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    Caribou Lakes Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Hard
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    30.6 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,296 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Caribou Lakes Trail is a demanding feat in the Trinity Alps Wilderness that requires an intrepid spirit. This popular backpacking route can be completed as a strenuous day hike for eager explorers. Immerse yourself in the backcountry and marvel at the topographic diversity of Northern California.

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    Route Description for Caribou Lakes Trail

    The Caribou Lake Trail is not for the faint of heart. This strenuous adventure through the high-country demands endurance, preparation, and a dedicated mindset. If you plan to complete this as a day hike, make sure you head out before dawn with the help of a headlamp to arrive back at the trailhead before nightfall. Additionally, be sure to pack plenty of water as there are limited sources to restock along the way. If you are tackling this route as an overnight expedition, make sure to pick up a permit from the ranger’s office before heading out.

    Your journey along the Caribou Lakes Trail begins from the trailhead off Coffee Creek Road. Shortly after departing from the trailhead, you will be led up a set of tightly wound switchbacks before the Caribou Lakes Trail redirects you south. Wandering through mixed consider forest and alpine tundra, you will be awarded a diversity of scenery to keep you stimulated. Climbing further into the high country, you will ultimately pass the Browns Meadows Campsites, a great place to stop for the night if you are backpacking. If not, persist along the path to Snowslide Lake, Lower Caribou Lake, then onto Upper Caribou Lake.

    Marvel in the beauty of the crystalline waters boarded by the towering granite buffs of Caribou Mountain. Rejuvenate your tired feet in the chilly alpine waters, and when you are ready, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Caribou Lakes Trail Trailhead

    The Caribou Lakes Trail departs from the trailhead and parking lot off Coffee Creek Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Backcountry Camping, wilderness permit required from either the Weaverville or Shasta Lake Ranger Stations.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Caribou Lakes Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Caribou Lakes Trail Reviews

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