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Heart Lake, CA

no permit
26 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Northern
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,494 feet
Elevation Gain 700 feet
Accumulated Gain 810 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.9
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
7  2018-10-06 lojones5
7  2018-07-04 lojones5
6  2017-08-27 lojones5
6  2016-11-05 lojones5
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, Jul → Any
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  7:26am - 4:41pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Dog Trail
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0.6 mi
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Lake Siskiyou Trail
Lake Siskiyou Trail
4.8 mi away
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Mossbrae Falls
Mossbrae Falls
5.4 mi away
3.0 mi
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Hedge Creek Falls Trail
5.7 mi away
0.6 mi
190 ft
Cliff Lake Trail - Trinity Divide
5.8 mi away
4.0 mi
1,049 ft
Castle Dome Trail
Castle Dome Trail
6.2 mi away
2.7 mi
2,130 ft
Crags Trail
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6.2 mi away
3.0 mi
2,233 ft
I-5 Castle Crags SP to Etna Summit - PCT P
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6.3 mi away
99.8 mi
15,667 ft
Seven Lakes Basin - Trinity Divide
7.4 mi away
4.9 mi
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Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Lighthearted to Heart Lake
by lojones5

You'll be amazed by the views you will receive for just a 1.2 mile slightly rocky (sometimes icy) stroll up the hill to Heart Lake which lies by a ridge overlooking Castle Lake.

The trail splits into several possible routes about halfway up, these alternate paths are formed by snow melt and hikers following what has developed into many good-looking routes. Try to stay on the main path as best you can, but as long as you are increasing in elevation and heading in the right direction you'll meet up with the main trail again before it turns towards Heart Lake.

Be careful if there is snow on the ground, especially if it is icy and slippery. This is probably an easier hike after the snow has melted. A great place to visit in the late summer or in the autumn before snow fall.

I don't have much information about the history of Heart or Castle Lake. I hear Castle Lake has been used for ice skating in the winters.

The hike itself is uphill, sometimes rocky, but fairly easy. As mentioned in the warning, you will likely question whether you are on the main trail as you approach. Stay confident and follow the best looking trail you can, all of them will eventually meet up near Heart Lake. There is one side trail to watch out for that leads to Little Castle Lake about halfway up the trail. Take a look at your map and familiarize yourself with the route before this hike. Little Castle Lake can be a nice place to visit if you choose.

I highly recommend continuing to hike past Heart Lake about a quarter mile farther to find a great viewpoint overlooking Castle Lake with Mt. Shasta in the background. If you are looking for a further challenge, you can hike farther up along the ridge and reach the peak overlooking both Heart Lake and Castle Lake.

Water Sources
Castle Lake and Heart Lake

There is a camping area near the Castle Lake trail head. I have also seen people camping near Heart Lake.


    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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
    From Redding, follow I-5 N to CA-89 S in Siskiyou County. Take exit 736 to merge onto CA-89 S toward McCloud. Immediately take the first right onto Big Canyon Dr. Turn right onto Azalea Dr 0.4 mi. Turn right onto S Old Stage Rd 1.1 mi. Turn left onto Siskiyou Lake Blvd 0.9 mi. Turn left onto W A Barr Rd 0.9 mi. Turn left onto Ney Springs Rd 0.1 mi. Continue straight onto Castle Lake Rd. Follow Castle Lake Rd. to the Day use parking lot.
    page created by lojones5 on Aug 28 2017 1:37 pm
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