Northern California: Parks Creek to Deadfall

Ian Nelson is the PCTA’s regional representative in Northern California and Southern Oregon. He lives in Medford, Oregon.
Favorite Trail Food: Entire bags of beef jerky.

Take a trip up to the Klamath Range for this jewel of a hike into a family friendly and absolutely stunning lake basin. There’s a reason that Ian considers this one of his region’s top hikes. It’s only three miles on the PCT from Parks Creek Trailhead into the Deadfall Lakes Basin, an easy day hike, which offers hikers the option to climb to the summit of Mount Eddy. The summit offers commanding views of Mount Shasta and the surrounding peaks.

Trail description:

deadfall lakes

Beginning at Parks Creek Road, the PCT travels southeast, in a long traverse of Mount Eddy’s northwest shoulder. The trail passes through shaded stretches punctuated by meadows bursting with wildflowers. Starting from the Parks Creek trailhead it’s easy to follow the PCT south. The first junction you come to is well signed. Go straight ahead to continue on the PCT, go right to descend into the Deadfall Meadows, or left to ascend into the Deadfall Lakes basin and eventually to the summit of Mount Eddy. This is easily one of the nicest, and most accessible, day hikes on the PCT with a side trip to the top of one of the most prominent peaks in all of Northern California.



Distance: Six miles round trip to the lakes basin or ten miles round trip to the summit.

Trailhead driving directions:

Take Stewart Springs exit off of Interstate 5 just north of Weed, Calif. Go west on Highway 97 towards Gazelle for 0.2 mile. Take a left on Stewart Springs Road, continue for four miles and take a right on Route 17. Follow Route 17 for 9.3 miles to the top of Parks Creek Summit and the intersection with the PCT. There is a large parking area on the east side of the road.


Agency jurisdiction: Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Permits: None needed

Special regulations: Limited camping at the lakes basin, please practice Leave No Trace

Region: Big Bend (Northern California/Southern Oregon)


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