15.5 miles 3600' elevation gain
This is a gorgeous loop hike with a river (Swift Creek), lots of springs and wildflowers, green meadows, and spectacular gray and red craggy peaks.
The trails are well built, except that from Bear Creek Pass to Granite Lake the trail is narrow and/or steep, and you are up high. The brush along excellent trail up to Granite Lake has inexplicably been allowed to overgrow; bring your loppers.
The passes are steep, and if there is snow they should only be attempted if experienced and equipped with ice axe and crampons. In dry years snow melts in late June, but may linger later in other years.
The start of the hike can be quite warm. If weather prediction is for hot weather, it is recommended to arrive in early evening and hike in a short ways to one of the first campsites. And get an early start the next day to do the bulk of the climb in the cool of the morning.
This is a popular hiking area so avoid holiday weekends. If the parking lot is less than filled, there should be good campsites available.
Bears may be present and may like to eat your food. May want to bring a bear-proof canister.
Wilderness Permits required, and can be picked up at self-service kiosks at Forest Service stations in Weaverville or Junction City Fire Station. A California Campfire Permit is required for campfires or gas stoves and can be obtained here.
This hike is in Shasta-Trinity National Forest; owned by the public, managed by Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Backpacking welcomed; campfires welcomed except during campfire restriction periods.For this hike, there is a campfire prohibition zone depicted on the hike map by a red line where campfires are never allowed (it affects only one campsite).
Maps (July 2022 edition)
Gaia GPS-compatible MBtiles