Day hike: 6.0 miles round-trip to Middle Deadfall Lake
Backpack: 10.6 miles round-trip to Middle Deadfall Lake and Mount Eddy
This PCT hike takes you into a sparkling lake basin in the Klamath Range, with an option to climb the tallest mountain in the region, 9,025-foot Mount Eddy. It’s a perfect trail for a day-hike or a beginner’s backpacking trip—suitable even for families with young children—since it requires only 3 miles of walking to reach the Deadfall Lakes basin.
From the Parks Creek trailhead, the PCT travels southeast through a dense conifer forest cloaking Mount Eddy’s northwest shoulder. The path skirts wildflower-dotted meadows, offering postcard views of the Trinity Alps and the Klamath Mountains. At 2.6 miles, leave the PCT and go left, starting to climb on the Sisson-Callahan Trail. In about 10 minutes, you’ll see a path branching off to the right—follow it to Middle Deadfall Lake, the largest of the five lakes in this basin. Day hikers will soon be swimming in its inviting waters or sunning themselves on boulder-lined shores, and backpackers can choose their lake-view campsites.
By late afternoon, day-hikers must head for home, and overnighters will have this lovely lake themselves—with plenty of time to fish for trout, cook them up for dinner, and study the constellations before bedtime. The next morning, get up early and continue on the Sisson-Callahan Trail on the middle lake’s north side. In a mile you’ll reach scenic Upper Deadfall Lake, set in a forest of foxtail pines and western white pines.
Follow the trail past the lake and through its upper meadow, heading southwest and uphill until you reach a junction at a saddle. Go left here and begin a memorably steep climb up Mount Eddy’s south shoulder. The peak looks like a nondescript lump from the east (it’s dwarfed by nearby 14,162-foot Mount Shasta, California’s tallest volcano), but when viewed from this perspective, it’s easy to believe this is the highest peak west of Interstate 5 and the tallest peak in the Klamath Mountains. Your reward for the effort? A mesmerizing view of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, the Trinity Alps, and much of the Cascade Range.