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Stuart Fork Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (5)

Run to two alpine lakes at the headwaters of Stuart Fork.


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Map Key

13.6

Miles

21.8

KM

91%

Runnable

6,056' 1,846 m

High

2,712' 827 m

Low

3,582' 1,092 m

Up

247' 75 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Free wilderness permits and campfire permits are required to enter the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Description

From the trailhead, follow an old road to the Trinity Alps Wilderness boundary at Cherry Flat. Climb gradually along the Stuart Fork of the Trinity River.

After 4 miles, the trail crosses Deep Creek over a bridge and then crosses Oak Flat.

At 5 miles, pass the turnoff for the Alpine Lake Trail. The trail continues to climb gently, crossing Deer Creek over a bridge at around 7 miles. Pass the junction with the Deer Creek Trail at 8 miles and reach Morris Meadow at 9 miles.

Morris Meadow has awesome wildflower displays all summer and plenty of campsites.

Beyond the meadow, the trail turns west into more mountainous territory. At 12 miles you'll reach Portuguese Camp, the last good spot to camp before Emerald and Sapphire Lakes.

The trail becomes steep and open as it climbs west toward Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is actually man-made, created for mining operations a century ago. There's still a lot of old mining equipment lying around.

Follow the cairns around Emerald Lake's north shore and then climb 600 feet to the trail's end at Sapphire Lake. At the deep, clear lake, enjoy the views of Thompson Peak and the Sawtooth Ridge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Miguel Vieira

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 5 votes

#365

Overall
  5.0 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#47

in California

#365

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5,454 Since Jan 12, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

An alpine lake with waterfalls on the granite cliffs high in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area in Northern California. from Prindleman under CC BY-SA
May 24, 2017 near Weaverv…, CA
Morris Meadow in the winter.
Oct 22, 2019 near Weaverv…, CA

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