Highland Creek Trailhead (at Highland Lakes)

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This trail follows Highland Creek canyon down to Hiram Meadow and can be used to hike all the way to the northeast end of Spicer Reservoir; it continues to Rock Lake, Duck Lake, and ends at the Silver Valley Trailhead at the east end of Lake Alpine. It also connects with trails to Elephant Rock Lake and Union Reservoir.

Elevation: 8635 feet.
Lat/Long: 38.4850, -119.8099

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Calaveras Ranger District (Hwy 4)
Online wilderness permits are available. Obtain a free online wilderness permit.
Permit Info: A wilderness permit is required for overnight visits to the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Summer, early fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Water: In summer season at Highland Lakes Campground (hand pump)
Restroom: Vault toilet at Highland Lakes Campground
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

General Notes:

Trailhead access is blocked by snow and road closure of Highway 4 in the winter season.


From the Calaveras Ranger Station in Hathaway Pines, California, head east on Highway 4 for about 46 miles. Turn right when you see the sign for Highland Lakes and follow that road (Highland Lakes Road-8N01) for about 5 miles. When you see the lakes, keep going until you reach the end of the road.

Coming from the east on Highway 4, Highland Lakes Road (8N01) is 1.3 miles west of Ebbetts Pass.

Accessible to all types of highway-legal vehicles, native surface parking area by the trailhead.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities



  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 


One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire

One Less Spark—One Less Wildfire