CA: Trinity Alps – Foster and Lilypad Lakes

Ridge, Valley, Ridge, Valley . . .

Looking for an easy hike? Looking for flat topography? These traits are rare in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Views are earned, step by step, one ridge and valley at a time.

The Boulder Lake trailhead, near Coffee Creek, was the access point for this trip. Many refer to this as Big Boulder Lake due to nearby Little Boulder Lake, and as a way to reduce confusion with others in the Trinity Alps including Boulder Creek Lakes and East, Middle and West Boulder Lakes.

Boulder Lake

Heading north from Boulder Lake, the first ridge provides views of the Russian Wilderness and tucked just behind, visible on a clear day, the Marble Mountain Wilderness. Just to the right, cloaked in clouds, is Mt Shasta.

Conway and Lion Lakes (looking south/southeast)

Foster Lake (looking west)

Pick a seat, any seat, for outstanding sunset views.

Another ridge, another view! Looking west at Red Rock and Caribou Mountains.

From the ridge looking west down into the Union Creek drainage.

A bit of semi-flat meadows can be found in the valleys. Looking south/southeast toward the Parker Divide.

Within a short distance, the topography changes from lush meadows to dry, rocky terrain (looking east).

Looking south into the Parker Creek drainage and across at multiple ranges including Seven Up, Gibson, Siligo, Mumford, Tri-Forest, Caribou, Sawtooth, Caesar Cap and Thompson.

Looking north down Poison Canyon toward Mt Shasta. Thumb Rock to the left, Ycatapom Peak to the right. Lilypad Lake is in the basin.

Even more mountains visible to the west from this ridge top location.

Lilypad Lake (looking south at the ridge where the previous photo was taken)

Thumb Rock

To the right is Ycatapom Peak, below is Lilypad Lake. Looking northeast down Poison Canyon.

Looking down at Big Boulder Lake, and to the north Russian and Marble Wilderness areas, and Mt Shasta.

Mt Shasta

Jan’s Tips:

  • Reference my Trinity Alps Trails Link Page for maps, books, online resources, etc.
  • Due to budgetary constraints, many of the trails shown on maps and published in guidebooks may no longer be maintained. On this particular hike, a GPS and maps were needed. Parts of the trail were snow covered, others were non-existent, or blocked by down trees.  The Forest Service Trail Condition Report should also be referenced.
  • Additional blog postings about related hikes I’ve taken can be found in my Hikes in the Trinity Alps Wilderness category.

8 thoughts on “CA: Trinity Alps – Foster and Lilypad Lakes

    • Thanks! I’m so happy to have finally figured out the wide-angle panorama option on my camera. It’s exactly what’s needed in these type landscapes to really share the views. Having a blast? well . . . that might have been debatable, those 9,000′ of ups and downs and ups and downs thru snow and steep and no trail and overgrown trail, definitely tested our spirits. Thus we were thankful to have some amazing moments to go with our dig deep and suffer moments.

  1. Beautiful photos. Beautiful spot. I will have to do this someday. I am jealous of course. You are living the la vida pax or something like that.

  2. Looks like a good trip! For what it is worth, the areas you identified as the Russians and Marbles are actually the northeast corner of the Trinity Alps. Specifically, you are generally looking at the south side of Billys Peak, Billys Peak Lookout and the Bear Lakes area. Good job getting to Foster Lake. Not many make it to that fantastic area. I still can’t believe all those peaks are unnamed!

  3. Enjoyed your T.A. comments and excellent trip photos. With the extreme drought conditions — last winter was the driest on record for the Trinity Alps — think your trip was perfectly timed. Early season trips — definitely the way to go. Happy Trails.

    • Thank you and couldn’t agree more about getting out early. In addition to being dry I fear fires and smoke will keep us away this summer. Fingers crossed for a good upcoming winter!

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