Thousand Lakes and Caribou Wilderness

Thousand Lakes and Caribou Wilderness

September 15, 2016

There are two Wilderness areas, both in the Lassen National Forest, that offer good back country trouting. One nice feature of these two areas is that, for the most part, the trails are relatively short and gentle. Beginning backpackers, or families with smaller children, do well here.

Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Thousand Lakes Wilderness is small (about 16,000 acres) as wilderness areas go, and doesn’t have 1,000 lakes. It’s terrain is varied, including rugged rocky areas, pine forests and alpine peaks. Elevations range from 5,000 to 9,000 feet. Although there are many lakes, only about 8 offer good fishing. Eiler Lake is the largest lake, and is noted for the largest fish in the area. It is also the most accessible. At about 7,200 feet Magee Lake and Everett Lake are the most difficult to reach, but are rewarding to the determined angler. Other fishing lakes include Barett, Durbin and Hutford. Bait, lures and flies all work at Thousand Lakes. Forest Service Road off Hwy. 89, between Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park provide access.

Caribou Wilderness

Caribou Wilderness is on the east side of the National Park, off Hwy. 44. Trail heads are at Silver Lake. Caribou is much like Thousand Lakes in terrain and size, but fishing is not rated as good. Caribou has 20 major lakes. Fish are caught in both areas throughout the access season (late May thru fall).

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