Long Gulch & Trail Gulch, Trinity Alps Backpack Trip, July 2012
Four of us, Steve W., Maria G., Trish F. and Tysen M., spent 3 days and 2 nights in the northeastern end of the Trinity Alps. We started out at the Long Gulch trailhead and hiked into Long Gulch Lake, about 3 miles in from the trailhead. Our trip had been set back a day due to predicted thunderstorms in the area. As it turned out, we were threatened with dark clouds for the first couple of afternoons, including cool winds — but no rain.
We found a delightful campsite at the northeast end of Long Gulch Lake. On our second day, we planned a day hike to Fish Lake, to the west. Somehow, on a ridge above Long Gulch Lake, we managed to take the wrong trail and ended up not finding Fish Lake. When we returned to that ridge, we were too tired to take the correct trail all the way down to Fish Lake. Instead, we found a scenic spot on the ridge and had our lunch there before returning back to our campsite.
The third day, while eating our breakfast, we were treated to a cow bell concert as a dozen cows that had been grazing on one of the lower meadows made their way past our campsite to higher meadow.
Rather than continuing up over a steep pass and heading out via Trail Gulch Lake, we opted to return back to our original trailhead. From there, we drove a short distance to the Trail Gulch Lake trailhead. We hiked in the 1.7 mile trail, had lunch at the lake and headed back to the car before heading home.
NOTE: The trails and Forest Service maps show that the western lake is called Long Gulch Lake while the eastern lake is called Trail Gulch Lake. The USGS 1:24K topo map, however, have the names of these two lakes reversed…