On the trail toward Sheep Lake. Credit: Jennifer Johnson
Around the corner from Tipsoo Lake, you’ll find the parking area for Sheep Lake and beyond along the Pacific Crest Trail. Hike above the highway for an exposed and dusty mile, and enjoy the views out the American River valley. The trail then heads into the forest and away from the noise of the highway. At just under 2 miles you’ll reach Sheep Lake, nestled in a verdant bowl below craggy peaks.
There are plenty of spots to stop for a snack, and the shore is shallow enough for young children to wade. Strong hikers can climb on for another mile or so and 600 feet elevation to Sourdough Gap, where there are views of several volcanoes and surrounding peaks.
Hike info: 4 miles, 400 feet elevation gain
Kids will love: Playing in the water, looking down on the highway, picking huckleberries.
Parents should know: The first mile of trail is exposed and can be hot. There is an outhouse at the trailhead. Park around the corner from Tipsoo Lake. A Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass is needed to park. This area is popular and parking fills early on weekends.
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