“Run to the stunning Grizzly Lake and Grizzly Falls deep within the Trinity Alps.”
— Maria Espino
Lake · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Free wilderness permits and campfire permits are required to enter the Trinity Alps Wilderness.
Grizzly Lake—fed by a glacier on the Trinity Alps' highest peak—doesn't have an outlet stream, but rather a spectacular 600-foot waterfall. Run through ancient forests and meadows on a journey to this awesome sight.
From the trailhead, take the China Spring Trail
and pass the boundary for the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Climb to Hunters Camp at the top of a ridge covered in burnt trees left by a recent fire.
From Hunters Camp drop into Grizzly Creek Canyon. There, you'll find a junction the North Fork Trail
. Turn left to head east up Grizzly Creek.
Continue on this level section of trail for about two miles, paralleling Grizzly Creek through old-growth forest.
The trail begins to climb again and emerges onto open rock and then passes by a tall waterfall on Grizzly Creek. Keep climbing past numerous waterfalls. At length you'll see Grizzly Falls and Thompson Peak, the highest in the Trinity Alps, ahead.
The trail levels off again and traverses Grizzly Meadows beginning at around 5.5 miles. There are several good campsites here. After the meadows, climb steep switchbacks next to the falls. The climb takes you to a rocky bench with fantastic views of Grizzly Meadows.
From the bench, climb again, up a talus slope with cairns marking the way. At the top, you'll be rewarded with Grizzly Lake.
Return the way you came.