Friday night – we started driving around 7:30PM from bay area to Redding and stayed at a motel for the night. After a 6-hours of sleep, the day started early at 6-ish in the morning. From Redding the trail head is a good 2 hour drive from Redding to Weaverville.
From Weaverville, head west on Hwy 299 for 8-miles to Junction City and turn right onto Canyon Creek Road. Drive approximately 14 miles to the road end, parking lot and trail head. There is a pit toilet at the trail head.
At the trail head the sign board says 8-miles to lower Canyon Creek Lake. First couple of miles are pretty flat and shaded.
And there are quite a few access points to the river to freshen up and filter water for drinking. Eventually, the trail starts climbing up and opens up to the heat.
The trail is fairly easy to follow. Barely any reasons to be lost. Along the way there are few campgrounds in case needed near the water sources.
The day when we went, towards the evening it started pouring down. Luckily we had packed rain covers for backpacks and ponchos to cover ourselves. So, even in the summer, be prepared for sudden rain. It might have rained for a good one hour.
Our original target was upper canyon creek lake. But, due to the rain, we eventually slowed down reaching lower lake.
Half a mile before reaching lower lake there is a deep river crossing. Watch out for it. It’s doable, but it does get deep.
We settled down for a dry sunset and sumptuous dinner of dehydrated dhal/rice, parathas and indian snacks.
Next day morning, we thought of hiking up to upper lake and further to L lake. But neither happened. It was too relaxing too chill at campground and enjoy breakfast. Who wouldn’t want a relaxing trip ?!
Hike back down is pretty straightforward, as it’s an out-and-back trail.
Very much a beginner friendly trail with only a 3200ft elevation gain. Stays well below 8000ft of altitude (not sure of the exact elevation at the lake).