While most hikes in the Trinity Alps are intermediate to difficult, covering rocky terrain and high elevation gains, the Lake Eleanor Trail is an easy, family-friendly hike featuring abundant wildflowers, a lake, and old-growth forests. For the more adventurous, the hike can be extended to Shimmy Lake, adding another 7 miles to the round-trip.
Lake Eleanor is reached just a half-mile from the trailhead over a path covered in soft, marshy soil. Unlike many of the other alpine lakes of the Trinity Alps, Eleanor is not granite-lined and not the same crystal-clear water you'll find at Boulder Lakes or others, but what it does offer is remoteness, relative solitude, and a variety of interesting flora and fauna, including rare California pitcher plants, lily pads, bear grass, blue penstemon, and green gentian. There are old-growth trees along one side of the lake and a second meadow on the far side with more flowers.
Lake Eleanor is a first-time hiker's dream and is an educational and fun trip for children. Pets are allowed on the trail, as on most trails in the Trinity Alps, although it is recommended to have them leashed. Enjoy a picnic, spend the afternoon birdwatching or lounging at the lake, or bring supplies and pitch a tent nearby!
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