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Following the eastern shore, the Little Castle Lake trail leaves the parking area, and then climbs the adjoining ridge; about 1 mi (1.6 km) along this trail is Little Castle Lake, a small glacial tarn reached by passing through meadows of wild flowers in the early summer. Little Castle Lake is within the Castle Crags Wilderness Area. Heart Lake, another small tarn, located above the headwall of Castle Lake, may also be reached via an informal cut-off from the Little Castle Lake trail.
At this point, the well-known Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is one-half mile (1 km) away, just over the Trinity Divide. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail stretches from Mexico to Canada, following the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and Cascade Range and paralleling the Pacific Ocean by 100 to 150 miles (161 to 241 km).
The Little Castle Lake trail continues on to Mt. Bradley, a locally prominent mountain with views of Mount Shasta, overlooking Dunsmuir, California and the canyon of the Upper Sacramento River. Along the way, the trail joins with a network of connections leading into Castle Crags State Park.
- Trail Measurement: 9.2 Miles
- Compass Latitude: 411326N
- Compass Longitude: 1222110W
- Numeric Latitude: 41.2237631
- Numeric Longitude: -122.3527894
- Elevation in Meters: 1711
- Elevation in Feet: 5613
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