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Backpack the Caribou Wilderness Lakes Loop

Lassen County, California

Details

Distance

12 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Nienna Komorebi

A gentle 12 mile backpacking loop through the Caribou Wilderness, abundant with lakes and camping spots.

The caribou lakes loop is very laid back, making it a great start for first time backpackers and kids. Word of caution: in the summer the mosquitos are plenty, I'd recommend this loop for the fall.

From the parking lot there is a visible sign pointing you in the direction of the trailhead near Caribou Lake, once you get the lake the trail begins behind the information sign for the area. :) Super straight forward trail, eventually the one trail turns into two, head right towards Jewel lake, one of many lakes to come. There is a trail that leads to a lake below Jewel or continue straight on the main trail to a cross section leading either to Turnaround lake or the Divide lake. Near this cross section is the only creek we found the entire hike, so be sure to fill your water here! Turnaround lake is a quick, maybe 1/4 from the cross section, so we check it out and turned around. :) Heading in the direction of divide lake, at the next cross section we headed left, did a quick detour to Gem Lake, got back to the main trail and took the detour to Emerald lake. In my opinion this lake had the best camp sites and for some reason, the least amount of mosquitos! Back tracking and then continuing on the main trail will lead you back to Caribou Lake and your car!

All in all, this is a very well signed, easy to follow, rather relaxed hike through the woods. We didn't see any fellow hikers during our trek and Caribou Wilderness is dog friendly! :)

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Running
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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