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Trail Gulch Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Trail Gulch shortly after leaving the trailhead (B. Hope)
Trail Gulch Lake (B. Hope)
View of Long Gulch Lake from the 7,400' pass (B. Hope)
Long Gulch heading down to the trailhead (B. Hope)
Map of Trail Gulch Loop Hike (B. Hope)
  • Start point: Trail Gulch TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Trail Gulch Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2,300 feet
  • High Point: 7,400 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer, Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This hike is on decent trails past two lakes in the northern Trinity Alps wilderness. It can be done as a moderate dayhike or as an easy overnight backpack. From the Trail Gulch trailhead, it is 1.8 miles south to Trail Gulch Lake. From the lake, it is another mile up to a pass at 7,000' and a junction with the North Fork Coffee Creek trail. Turn west here and contour for 1.1 miles over to another pass at 7,400' - with a view down to Long Gulch Lake. Descend 1.3 miles to the lake and then level for 0.5 miles to a junction with the Fish Lake trail. Continue north on the Long Gulch trail to the Long Gulch trailhead. Your car is 0.8 miles along the road to the right or you can cross the road and follow horse trails (look for "Trail Gulch" pointers) back to your car. If you plan to backpack, get a free permit at the USFS ranger station in Fort Jones, CA.

NAVIGATION: The names of the two gulches were reversed at some point in the past and this error has been carried over to most recent maps and guidebooks (but the Forest Service's map "A Guide to the Trinity Alps Wilderness" is correct). So, just remember that Long Gulch is actually west of Trail Gulch.

NOTE: Cows may be present during the summer months.


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Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #92)

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Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.