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Backpacker Magazine – January 2014

Destinations: Top 3 West

by: Shey Kiester

Photo By Vicky Kirkendall-Spring
Photo by BP0114W_Kirkendall-Spring_TolmiePeak_bjk445x260.jpg
Photo By Vicky Kirkendall-Spring

Trinity Alps Wilderness, CA 
Sawtooth Mountain

Stand atop Sawtooth Mountain and see Mt. Shasta poking above the splintered granite spires of the Alps. From the Canyon Creek Lake trailhead, an 8-mile approach lands you at 25-acre Upper Canyon Creek Lake, nestled like a jewel below 8,898-foot Sawtooth.
Expect company, but set up camp back from the secluded northwest shore atop a meadow and beside  the 20-foot waterfall. From there, it’s a .5-mile, 840-foot climb northeast through a boulder field to “L” Lake at 6,560 feet. Continue south, cruising through an alpine meadow (look for black bears) and scrambling over scree. In a mile (after gaining 2,280 feet on class 3 and 4 terrain), reach the Sawtooth pinnacle from where you can see eight lakes strung together like a beaded sapphire necklace.
Use caution on the downclimb, Leon Nelson says. “You may want to head toward Morris Lake, then swing east to ‘L’ for surer footing.”

 

Trailhead 40.887076, -123.024107; 65 miles northwest of Redding off Canyon Creek Rd. INFO (530) 226-2500; bit.ly/TrinityAlpsWild




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