Poison Canyon

Unlike the main fork of Swift Creek the forest along the North Fork of Swift Creek through Poison Canyon feels more like a rain forest than the usual high elevation forest of the Trinity Alps. Good spring water tumbles down the mountain in so many spots I almost never bring a water filter on this hike. The down side to all this water is the mosquitos. While on the trail crew this year we camped below Lily Pad Lake. It was insane! Most of the CCC's would where their rain gear with their hoods cinched tight to keep the bites to a minimum. I found that a roasted garlic a day (and a lot of DET) keeps the bugs away.

Even in late summer a good pair
of water proof boots are
very nice to have on this hike. Walking along the trail you will notice a wide variety of tree and plant life. The trail passes through a few small fern meadows before climbing up to the main meadow.

There are some great campsites along this two mile stretch of trail. Its easy to see how Lilly Pad Lake got it name.
Almost completely covered with lilly pads you wouldn't expect to be able to catch fish in this small pond but if you toss a fly out, carefully pull it off the lilies and wait. Before to long you'll have a nice dinner. The loop from Thumb Rock Trail to the Upper Lilly Pad Lakes used to be hard to follow until this last spring when a CCC crew rerouted the trail and added some cairns along the trail through the upper meadows.
You can still get some route finding challenges with the many good off trail hikes in the area.

Such as Ycatapom from Shimmy Lake.
The trail down from Shimmy Lake can be a good test of route finding skills because of the clear cuts that have destroyed the trail. It's a maze of skid trails and dirt roads that can be real easy to get lost in.

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