The fourth time is a charm. No thunder storms chasing us off the mountain. No cramping calf muscles to slow us down. No swollen creek to dissuade us from crossing. This time we made a goal, and hit it.
This sign was not an omen we wanted to see as we prepared to venture up Canyon Creek in the Trinity Alps. Our goal was simple: make it to a lake. We had anywhere from 8 to 9 miles of upward slope to traverse, and knowing about the super snowpack gave us pause. However, what good would a hike be without the danger of being swept down an angry creek?
It was only after two or so miles that we saw the first of many patches of snow. We were lucky in that the snow was so fragmented that it posed no obstruction as we hiked upward towards our goal.
The several falls we saw along the way reinforced our already keen awareness of the speed and volume of water tumbling down the canyon. We were already preparing to face a reality that we would have a long and cold water crossing if we wanted to reach a lake.
The top of the canyon walls were amazing! I wanted to see skiers and St. Bernard dogs up and down the snow. It is going to be well into this summer before that snow melts. Heck, some may make it until the next snow storm.
As we made our way further up the canyon, the water still looked intimidating. We knew that we had to make significant water crossing soon.
The sheer drop in elevation creates so much white water rapids. Even in calm parts of the creek the current was swift. A feeling of dread was creeping in.
So we changed our plans. In a daring move, we cut cross country and stayed on the same side of the creek, and blazed a trail to the lake. We wanted to turn back as the brush swallowed us up, and the dry branches were scratching the hell out of our legs. We stayed the course though, and we would be rewarded for our efforts.
The Lower Canyon Creek Lake was magnificent!
It was quite a bit larger than I was expecting.
The view down from the lake was incredible. Hard to believe we had climbed so high in such a short time.
The peaks all around the lake were surrounded by snow.
One of the best parts of this trip. Very refreshing!
It was also very cool to be hiking so close to waterfalls. You can walk up and touch some of them. However, have good shoes that will not slip.
Well, my feet are a little beat up, and my legs are scratched and bleeding. However, it was all worth it. I mean, it had been frustration heading up the canyon the times before. This time we made it! I look forward to a good night’s sleep.