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Stoddard Lake

Trinity Alps Wilderness

July 4th, 2017

7.1 miles
1280 vertical feet
Total Time: 4:37

Starting elevation
5092 feet
Max elevation
5946 feet

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Weaverville, drive north on Highway 3, past Trinity Center and Coffee Creek. Turn left onto CR 135 (Eagle Creek - Horse Flat), then left onto FR 38N22. The unpaved section of road is about 7 miles.   View Driving Map

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GPX File

From the paved road, the sign says it's about 6.5 miles to the trailhead, though it turned out to be about 7. The first mile or so of the drive is actually on a good gravel road before turning to dirt. The road started to get fairly rough near the top, and we happened to see one oncoming car at this point. I backed up to let him pass.

We'd seen a horse trailer parked below the rough section, probably because they didn't want to drive that part. We'd see the horses later. At the trailhead itself, there was nothing, really. There was no real parking lot, and no cars. Just a trail leading off from a bend in the road. There was plenty of space to park on the side, though.

The trail is steepest near the beginning of the hike, hiking up a straight wide trail. Not much to see here; just put your head down and go. It was rocky with forest on either side. As we got higher, we started to see flowering plants. After about a mile, we had views of Shasta to the northeast. Around this time we saw two men on horses; it looks like they'd done some trail maintenance and were heading back to the trailhead.

Mount Shasta in the distance

The trail steepness lessens, and after about 2 miles starts to descend briefly. We'd gotten a late start (after 1:30pm), so we stopped for a snack break. After our break we continued the short descent and came to an intersection. We turned left to head to Stoddard Lake. From here the trail was fairly easy. It's a bit of a climb, but short. We could tell the horses had come this way, though, as they left their mark on the trail.


Heading up the trail

California pitcher plants

It took us about 40 minutes to hike from the intersection to the lake. When we got there, we found out that the lake is huge! And we had it all to ourselves. We found a nice spot near the water to have a late lunch break (at 4pm!).

Stoddard Lake

After enjoying our break, we finally left around 4:45pm. Before we reached the intersection, we encountered a group of kids, maybe 12-15 kids on a backpacking trip. I told them they'd have the whole lake to themselves.

We were back at the car around 6:15pm.

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