West Parks Lakes and Parks Creek Trailhead

by Shasta Cascade on August 24, 2009

Parks Creek DivideMy family and I drove up to the Parks Creek Trailhead area yesterday to visit West Parks Lakes. (If you’re not familiar with the area, Parks Creek Trailhead is located on Forest Road 17/Parks Creek Road about fifteen miles west of Weed). West Park Lakes is a series of three lakes located between the  7,232 and 7,647 ft elevations, located just east of China Mountain.  It looks like a pretty area, but there’s not much information about the lakes available online. The final road to the lakes is called 41N73. The Forest Service information brochure said that the road contained a creek crossing where the bridge had been taken out, but otherwise didn’t mention anything bad about the condition of the road, something they normally do. Many of the stub roads that take off from Road 17 are poorly marked, some have been purposely blocked with large rocks, and most are in poor condition. After many false alerts, we finally found 41N73 taking off to the right.  To our dismay, we saw that the gravel road looked really chewed up.  There was no way we would risk it with our passenger SUV with highway tires.   A high clearance vehicle would be better, and a bulldozer would be preferred. Normally, we would have considered walking to our goal, but the lakes are located many miles down the road.  We reluctantly decided to save the Lakes for another day. Continuing up FR17, we came upon the PCT Park Creek trailhead at the top of the divide.  There are gorgeous views both to the east and west where you can see for miles.  The continuous wind made things a little chilly. Surprisingly for a Sunday evening, the trailhead area had quite a few cars parked in the gravel lot.  The trailhead area was well-marked, and the trail itself to Toad Lake was easy to find. As we were enjoying the views, a pickup drove by with a guy standing in the back, supporting himself by the rollover bar.  This is the second time on this road that I’ve seen trucks driving around with passengers standing in the back.  Even though it’s not legal, the views they experience must be incredible. Have you ever visited West Parks Lakes? Leave a comment.

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