BOOT 'N BLISTER REUNION TRIP, September 24-26, 1999

It has been a while since we've been to the Trinity Alps so this is the year to return. Are you ready? I am! We are going to Granite Lake up Swift Creek out of Trinity Center. Marvin and I discussed this as a destination a couple of years ago. This is a bit south of Coffee Creek where I did some of my Forest Service work back in the old days. It is a bit north of Mule Creek where Ron spent some of his USFS days.

We are having this trip the last weekend in September to give us a little more daylight. It is about a week after Equinox so folks like Sandra attending the many and varied fairs and celebrations for Equinox can attend the hike with us a week later. This eastern Parts of the Trinities is easily accessible from the north by taking Highway 3 off of Interstate 5 at Yreka. Southerners like me will take Hwy 299 to Weaverville and go north on Hwy. 3.

The trip in 1998 was to the Kaiser Wilderness out of Huntington Lake/Fresno. We had a grand time with hikers of all ages. We had a fun group of kids and dogs who explored lakes and ridges while we Alums "droned on" about the Old Days. It was wonderful.

The gang last summer consisted of Martha & Katherine (and their dogs, Sienna and Heidi), Rick & Ansel, Chris & Carol, Wayne & Robin, and me. You can see photos of the trip on a Web site for Boot 'n Blister:

For this year's backpack, the base camp will be at Preacher Meadow Campground a mile or so south of Trinity Center on the west side of Hwy. 3 on Friday evening, September 24. The campground is not at the actual meadow, it's just named that. Don't go to Preacher Meadow itself as there is just a trailhead parking lot there (most of us have spent all too many nights at trailhead parking lots ). The next morning, Saturday, September 25, we will drive to the Preacher Meadow trailhead parking area. I have included a Xerox of the road and trail descriptions from Linkhart and White, 1994, The Trinity Alps, A Hiking and Backpacking Guide (Wilderness Press) for details.

The hike runs west on the Swift Creek Trail only about one mile before we hit a trail junction. We want to turn south to Gibson Meadow/Granite Lake. Do not miss the turnoff or you'll end up at Ward Lake or Landus Lake (perhaps good spots for another year). From Granite Lake, there are a couple of nice peaks in the "back yard." Gibson Peak (8,400 ft) is 1.5 mi southwest of the lake and Seven Up Peak (8,132 ft) is 2.0 miles due west of the lake.

Here are a few more details: The hike length is about five miles. The elevations are: Roadhead elevation, 3,985 feet, Camp at Granite Lake, 5,990 feet, Total climb, about 2,000 feet. The maps you can use are: U.S. Geological Survey Covington Mill and Trinity Center 7 1/2' (1:24,000) quadrangles, U.S. Geological Trinity Dam and Coffee Creek 15' (1:62,500) quadrangle (out of print), Shasta-Trinity National Forest recreation map, and AAA Northwestern California road map. A note about the weather: If we don't have any early storms, the Trinity Alps can still be a lot like the middle of summer in September. We are a week past Equinox so there are just under 12 hours of daylight. Expect mostly sunny skies, warm daytime temperatures, and cold nighttime temperatures. The rains don't tend to come until November but a Gore Tex shell might be a good idea anyhow. Concerning hazards, water needs to be run through a water filter to avoid Giardia. Many of us use a Katadyne or Sweetwater filter pump now that our First Needs all got clogged. Bears are an issue in the Klamaths so I'll be using my Garcia bear canister. Otherwise, use the double-weight rope technique to hang food, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc. We should be there too late in the season for bad mosquitoes, but I always bring my Cutters anyhow. Bigfoot prints are only a problem if they are still occupied.

Geology: The hike starts out in the Ordovician Trinity ultramafic sheet (Irwin, 1994) which is dominantly serpentinized tectonitic peridotite and minor dunite. It may represent an ophiolite. Just before we reach the lake, we enter one of the Early Cretaceous plutons of the Shasta Bally belt which is mostly quartz diorite, trondhjemite (yeah!), and granodiorite. We will miss the schist but if you walk just a little northwest of the lake, beyond the intrusive contact with the pluton, you can the calc-schist and perhaps marbles and amphibolites of the Grouse Ridge Formation (Davis and others, 1965).

Vegetation: The lower elevations in the eastern Klamath mountains lie in a mixed conifer forest consisting of Douglas fir with sugar pine, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, California black oak, and white fir. At higher elevations, red fir with western white pine and Brewer spruce are present. Keep a lookout for weeping spruce, a species indigenous to the local region.

Wildlife: Keep your eyes open for a Spotted owl a medium-sized bird with a round head, dark-brown plumage, and dark eyes. It has white spots on the had and nape, and white mottling on the breast and abdomen. They feed on small arboreal mammals but may take birds, insects, and other small mammals too. They are unwary around humans and commonly allow observers to get within a few feet of them. Bigfoot: see Hazards, above.

We will come out on Sunday, September 26, and be able either to drive home or spend another day Monday running over to Arcata for a visit or swimming at Willow Creek. Further information can be had from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Weaverville Ranger District, P.O. Box 1190, Weaverville, CA 96093, (530) 623-2121


Bernstein, Art, 1993, Best hikes of the Trinity Alps: La Crescenta, Calif., Mountain N'Air Books, 254 p.

Davis, G.A., Holdaway, M.J., Lipman, P.W., and Romey, W.D., 1965, Structure, metamorphism, and plutonism in the south-central Klamath Mountains, California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 76, p. 933-966

Hickman, ed., 1993, The Jepson manual, higher plants of California: U.C. Press.

Irwin, W.P., compiler, 1994, Geologic map of the Klamath Mountains, California and Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-2148, scale, 1:500,000.

Irwin, W.P., and Wooden, J.L., 1999, Plutons and accretionary episodes of the Klamath Mountains, California and Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-374 (

Linkhart, Luther, and White, Michael, 1994, The Trinity Alps, A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Berkeley, Wilderness Press, 228 p.

Munz, P.A., 1963, California mountain wildflowers: Berkeley, U.C. Press, 122 p.

Let me know if you might attend so that I can get an idea of how many to expect; I also love to hear from you folks. I will get a Wilderness Permit for us when we have an idea of how many will attend. I'll add a few so you can attend even if you pop in on Saturday morning.

Roster: Rather than including a datadump of my address file for the Club, I am going to save time (I'm running late as it is, huh?), trees, and postage and offer the list to any of you who request it. Just contact me and let me know if you want it as a paper output, on a floppy, or emailed as an attachment. Also, in the interest of getting this thing in the mail, I'm leaving out the "lost members" list. Basically, if you discover somebody you think is a long-lost-Boot 'n Blister person, just capture them and let me know.

Bring ideas of where to have the trip next year. Should we go to the Sierra? Oregon? The coast? Let me know other ideas.

Mike Diggles

Home: 154 Rutherford Ave., Redwood City, CA 94601-3511, (650) 369-6094

Work: U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025. Phones: (800) 223-8081 x 5404 or (650) 329-5404 commercial. Fax: (650) 329-5453.

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Date created: 08/30/1999
Last modified: 9/16/2005
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