Grizzly Lake is approached via the Grizzly Lake 'scramble' - a steep, rocky path defined by the forest service so that people can get to the lake via one path, but made rough to discourage taking heavy packs up. People do camp at the lake, but heavy use of the fragile alpine environment is discouraged - better to camp below in Grizzly Meadows or any of the other excellent campsites found along the creek.
The trail can be accessed in two ways, as follows :
1. Hobo Gulch trailhead : 19 miles one-way, along the N. Fork Trinity. Low usage.
2. China Spring trailhead : 6.7 miles one-way. Heavy usage.
Refer to any Trinity Alps guidebook for trailhead driving directions.
Starting from the north shore of the lake (7100'), work southwest up the granite blocks, traversing above an obvious gully to the lowest point on the ridge (about 8500'). The gist of the route should be pretty clear from the topo, and obvious from the lake.
A use trail may be visible, but had so much scree that footing is probably better on the granite.
Once atop the ridge, follow the back of it to the summit, which is class 3. Some might find it a bit easier to scramble the blocks directly atop the ridge near the top, rather than climbing up the backside.
Snowfields may cover part of the route in the early season. As of 7-August-2004 (a low snow year) ice axe & crampons were unnecessary for the route described above, though several low-angle snow patches were encountered. Views of the 'mini-glacier' were tremendous.
A wilderness permit is required for overnight stays (free), as well as a California campfire permit (also free). Contact the Big Bar Ranger Station for more info :
Star Route 1, Box 10
Big Bar, CA 96010
Apparently the permanent snowfield north of the peak above the lake is actually a glacier or 'glacierette'. Open crevasses may be present in late season, and moats can probably be expected close to steep rock faces.