You can do this route as a long day trip or as a one- or two-night backpacking trip. Either way, expect lots of elevation gain and amazing scenery as you work your way from old growth pine forests to mountain meadows and spectacular alpine lakes.
Features: Lake — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers
From the trailhead, take the Long Canyon Trail
, which climbs steadily through pine forests until entering the mountain meadows below Gibson Peak.
Continue through the meadows until you reach Bee Tree Gap, where you'll see Siligo Meadows ahead. Descend from the gap and continue a mile or so across the meadows to reach Deer Creek Pass. In front of you is the striking Siligo Peak above Deer Lake. The glacier-carved valley of Deer Creek extends to the north. You are at the boundary of the Red and White Trinities and you can clearly see the difference between the red rocks around Deer Lake and the white rocks of Siligo Peak.
Work you way down from Deer Creek Pass and join the Four Lakes Trail
. Turn left to do the Four Lakes Loop clockwise. Traverse the bowl above Deer Lake and then climb to the bottom of the south ridge of Siligo Peak.
There is an optional use trail that climbs the South Ridge of Siligo Peak to its summit, where you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and mountains.
Back on the Four Lakes Trail
, take the switchbacks down to Diamond Lake. Sitting amid meadows at the top of the steep Stuart Fork Canyon, Diamond Lake offers excellent views of the White Trinities. From there, the trail climbs to the north side of Siligo Peak, and then descends into the Deer Creek Canyon. Pass by lovely Luella Lake and enjoy the views of Seven Up Peak and Dolomite Ridge ahead.
Keep descending to the meadowy junction with the Deer Creek Trail
. Turn right onto the Deer Creek Trail
and climb to Deer Creek Lake. Circle around Deer Lake and climb again to complete the loop.
From Deer Creek Pass, return the way you came.
The pine forests in Long Canyon are thick with Douglas-fir, sugar pine, incense cedar, and white fir. In the meadows look for wildflowers such as mariposa lilies, monkshood, Indian paintbrush, and western pasqueflower. And look for giant foxtail pines between Bee Tree Gap and Deer Creek Pass.