' 3,161 m
Low: 5,106' 1,556 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 15% (8°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Sophie Carrillo-Mandel

Copper Creek Trail is an intense run with amazing views.

Sophie Carrillo-Mandel

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a diverse trail with many challenges, rewarded with stunning views and peaceful solitude.

Runner Notes

The trail is well graded so the main challenge will be the long, steady uphill to the Lip.

Description

Starting at Road's End, the Copper Creek Trail begins at the trailhead of the same name. It is well graded, but all uphill for about 8 miles. The trail is very exposed (start early in the day!) with few sources of water. It's a butt kicker, especially if you are at the beginning of a trip with a full pack. There's decent camping and a bear box at Lower Tent Meadow, and very slanty "campsites" at Upper Tent Meadow, which is difficult to find, with no signage.

The Copper Creek Trail ends at the ridge called the Granite Lip, and from there the trail drops into Granite Basin. For those heading out for a longer run, you can continue on the Simpson Meadow Trail at this point. There is no water at the Lip, so if you need to camp, do a brief 1/2 mile cross country to the outlet of Grouse Lake, north of the trail and east of the ridge.

If you are planning finish this out and back as a day run, turn around at the Lip, and enjoy the steady downhill back to your starting point. On the way back you can enjoy the many views that you earned on the way up!

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#4

in Cedar Grove

#1982

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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Run Rankings

#4

in Cedar Grove

#273

in California

#1,982

Overall
45 Views Last Month
4,702 Since Jan 14, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Lower Tent Meadow
Dec 31, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
Sphinx Crest
Jan 14, 2016 near Big Pine, CA
View west from the Granite Lip on the Simpson Meadow Trail.
Dec 25, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
View of the Sphinx, Avalanche Pass, and Mt. Palmer from the Copper Creek Trail, overlooking Tent Meadow
Dec 25, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
View of the Sphinx, Avalanche Pass, and Mt. Palmer from the Copper Creek Trail.
Dec 25, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
View of Granite Pass from the first drift fence in Granite Basin on the Simpson Meadow Trail.
Dec 25, 2015 near Big Pine, CA

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