Deer Creek Valley


27.0 miles  4200' elevation gain

best season: 

2:30 drive

dogs welcome

This is the back door route to the famous Four Lakes Loop. Deer Creek Trail is the least visited well built trail in the heart of the Trinity Alps.  There are many excellent campsites in Deer Creek Valley area.  From there one can explore the Four Lakes (Deer, Luella, Diamond and Summit), but if you go in June the snow on the mountains will be most impressive but the lakes may not be accessible.

The trail is well maintained up to the junction with the Deer Creek Trail (near Cold Springs).  The Deer Creek Trail (although well built) has not been maintained properly for years and is brushy and has many trees down on the trail.  It is passable.

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 are present and would like to eat your food.  Bring a bear-proof canister.

Wilderness Permits required, and can be picked up at self-service kiosks at Forest Service stations in Weaverville or Mule Creek 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.

current weather forecast:
at trailhead
at Deer Creek Valley


Maps  (July 2022 edition)

Avenza version

Adobe PDF version

Gaia GPS-compatible MBtiles

KML track of hike