Place Name: Trinity County
Place Description: State: California
Elevation: 9,025 Feet
Prominence: 5,105 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2,190 Feet
Lists: Ultras of the Lower 48, CA County High Points, CA Coastal Peak List
A Little Known Ultra With Huge Views
Mount Eddy is the 9th most prominent peak in California and one of 57 ultras in the lower 48. Sitting right across the valley from Mount Shasta, Mount Eddy gets very little attention, but is very worth checking out.
- Good access road
- Easy trail
- Deadfall Lakes
- Long drive up from valley
- Busy trail
- Would probably be hot in summer
Mount Eddy is a little known summit outside of far northern California and peak bagging circles. Why would it? It sits in the shadow of the mighty Mount Shasta. Despite this, Mount Eddy is quite a cool peak with lots of credentials.
With over 5,000 feet of prominence, Mount Eddy is the 9th most prominent peak in California. In fact, it’s one of only 57 peaks in the lower 48 to stake that claim.
Mount Eddy is also the high point of Trinity County and the Eddy Range making this a major player for peak baggers.
The drive into Mount Eddy is a bit long. From I-5 north of the town of Weed, one would exit at Edgewood and make their way to the west side of the highway.
Stewart Springs Rd heads west across the valley and up into the hills. This great two lane paved road gives way to Forest Road 42N17 and starts to climbs in earnest.
The forest road is freshy paved and in great shape. It’s about 1.5 lanes wide, so you must be careful of oncoming traffic. It will lead to both trailheads for Mount Eddy. The first trailhead, Parks Creek, is located at the high point of the road and the PCT crossing. There is a large parking area and pit toilets.
If you continue on and head downhill, you will reach the Deadfall Meadows TH where there is a small parking area. Deadfall Meadows is shorter, however, its starts at a lower elevation. We used the Parks Creek TH and the following report will describe that.
From Parks Creek, the first few miles of trail follows the well worn PCT. In fact, the first 3 miles are super easy and gain very little elevation. By the time you reach the first Deadfall Lake, you will only be about 400 feet higher than your start point.
The Deadfall Meadows Trail also makes a junction here. After this spot, the trail starts to climb out of this basin and up to the next Deadfall Lake, which is much smaller and shallower.
From there, climb up to another basin and reach the third Deadfall Lake and take in the great views of Mount Eddy standing above.
Following the trail around the right side of the lake will lead you up to a small saddle where we ran into two dirt bikers that road up from the other side.
Now the real climbing begins. Follow the trail up the shoulder of the mountain. It’s a very easy trail to follow and starts getting above the tree line into some open country. While most of gain for the day is in this last stretch, switchbacks in the rail mitigate the stress.
After the switchbacks open up views to the south towards Lassen Peak, the summit is very near.
Prepare to be blown away. As you crest the summit, Mount Shasta stands directly across from you in all her glory. It looks absolutely massive, unfortunately, pictures don’t do it justice.
The views are very good in other directions, especially west towards the Trinity Alps.
There is also a crumbled old structure on top that served as a fire lookout many years ago.
The Final Word
Mount Eddy is a very nice peak and a fun trail. I would rate the trail as easy for an avid hiker and moderate for someone who is not. The scenery is pretty and you pass by 3 different lakes in the Deadfall Lakes chain. Overall, I would use this hike to introduce someone to peak bagging or for a kid.
The far reaches of Northern California, or what should be the State of Jefferson, is a beautiful area to visit. The majority of the people you run into are locals.