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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Heart Lake, CA

no permit
30 5 0
Guide 5 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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4  2019-06-08 lojones5
7  2018-10-06 lojones5
7  2018-07-04 lojones5
6  2017-08-27 lojones5
6  2016-11-05 lojones5
Author lojones5
author avatar Guides 22
Routes 153
Photos 470
Trips 94 map ( 470 miles )
Age 26 Male Gender
Location Redding, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, Jul → Any
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  5:51am - 6:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Lighthearted to Heart Lake
by lojones5

Likely In-Season!
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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2017-08-28 lojones5

    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Heart Lake
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    There is still plenty of snow above Castle Lake which made the hike to Heart Lake more interesting. I continued on to reach the top of the ridge overlooking Heart Lake and Castle Lake, but had to turn around right before I reached the top. The last 30 yards was too steep and slippery for me to attempt on my own. I returned the way I came and enjoyed the amazing views. On the way down I had fun running down the the snowy hill knowing that if I fell it wouldn't really hurt. In some areas there was a flowing creek beneath the snow I was hiking on. This hike never disappoints!
    Heart Lake
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This hike started at Castle Lake and followed a rocky trail up to Heart Lake. I came across a very icy and steep patch of snow near the beginning of the hike that was a bit worrying since I didn't plan on slippery ice. I ended up turning around, but then decided to go for it when I saw another group headed up the same trail. That icy spot was the only more difficult part, and the most of the rest of the trail was mostly melted snow which turned into a small stream. The trail gets difficult to follow, but any of the possible paths can be taken up to the lake. The lake was partially frozen and offered gorgeous views of Castle Lake with Mt. Shasta in the background. The photos speak for themselves!

    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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