register help

Trinity Lakeshore Trail, CA

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
12 2 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,432 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Accumulated Gain 200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5
Backpack No
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
12  2014-05-25 JimmyLyding
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 111
Routes 430
Photos 4,295
Trips 715 map ( 4,289 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → 3 PM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  4:39am - 7:46pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Hike Along Beautiful Trinity Lake
by JimmyLyding

The Trinity Lakeshore Trail won't be found in any guide books, but it's there. Trinity Lake views are outstanding, and the trail is quite easy.

Trinity Lake was formed in 1961 with the construction of Trinity Dam which was designed to help transfer water from the Trinity River basin to the Sacramento River basin. Now Southern California wants to build some huge tunnels in the Sacramento River delta to suck away more water, but I digress. Trinity Lake can hold up to 2.4 million acre-feet of water and have 145 miles of shoreline, and this hike gives a small slice of this huge recreation opportunity.

The best trailhead is at the eastern terminus near the Clark Springs boat ramp. The parking lot can be quite busy if the boat ramp is operational, but will be a ghost town if the ramp is out of commission due to the water level being too low. The trailhead and a too-detailed sign are at the southwestern corner of the parking lot, or directly across from the entrance. The first few hundred yards go through the Clark Springs Campground. Many camping spots lack amenities like a fire ring or table, and I think this is sort of a last resort for people looking for cheap walk in spots. It's also in a relatively dark forest of Douglas fir and madrone that makes sunglasses unnecessary. Most of the hike is in the forest with views of the lake on one side and more forest on the other.

The trail winds with the contour above the lake for about 1.5 mile until it reaches Minersville Campground which is much nicer than Clark Springs. #3 is a particularly glorious site that I've stayed in twice. There are even bathrooms with running water here. The trail had been heading roughly south to this point, but it turns to the west as it contours past another boat ramp. The Minersville boat ramp has always been busy when I've been there because the water has been low and this is one of the few ramps on the lake that reaches this depth.

The old town of Minersville was established during the gold rush here in the 1880s, but has now disappeared beneath Trinity Lake. The Cedar Stock Marina becomes apparent to the northwest, but there's still 2 more miles of winding trail through forests of Douglas fir, madrone, dogwood, alder, ponderosa pine and a few sugar pines. The character of the forest changes throughout its 4 miles. Ponderosa pines form virtual monoculture communities on south facing slopes while alders and dogwood choke the numerous small drainages. Mixed forest with even a little bit of chaparral is everywhere else as the trail contours around the northeastern side of the Stuart Fork arm of the lake. The trail goes through a forest of alder and dougies before climbing gently to the cabin rental operation with a small gift shop (very small) and a bar that serves food.

The trail reaches the resort after passing a few small rental cabins and climbing a few stairs. The sign at the top of the stairs refers to this as the "Marina Trail," but the sign doesn't look very official so I'm going with the too-detailed sign at the Clark Springs boat ramp. Continue to the west away from the bar down the road for about 200 yards until the pavement ends. The trail continues another 3/4 mile to the Fawn group campsite through ponderosa pine. I haven't done this last segment, but I hear it's lovely.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2014-05-27 JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive 16 miles north on CA Hwy 3 from Weaverville, CA to the signed turn to the right/east to Clark Spring campground and boat ramp. You will need to pay $7.00 ( 2014 ) to park your car. There isn't any free parking for this trail because all of its access points are either campgrounds or boat launch ramps, and most users are hikers and mountain bikers staying nearby.

    The trail is also accessible at Minersville campground, Minersville boat ramp, Cedar Stock Marina and Fawn group campground.
    page created by JimmyLyding on May 27 2014 9:08 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker