Redding: Alphabet Lakes

Basecamp in a rarely visited basin and take daytrips to several alpine lakes with stunning views on this 17.2-mile, long-weekend backpacking trip.
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Basecamp in a rarely visited basin and take daytrips to several alpine lakes with stunning views on this 17.2-mile, long-weekend backpacking trip.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.2

Waypoints

-223CalfLkScenic+MtShas4X5

Location: 41.562068939209, -123.098197937012

The endless views to solitary cone of Mount Shasta from the ridge at Calf Lake. ©Leon Nelson

Dogwood Lake

Location: 41.5597496032715, -123.11222076416

Reflective crystal waters of Dogwood Lake envelope a rocky penisula. Take a dip in this alpine refresher after dayhiking the Alphabet Lakes. ©Leon Nelson

Deep Lake

Location: 41.5729637145996, -123.11353302002

Deep Lake's basin with Marble Mountain's snow-capped crown in the background. ©Leon Nelson

ABL001

Location: 41.5625076293945, -123.049133300781

Go W on signed dirt rd., tracing creek from Campbell, Cliff, Summit Lakes into the glacier-sculpted Marbles

ALB002

Location: 41.5606842041016, -123.057960510254

Defined trail leads under madrones, tanbark oaks; cross creeklets

ALB003

Location: 41.5460929870606, -123.098068237305

Sharp R @ Y to Calf Lake

ALB004

Location: 41.5563583374023, -123.08708190918

L @ unmarked Y; a taxing 1,000-foot ascent ahead

ALB005

Location: 41.5609016418457, -123.096649169922

Calf Lake: Lunch by shore, then leave marked trail & head slowly up boulder field to SW for big views (bring poles)

ALB006

Location: 41.5591125488281, -123.111503601074

Spend 1-3 nights @ perfect basecamp (permit required) on E shore peninsula of Dogwood Lake (7,250 ft.)

ALB007

Location: 41.5602226257324, -123.110313415527

Dayhike #1: Explore Chinquapin, Buckhorn, and Aspen Lakes. From camp, head N off-trail on easiest terrain

ALB008

Location: 41.5617980957031, -123.110229492188

Chinquapin Lake (7,150 ft.): Cast for brookies on E shore, then go N

ALB009

Location: 41.5634918212891, -123.111381530762

Swing to the L side of pristine Buckhorn Lake, (7,125 ft.); keep N

ALB010

Location: 41.5656929016113, -123.10880279541

Rocky shores of Aspen Lake; swim, rest, return to Dogwood Camp

ALB011

Location: 41.5631446838379, -123.116394042969

Dayhike #2: Knock off 2 more lakes on this 2.6-miler. From camp, hike to WPT 9 then bear W to Wolverine Lake (7,000 ft.) with long views to Marble Mtn.

ALB012

Location: 41.5682640075684, -123.113006591797

Deep Lake (6,350 ft.) is the deepest (68 ft.) and biggest (16 acres) in the region. Return to camp, backtrack to car