4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

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gplhiker
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4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by gplhiker » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:19 pm

I have a small group of fellow backpackers looking to do a couple multiday trips into the Trinity Alps Wilderness area later this summer, a place I haven't been to in over 30 years. The first trip will be focused on the 4 Lakes Loop area. In my previous trips we had set up a camp just near the north end of Deer Lake after heading up Long Canyon, mostly because we headed out the next day toward Morris Meadows so I never really had a chance to explore this area. I am interested in a couple of nights to really explore the area around Siligo Peak, and am looking for any recommendations for campsites that would be suitable for 3-4 people. I'm especially interested in the area around Summit Lake, but I will take any suggestions for what others who have been there have found to be good options. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and suggestions!








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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by Lumbergh21 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:28 pm

I recommend coming in over Stonewall Pass; Echo Lake (just off trail) and Van Matre Meadows offer good spots for a break. It is a longer approach than Long Canyon, so depending on what time you reach the trailhead and your hiking pace, Van Matre Meadows also has a camp site along a creek that should accommodate 3 to 4 people. If you come by way of Long Canyon, a good looking off trail lake you might want to check out is Anna Lake (looks pretty straight forward on a topo map). I haven't been there yet (planning to go this year), but it reportedly has a camp site that should accommodate 3 to 4 people. Summit Lake has several camp sites and can easily accommodate 5 to 6 tents. Finally, I highly recommend scrambling to the top of Siligo Peak. There is an easy use trail (1+) from the saddle between Deer Lake and Summit Lake that you can follow to the top. The views are fabulous including all 4 lakes surrounding Siligo. The loop itself around Siligo is fairly easy cruising with the only road bump being the climb back up to Deer Lake. I'm not quite certain why you would be hiking to Morris Meadow if you started at the Long Canyon trailhead? Wouldn't that take you in the opposite direction of where you parked at the start?

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by gplhiker » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:22 pm

Hi Lumbergh21 -- Thank you so much for the info. I have found a couple of other recommendations for Summit Lake camping, and I am a peak-bagger as well so Siligo Peak is definitely on the to-do list.
As for heading to Morris Meadows, we did point to point trips where we ended up spending a couple of nights at Emerald Lake and then heading up Suicide Ridge for another night at Snowslide before ending up at Big Flat. Just amazing country, and I'm having trouble imagining that I haven't been there in so long given how much I am in the outdoors!

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by muleaaron » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:28 pm

Prime time for this trip is end of June and early July when you will be treated to one of the best wildflower displays you will ever see. Deer Lake doesn’t have much in the way of sites, and I don’t believe that Luella does either. Summit and Diamond are your best bets. I also agree with summering Siligo. Little effort for a big reward.

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by cunningkeith » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:52 pm

I did this one in May 2014 (low snow year). I started the 4-lake-loop, then headed up the Stuart Fork to Emerald and Sapphire Lakes and then completed the loop. Here is the TR:

http://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewt ... =8&t=18924

The meadow below Deer Lake has better camping than Deer Lake itself. Summit Lake is cool but spooky (barren, wind-swept, red granite area with great views and plenty of room for tents).

For what it's worth, another awesome trip goes to Smith Lake. The view looking east over the Stuart Fork toward the area of Siligo Peak makes you feel like you are really out there. I did that one last summer:

https://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/view ... =8&t=25898

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by kpeter » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:03 pm

My father and I did a shuttle trip beginning at Swift Creek, to Granite lake, over the Seven Up Peak pass to Deer lake, to Summit Lake, and then out via Long Canyon to our second car. This was 25 years ago. The trip was quite enjoyable. I liked Granite Lake and the high meadows behind it on the way to Seven Up Peak pass. There is a grove of huge cedar trees in the vicinity. The hillside coming down from Seven Up Peak into the Deer Creek drainage was a riot of flowers and streams. Deer lake was boring and we did not tarry there. Summit Lake was lovely. I seem to remember a lot of sites on the north side of the lake. We walked up Siligo Peak--nothing more challenging than a bit of boulder hopping. Then out through Bee Tree Gap and Long Canyon. Long Canyon had some of the best displays of puffy white flowers and paintbrush I have seen in my life.

Last year I returned and did a Stuart Fork trip. It is possible, of course, to head up Deer Creek from the Stuart Fork and get to the same vicinity, although it is a long hike. My trip report for the Stuart Fork trip is here:
http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... lit=stuart
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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by TehipiteTom » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:48 am

Plenty of good recommendations here. Summit is the best camping; Anna Lake is spectacular; Siligo is a not too difficult scramble, and well worth it.

For whatever it's worth, here's another trip report, from 2009 (in via Long Canyon/Bowerman Meadow).

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by gplhiker » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:25 am

Thanks to all for some of these trip reports and suggestions. I am really excited to get back to the area after so long. I live about 4 hours drive from the Trinity area, so it has just fallen out of my range for a number of years. However, the trips I did way back when were formative to my love of backpacking and the outdoors, and just seeing the pictures again that many of you have posted has me raring to go. I'm now planning a couple of treks this summer, including the 4 lakes loop via Long Canyon, but then also heading up Stuart Fork to Emerald and Sapphire lakes. The times I was there before I never had a chance to get up to Mirror Lake, but have heard it is worthwhile and that Kalmia Lake is as well if conditions are good. Is it summer yet????!!?

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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:49 pm

I'll throw in a few photos from my 4-Lakes Loop in early September 2015. Things were pretty dry by then that year but still beautiful.
North From Stonewall Pass Comp.jpg
West From Siligo Peak Comp.jpg
View From Diamond Lake Outlet Comp.jpg
I can hardly wait to get back out there too. :D
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Re: 4 Lakes Loop (Trinity Alps) Recommendations

Post by kpeter » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:09 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:Plenty of good recommendations here. Summit is the best camping; Anna Lake is spectacular; Siligo is a not too difficult scramble, and well worth it.

For whatever it's worth, here's another trip report, from 2009 (in via Long Canyon/Bowerman Meadow).
Tehipite, just read your trip report. Brought back some memories. When my Dad and I were exiting from our trip, we camped in the very upper reaches of Long Canyon below (ESE) of Bee Tree Gap. In fact, we were at the southernmost bend in the trail. At the time, Dad suggested I hike up the slope to see Lake Anna. It was a steep but direct route SSW from camp. I only got up a few hundred feet before dusk made me turn back without making it to the lake.
Image3-7.jpg
But that route sure seems to be an easier one to Lake Anna than the route from Bowerman. When you were there, did you walk north of the lake and look down that approach? I'm curious if it is a reasonable alternative, and whether I missed an opportunity.
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