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Crystal and Baum Lakes

Crystal and Baum Lakes Trail

Crystal and Baum Lakes

Crystal and Baum Lakes Trail

Location: Cassel, California

Miles: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: easy

Duration: 1 hour

Features: Dog Friendly, Family Friendly, Mountain Bikes, Paddle Board, Kayaking

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Crystal and Baum Lakes Trail

This hike is on the stretch of the PCT between the Baum Lake parking lot and Hwy 299. From Baum it is 3.7 miles of mostly flat oak/conifer forest. If you have 2 cars, you can park one in the Baum parking lot and the other at Hwy 299 and Cassel Rd.

The trail is very well marked with the PCT placards on trees. We recently did this after a snow and had no trouble navigating. The local wildlife uses the trail heavily as evidenced by the deer and coyote tracks/scat in the snow.

There is a Bald Eagle family living atop a large pine as you walk along the lakeside before the trail rises and leaves the lake. About 10 minutes into the hike, look for a thick trunked dead tree that looks to have fell many years back and only the bottom half remains standing.

From that tree looking north, the next few tall trees will have the eagles. This particular lake also has great fishing.

Top 3 Adventure Hacks

1) Tends To Get Overgrown

This is not a heavily traffic trail and it can get overgrown in the summer. Poison oak is abundant, so where long sleeves and long trousers. The bushes tend to recede in the winter. (this is a much better winter hike)

2) Take Photos

Get your camera ready, this trail is very easy and scenic because it is home to some of the tallest trees in the world.

If you don’t have a digital camera, your phone will do. You can always get a smartphone lens to improve the quality of your shots.

3) Go Fishing

Baum is a stellar trout lake in the winter Dec-Mar. If you fly fish, you might consider using a zebra midge sized 18-22 and a BWO Emerger in olive for planted Brown and Rainbow trout.

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