the Degree Confluence Project

United States : California

7.6 miles (12.2 km) SSE of Summerville (Siskiyou), Trinity, CA, USA
Approx. altitude: 1846 m (6056 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 41°S 57°E

Accuracy: 20 m (65 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: A panoramic view of Emerald Lake. #3: A view across the lake at the confluence spot. #4: Ray, Lex, Jim and Ed (left to right).

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  41°N 123°W (visit #2)  

#1: N41 W123 close up.

(visited by James Meehan, Edward Louie, Raymond Walsh and Alexius Ludeman)

15-Jul-2001 -- This is probably one of the more difficult confluences in California, if not the world. It's located in the middle of the Trinity Alps Wilderness, about 40 miles NW of Redding, CA. National forest wilderness areas are off limits to vehicles, but frequently have well marked hiking trails. Luckily for us, the Trinity Alps trail passes within 0.3 mi of the confluence. However, that point is 14 miles in from the trail head with an elevation difference of about 3000 feet. I was looking for a challenge though, and several friends had expressed interest in a backpacking trip, so I rounded up three of them and we set out.

We left later than we wanted to on Friday, July 13th. We'd hoped to hit the trail head before dark and get some hiking in during the remaining daylight, but we hit traffic on the way up from San Francisco. It was just dark when we got to the trail head, but we decided to pack up and hike for a bit anyway. After a wrong turn and almost sliding down a steep hill into the river, we camped for the night about 2 miles in.

On Saturday, we hiked another 8 or so miles to a spot just past Morris Meadow. The trail follows the Stuart's Fork river the whole way, so we fortunately could filter our water from the stream instead of carrying it with us. The trail was fairly deserted compared to those closer to metropolitan areas, but we did see a few other hikers both on their way in and out. The scenery along the river is fabulous, and kept getting more and more breathtaking as we neared our goal.

On Sunday, we left our packs and most of our gear at the camp site and day hiked the remaining 3 or so miles up to Emerald Lake. The view from here is stunning (see picture 2). From this point, the confluence was about 0.3 miles south. From looking at some topo maps, I knew that the confluence was somewhat above the level of the lake, but wasn't really prepared for the climb that presented itself. After hiking the 14 miles in, we were all pretty beat, but managed to climb up the large granite boulder rock slides that you can see on the far side of the lake in picture 3. From here, the confluence was another 400 or so feet away, and the climbing got even more difficult. Steep, mostly flat slabs of rock with few foot and hand holds. We came within 70 feet of the confluence, and two of our party went up a little higher. At the final point, the GPS read N41 00.005' W123 00.000' with 5 satellites locked on and an EPE of 25 feet. Unfortunately, our photographer discovered that the batteries in his digital camera were empty after snapping a shot of the confluence spot, so we were unable to get a picture of the GPS. Drat!

We returned to our camp after climbing back down to the lake. All of us were pretty sore and tired, and we realized that we had 11 or so miles to hike back out the next day. Fortunately, it was all downhill, so it was somewhat easier, and we had the motivation of returning home.

All in all, a very worthy confluence. A good one if you're looking for a challenge. The Trinity Alps Wilderness is also an awesome hike even if you don't visit the confluence.

 All pictures
#1: N41 W123 close up.
#2: A panoramic view of Emerald Lake.
#3: A view across the lake at the confluence spot.
#4: Ray, Lex, Jim and Ed (left to right).
ALL: All pictures on one page