Big Flat Trail Head
Location: Take Coffee Creek Road off Hwy. 3, about 8 miles North of Trinity Center. Follow Coffee Creek Road all the way to it's end. About 20.5 miles from Hwy. 3.
Directions to Trinity Center from Redding, California: From I-5 take Hwy.299 West approx. 29 miles. Make slight right onto Trinity Dam Blvd and go about 6 mi. Left onto Rush Creek Rd. and go about 9 mi. Right onto Hwy. 3 and go about 22 miles to Trinity Center.
Directions to Coffee Creek Rd. from Yreka, California: From I-5 take Hwy. 3 thru Fort Jones and Etna and up over Scott Mountain and down into Trinity Lake. Coffee Creek Rd. is about 37.5 miles South of Etna, Ca.
Road is usually in fair to good condition throughout the summer season. Road is paved the first few miles off Hwy. 3, and then turns to dirt. It's a fairly well maintained road with a fair amount of traffic during summer months as access to a number of trail heads, but can be rough in places because it is not graveled. It is plenty wide enough for vehicles to pass most of it's entire length. It is closed because of snow during most of the winter months.
Map: Forest Service Trinity Alps Wilderness Map - East Half side of map - between R.10W. and R.9W. (top of map) and T.37N. (side of map)
Big Flat is usually open by early June.
Trail Head Ammenities:
- Big Flat is a large camp-group trail head with about 10 nice camp sites with 3 corrals spaced out among them, under the big trees. The corrals are fair size and can accomodate a number of animals in each one. Sizes: 47'x48', 25'x25', 28'x56'
- There is room to turn around large horse trailers (8 horse size) but most places will require some backing to do so.
- This is not a heavily used Trail Head/Camp Ground and the chances are good of finding an open corral and camp site here.
- There is no water at the corrals, but a spring is nearby for water. The South Fork of the Salmon River runs thru also.
- There are out-houses.
- No fees to camp or use corrals.
- There are 6 trails heading out of this trail-head.
This trail head is deep within the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Almost the entire 20 miles of Coffee Creek road, going into this trail head, is surrounded by the Wilderness, which is very unusual for a Wilderness trail head. You are deep within the Wilderness by the time you get to Big Flat. You do need to be very careful in storing your food here, as bears have been known to be a problem breaking into vehicles at this trail head.
Trails out of Big Flat TH:
- One trail follows the South Fork of the Salmon River and will take you all the way to the road at the old Summerville site or on up to Bush Creek Lake and onto Carter Meadows.
- Two of the trails will take you up to the beautiful Caribou Lakes and Snowslide Lake, and if you continue on up to the top you will reach the Sawtooth Ridge. If you are on foot you can take the rugged, steep climb down into the gorgeous Emerald and Sapphire Lakes.
- Another trail takes you up to where it forks and you can go to either Josephine Creek Lodge, or to Ward Lake or all the way up to meet with the Deer Creek Trail.
- The other trail will take up up thru the Yellow Rose Mine site and on into Bullard's Basin where it links with other trails, and you pass thru the remains of the old mining town Doreleska, which still has a lot of pieces of old gold mining equipment that was left behind... or up Sunrise Creek and into Mumford Meadow where it links with other trails.
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