• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    13.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    3050 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

There are Multiple Alpine Lakes that are great for swimming with Some of the most pristine mountain lake water in the world according to a study done by the EPA. This Can be done as a backpacking trip or a long day hike with Great backcountry camping with spots on multiple lakes complete with stone fire rings and Access to the PCT. Spectacular 360 views from Devil's Peak Summit of Crater Lake Rim, Mt Thielsen, Mt McLoughlin, Mt Shasta, Kalamath Lake, and more with Plenty of water sources to filter from.

Starting at at elevation of 5250 feet, the trail climbs steadily from the trailhead for approximately 3.3 miles to pass at 6900 feet. From here you will come to a junction where going right will lead to Devils Peak and the PCT and going left (straight) will take down into the basin. If you started early I would choose heading down to Cliff Lake first and setting up camp at one of the beautiful spots right near the water's edge and just below the cliffs of Devil's Peak.

From the junction at the top of the pass, as you head down into the basin, you will pass another junction: stay straight to go down to Cliff Lake or you can detour 0.5 miles to the left to go to the uniquely shaped Alta Lake. If you continue down to the basin you will drop in elevation to 6200 feet and pass a shallow pool named South Lake which has beautiful reflections of the Fir trees. From the junction for Alta Lake, the small offshoot trail to the campsites on Cliff Lake is in about 1.3 miles, so be watching to the right because it is unmarked. Follow this around and there will be campsites around the shore area.

To get to Devils Peak and make the trail a loop, get back to the main trail and follow it 0.4 miles further to a junction for the PCT on the right. Take this, then it's 2.5 miles up to 7200 feet where you will get a breathtaking view in all directions and see the climber's path up to the top of Devil's Peak. Head back down and turn right on the PCT to get back to the first trail junction you encountered at the top of the pass, then head left to get back to the car or right to get back to cliff lake.

Getting there: From Lodgepole Road just past Butte Falls you stay straight as the road becomes Road 37. 0.4 miles later stay straight as the road turns to the left to follow gravel road 3780 for 4 miles. You'll see a parking area with a guardrail. When you get out of the car turn around and there will be another guardrail directly behind you with the trailhead sign.

Pack List

  • Tent or hammock
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Backpacking stove and fuel
  • Fire starter
  • Food
  • Water filter
  • Extra clothing
  • First aid kit
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Abbey Reddy

Travel. Hike. Camp. Climb. They say "live the life you imagined"... I say live one beyond imagination.

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