Swift Creek 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.
29.1 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.
1,149 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 Swift Creek Hike is a wonderful adventure that beckons intrepid spirits and experienced hikers seeking a challenge. Explore the Trinity Alps Wilderness as you wander amongst towering snow-capped peaks to mountain basins adorned with alpine lakes. Though demanding, this trek is well worth the sweat.

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Route Description for Swift Creek Trail

The alpine terrain is awaiting your exploration. This adventure can be completed as a strenuous day hike or epic overnight expedition, assuming you have the wilderness permits. Whichever way you choose to complete this adventure, we can guarantee you will be impressed by the diversity of scenery. Note this path can be difficult if you follow it after a snowfall, so if you head out in the winter months, be sure to download the trail GPS. Additionally, much of this hike travels over uneven, rocky terrain, so make sure you wear comfortable footwear.

Setting out from the trailhead, the Swift Creek Trail travels northwestwardly through the forested valley. Wandering along Swift Creek, you will be lulled into a state of relaxation. Enjoy the sounds of the gurgling water and the sights of the mixed conifer forests and wildflowers as you climb. The further you ascend into the high country, the sparser will the tree canopy become. Eventually, you will reach an intersection, and continue straight along the Swift Creek Trail, which will guide you into a meadow to Foster’s Cabin. Here you will likely notice backpackers setting up their tents.

Persist along the route all the way up to Horseshoes Lake, a charming alpine lake. If you still have gas left in the tank, climb the Ward Lake Trail up to Ward Lake. You will be granted inspiring views of the mountainous landscape that lines the horizon from here. When you are ready, head back along the path the way you came, all the way to the trailhead.

Getting to the Swift Creek Trail Trailhead

Find the trailhead for this adventure off Swift Creek Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping, permits 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

Swift Creek Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Swift Creek Trail Reviews

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