Hike Difficulty: moderate
Hike Length: 4.22 mi (one-way from Kangaroo Lake Campground to Bull Lake)
Elevation Gain: 1834 ft
Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
The mountains were definitely calling for me this weekend. I have been wanting to try out this section of the PCT for some time now, and it seemed like an appropriate level of challenge for an overnight, so I brought Grace to check it out.
Kangaroo and Bull Lakes are in the Scott Mountain range, which is a tiny range that is wedged in with all sorts of other fun ones like the Trinity Alps. Since it’s a pretty popular campground, the road to get to Kangaroo Lake is pretty well-maintained. I parked at the day-use area lot (for free!), but I think that you could park across from the trailhead, which is a few hundred yards back from the parking lot.
To get to Bull Lake, first you have to take the Kangaroo Fen trail up to the PCT. The area has a lot of interesting stuff going on biologically and geologically, and there are even some interpretive signs that explain key facts. Once on the PCT, the trail bends past Robbers Meadow and a few unknown lakes as it climbs over a few passes. Each time you reach a pass, you gain a different perspective on the surrounding mountains. Eventually, you reach the second main pass and Bull Lake is visible below.
Bull Lake has an amazing view of Mount Eddy and Mount Shasta, as well as a meadow filled with wildflowers that leads down to an enormous tree-filled valley. I thought I would have the lake to myself, but around dinner time, three Germans came and set up camp on the opposite side. I didn’t talk to them much, but I think they were hiking the PCT together.
In the morning, I attempted to reach Cory Peak, which is all off-trail. I forgot to take a screenshot of the instructions that I’d found, so I ended up winging it and climbing a lot of steep slopes for nothing. Looking at my map now, I was REALLY close to this tiny (supposedly beautiful) pond near the summit, but that’ll have to be the goal for another day.