In July, Maria G., George H. and Tysen M. drove to the Shackleford Trailhead (TH) in the Marble Wilderness. We drove south to Yreka on Highway 5 and then took Highway 3 to Greenview where we turned right to reach the TH after several miles.
After our customary TH photo, we started our 5 mile, 1500 ft elevation gain, hike to Cliff Lake. We took the fork toward to Log Lake, rather than to Campbell Lake, and had lunch there. As we approached Log Lake, we were serenaded with a cow bell concert by a herd of cows grazing in the flower-covered meadows off the trail.
The weather was in the high 70′s or low 80′s and it was getting overcast when we continued. In the middle of the afternoon, it rained for about an hour and we heard a few thunder claps in the distance but continued hiking.
We reached the trail fork at Campbell Lake, turned right and started our ascent up to Cliff Lake. Except for the cows, we had seen no one during this mid-week hike.
As we approached Cliff Lake, we saw a mother with 2 children without packs. They were either day hikers or camped at one of the two lakes.
We finally reached the north end of Cliff Lake and selected one of several available campsites. There, we set up our tents in this spacious campsite. By this time the temperatures had risen into the mid 80′s.
The next morning, after a very warm (mid-70′s) night, we had breakfast and took pictures of this beautiful alpine lake. The full moon, which had come out during the night, was receding to the southwest.
After breakfast, we explored the trail to the south end of the lake. While we saw several other campsites, none of them were occupied.
We returned back to our campsite and then continued on down to Campbell Lake, past a small lillypad-covered lake, to Summit Lake. As the pictures show, Summit Lake was another beautiful lake, although much smaller. After lunch, we returned to our campsite at Cliff Lake where Tysen took a swim, while George just got his legs wet in the cool water.
In addition to a few chipmunks near our campsite, we saw a few dark brown salamanders in the lake. These were more curious than afraid of us as we replenished our water supply.
That night we celebrated Maria’s birthday with a toast of spirits that George had brought along. After dinner, we taught George how to play Farkle using 6 dies. We heard someone chopping wood at one of the campsites toward the south end of the lake, indicating that someone was camping there now.
That night it was a little cooler (mid 60′s) which was refreshing. The next morning, we packed up after breakfast and headed back down the mountain. Our return route took us past Campbell Lake. Again, we saw very few people nor any occupied campsites. However, several groups of backpackers were heading in as we headed back to the TH.
At the TH, the temperatures were in the mid-80′s. As has been our custom in the past, we headed down to Etna on Highway 3 for lunch and a cold one at the Etna Brewing Company since the temperatures were now in the high 90′s.
Shackleford TH to Cliff Lake Topo Map
George, Maria & Tysen at TH
George & Maria enjoying lunch at Log Lake
We were serenaded with Cow Bells
On trail through flower-covered meadow
Maria crossing creek
Cliff Lake looking south
Cliff Lake view east from campsite
Maria preparing breakfast at Cliff Lake campsite
George enjoying breakfast
View of campsite with Tysen’s tent on right
Beautiful Cliff Lake
Maria & George on trail to south end of Cliff Lake
Maria admiring flower
View north from south end of Cliff Lake
Maria & George on day hike to Summit Lake
Maria standing among wild flowers
Small lillypad covered lake near Campbell Lake
Summit Lake with view to southwest
Summit Lake with view to northwest
Summit Lake looking south
Large mushroom growth on tree
Back to Cliff Lake
Happy Birthday, Maria!
What’s all the commotion about?
Late afternoon view to northeast from campsite
View to southeast
Beautiful Cliff Lake in late afternoon
Maria teaching George the fine points of Farkle
Cliff Lake in the morning
Curious Salamander near shore
Our final view of Cliff Lake before leaving
South end of Campbell Lake
Campbell Lake from north end
Through flower-covered meadows back to the TH