Activity

Eagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge

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Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge

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Trail stats

Distance
7.19 mi
Elevation gain
518 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
518 ft
Max elevation
5,597 ft
TrailRank 
32
Min elevation
5,303 ft
Trail type
Loop
Time
6 hours 4 minutes
Coordinates
1494
Uploaded
November 5, 2023
Recorded
May 2023
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near Crystal Lake, California (United States)

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Trail photos

Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge Photo ofEagle Lakes to Fordyce bridge

Itinerary description

Eagle Lakes because they are there! And a really neat bridge. The area is optimized for off-roaders not hikers.
The hike starts out on a rocky jeep trail that can be flooded in many places during the spring and winter and dusty when dry. If you can hike it, on a weekend there will probably be a parade of 4x4s, but there is room to get off the road and they don’t go that fast. We even met some on a previous snowshoe trip. We opted for flooded without dust and had a nice day. We were treated to watching some serious rigs climbing a serious obstacle which is entertainment you don’t get on every hike.

The road to the lakes is not exceptional as you can’t see out of the tree cover, but things pickup after that. When we reached the lakes we used a mix of roads and trails and then a trail to the abandoned, but in good condition, Fordyce Bridge. I enjoyed the scenery at the bridge, the numerous waterfalls along creeks and of course the lakes. There are some nice views of Signal Peak as you get near the bridge and more distant views from the hill on the far side of the bridge which is easy to go up without a trail. We went just after the snow had melted and everything was full or running full strength. Fordyce creek was very impressive at flood stage.

We had to rock hop or use logs to cross some of the creeks flooding the roads and trails. Some people, including myself on the return trip, decided wet feet were less trouble. Several of the lakes are roadless. We went cross country briefly a few times when we ran out of trails. The country is pretty open and the brush wasn’t impassible where we wanted to go. There may not be as many lakes, ponds and swamps later in the season.

I rate this as moderate instead of easy because in addition to traffic and seasonal flooding there is not a lot of soft trail surface or signage, all of which made hiking slower than usual or required a little more effort than easy.

If you don’t want to navigate through large ruts on Carlyle Road you can park on paved Eagle Lakes Road with a little more walking, but regular cars can make it to the hiking trailhead. You can drive further on Carlyle Road if you have suitable ground clearance. There are no fees and there are toilets. There is a lot of parking, but there can be a lot of parkers too.

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