Rogue River National Forest

Applegate Ranger District Trails
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Grouse Loop Trail, #941

Recommended Use: Hiking, mountain biking
Length: 2.8 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Moderate
Season: All year
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: 2000'
Access: From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road for 9 miles to Hart-tish Park. The trailhead is located at the upper end of the picnic area parking lot.

This is a pleasant hike offering good views of the mountains surrounding Applegate Lake. Beginning at Hart-tish Park picnic area, the trail crosses Upper Applegate Road and continues 300 feet to a loop junction. Follow the left fork. The trail begins a gentle 1 mile uphill grade, gaining an elevation of 700 feet, while traversing a shallow basin of old-growth Douglas-fir, sugar pine, and ponderosa pine. From the ridgeline, good views of Elliott Creek Ridge and Red Buttes are seen. Leaving the ridgeline, the trail begins a moderate descent back to Hart-tish Park through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest. Drinking water is available at the Hart-tish Park during the spring and summer months only. We highly recommend that you carry your own water since facilities may be closed at the time of your visit. There is no water along the trail.

Facilities available at Hart-tish Park include picnic areas, swimming area, boat launch, restrooms, drinking water, and fish cleaning facilities. A vehicle entry fee is charged during the summer months.

Payette Trail, #970

Recommended Use: Hiking, mountain biking
Length: 9.2 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Easy
Season: Open all year
Level of Use: Moderate
Connecting Trails: Outdoor Study Trails; Viewpoint Trails

This scenic trail parallels the eastern shoreline of Applegate Lake, contouring just above the reservoir's high-water level. Several connecting trails provide opportunities for alternate loops. Additionally, three walk-in campgrounds are found along the route including Latgawa, Harr Point, and Tipsu Tyee. The camping facilities have restrooms, picnic tables and fire grills. Water is not available in the campgrounds or on the trail. Poison oak is prolific along the trail and an occasional rattlesnake may be seen.

Beginning at French Gulch Campground, the trail contours above the French Arm of Applegate Lake. Passing through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest, the trail continues along the shoreline for 4.5 miles to the mouth of Squaw Arm. Here the trail intersects a fire road, and follows the road east for 1/4 mile to the Squaw Arm parking area. From the parking area, follow the stock driveway south for 400 feet to rejoin the Payette Trail on the right. From this location, Harr Point Campground is 0.5 miles, Tipsu Tyee Campground 1.5 miles, and Manzanita Trailhead 6 miles.

Good views of Applegate Lake, and Kinney and Collings Mountains are offered on this section of trail, ending at Manzanita Trailhead. Vine maple, black oak, and madrone become the predominant tree species. This would be a good section of trail to view autumn colors!

Collings Mountain Trail, #943

Recommended Use: Hiking
Length: 7 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Difficult
Season: All Year
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: Begins 2000'
Connecting Trail: Da-ku-be-te-de
Access #1 (Hart-tish): From Star Ranger Station, travel south on Upper Applegate Road for 9 miles to Hart-tish Park. The trailhead is located at the upper end of the picnic area parking lot.
Access #2 (Watkins Campground): From Hart-tish Park, continue south on Upper Applegate Road for 3 miles to Watkins Campground.

Named for two brothers who mined in this vicinity during the 1850's and 1860's, the Collings Mountain trail offers a variety of opportunities ranging from historical sites to spectacular vistas.

Beginning at Hart-tish Park picnic area, the trail crosses Upper Applegate Road and drops down to Grouse Creek. An abandoned miner's cabin and inactive Sasquatch (Bigfoot) trap are encountered about 3/4 mile up the trail. Several mine edits (tunnels with one entrance) are found along the trail. Please, do not enter the tunnels!

Leaving Grouse Creek, the trail climbs steeply for one mile to the ridge top, gaining 1,000' elevation, and begins a long traverse of the western slope of Collings Mountain summit. Excellent panoramic views of the Applegate Lake and surrounding mountains are seen at several locations along the trail.

After following the ridge line for 2 miles, the trail then descends at a moderate rate for 3 miles to Watkins Campground, The last 1/2 mile of trail passes through the 62 acre Watkins fire that burned in 1981.

Cook And Green Trail, #959

Recommended Use: Hiking, horseback riding
Length: 8.2 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Moderate
Season: June through October
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: Begins 2280' ( Road #1040 ); Ends 4765' (Cook & Green Pass)
Connecting Trails: Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail; Horse Camp Trail
Access #1 (Lower Trailhead): From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road for 13 miles to the junction with Carberry Creek Road. Turn left, and proceed 1.5 miles to the junction of Forest Roads #1040 and #1050. Turn right onto road #1040, and continue for 3.5 miles to the Cook and Green Trailhead sign. A parking area is located directly across from the trailhead.
Access #2 (Cook & Green Pass): Follow the above directions to the junction of Forest Roads #1040 and #1050. Turn left onto Road #1050 and follow for 0.9 mile to the junction with Forest Road #1055. Turn right onto Road #1055 and follow to near milepost 10. The trail begins on the right of the pass, near the large parking area.

The Cook and Green Trail offers opportunities for fishing, camping and viewing a diverse forest ecosystem. Water may be found at two springs along the trail, however, these water sources have not been tested and may be unsafe to drink. Water treatment is recommended.

Beginning on Forest Road #1040, the trail begins a gradual ascent through a dense, mixed forest comprised of canyon live oak, mountain mahogany and big-leaf maple. The trail continues a 3.5 mile traverse above Cook and Green Creek before reaching No See-Em Camp. This campsite is one of only two sites large enough to accommodate 1-2 tents. After leaving this campsite, the trail climbs gradually along the west side of Bear Gulch. Here the deciduous forest gives way to large stands of old-growth Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, noble fir, and the rare Brewer's spruce. Ferns, beargrass and huckleberry bushes blanket the forest floor. A small spring is passed just prior to reaching Cook and Green Pass, marking the end of the Cook and Green Trail. The named Cook and Green is derived from Robert Cook and two Green brothers who were partners in several mining ventures in this vicinity during the 1870's and 1880's.

The Cook and Green Trail offers an opportunity for a 15-mile loop beginning and ending at the Cook and Green Trail head. This loop can be completed by taking the Cook and Green Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail (8.2 miles). From Cook and Green Pass, head south on the PCNST for 2 miles to the junction with the Horse Camp Trail (Echo Lake). Turn right, and follow the Horse Camp Trail for 3.9 miles to Cook and Green Trailhead. From the camp area, walk north on Road #1040 for 1/2 mile to the Cook and Green Trailhead.

Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Trail, #940

Recommended Use: Hiking
Length: 4.8 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Easy
Season: All year
Level of Use: Moderate
Elevation: 2000'
Connecting Trail: Collings Mountain Trail
Access #1 (Swayne Viewpoint): From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road 8 miles to the Swayne Viewpoint parking area. The trailhead is located at the south end of the parking lot near the restrooms.
Access #2 (Hart-tish Park): Hart-tish Park is located 1 mile south of Swayne Viewpoint on Upper Applegate Road. A vehicle entry fee is charged during the summer months.
Access #3 (Watkins Campground): Watkins Campground is located 2 miles south of Hart-tish Park on Upper Applegate Road.

Named for a small band of Indians who inhabited the Applegate Valley, the Da-ku-be-te-de Trail is a beautiful, easy day hike that traverses the western shore of Applegate Lake.

Beginning at Swayne Viewpoint, the trail passes the Hart-tish boat ramp in 1/2 mile. Proceed across the parking lot and rejoin the trail on a paved walkway along the lake, passing an interpretative viewpoint. The paved trail ends at the lawn area above the swimming area, and resumes directly across the lawn where the pavement is replaced by gravel surfacing.

The trail continues along the lakeshore before reaching the Copper Boat Ramp. The trail is somewhat difficult to locate through this area, but follows the lakes' high-water level. Shortly before Watkins Campground is reached, the trail passes over a footbridge and forks. This is a 1/4 mile loop trail that circles the campground. Take the trail to the right to reach the parking area.

It is best to carry your own water for this hike since the camping and picnicking facilities may be closed during winter and spring months.

Horse Camp Trail, #958

Recommended Use: Hiking, horseback riding
Length: 3.9 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Difficult with steep grades
Season: June through October
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: Begins 2400' (Cook & Green); Ends 5900' (PCNST)
Connecting Trail: Pacific Crest Trail; Cook and Green Trail

The Horse Camp Trail is a scenic trail offering access to the Red Buttes Wilderness area and Echo Lake. The trail provides opportunities for fishing at Echo lake and panoramic views from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The trail climbs 3500 feet in 3.9 miles. Water may be found at two springs along the trail, however, these sources have not been tested and may be unsafe to drink. Water treatment is recommended.

Beginning at Cook and Green Trailhead, the trail climbs steeply through a shaded deciduous and mixed conifer forest. In 0.5 mile, the junction with the Butte Fork Trail is reached. The Horse Camp trail stays to the left and continues to climb steadily along the ridgeline. Views of the old Butte Fork landslide are frequently seen. Horse Camp is reached after another mile with a spring located nearby.

The trail continues to climb for another 1.5 miles before reaching a high mountain meadow dotted with an array of wildflowers. Deer are frequently seen grazing in the meadows. The Echo Lake junction is soon reached; the trail to the right leads to Echo Lake, nestled in a small cirque basin below Red Buttes. For those continuing to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, take the trail to the left and continue another 0.5 miles to the crest, marking the end of the Horse Camp Trail.

Little Squaw Trail, #923

Recommended Use: Hiking
Length: 1 Mile (one-way)
Difficulty: Easy
Season: All year
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: 3200'
Access: From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road 8 miles to the Applegate Dam. Turn left, crossing the dam and continue on Forest Road #1075 for 8.5 miles to the Squaw Lakes parking area and trailhead.

The Little Squaw Trail is a beautiful, short interpretative hike that takes you past two mountain lakes. This hike provides the visitor with many opportunities for picnicking, swimming, as well as fishing for cutthroat and rainbow trout. This is an excellent hike for the entire family!

Beginning at the large parking area, the trail follows a maintenance road for 1/8 mile to Big Squaw Lake. Immediately after reaching the lake, continue east 100 yards further to a road junction. Turn right and follow this road for another 1/4 mile to Little Squaw Lake. The trail crosses a foot bridge below the outlet of the lake, and climbs briefly before entering a mixed conifer and hardwood forest. The dense forest provides shaded cover in the summer heat. Interpretative signs give the visitor an opportunity to identify the types of trees and vegetation found along the trail.

The trail ends at Mulligan Bay on Big Squaw Lake. For those wishing to extend their hike, continue north on the lakeshore road that circles Big Squaw Lake. Visitors ending their hike at Mulligan Bay can return to the trailhead by following the maintenance road west for 1/2 mile.

Water is available from the hand pumps at Mulligan Bay and the picnic area. It is best, however, to carry your own water since the pumps are not always operational.

Middle Fork Trail, #950

Recommended Use: Hiking, horseback riding
Length: 6.1 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Easy
Season: May through October
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: 3500'
Connecting Trail: Frog Pond Trail
Access #1 (Upper Trailhead): From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road 13 miles to the junction with Carberry Creek Road turn left and continue 1.5 miles to junction with Forest Road #1040 and #1050. Turn right onto Road #1040 and follow for 14 miles to the junction with spur road #600. Turn left onto Road #600 and drive 1/4 mile to the large parking area and trailhead.
Access #2 (Middle Trailhead): Follow directions as above to junction of Road #1040 and #1050. Turn right onto Road #1040 and follow for 12 miles to the Frog Pond/Middlefork Trailhead sign. The Middle Fork Trail starts on the right side of the small turnout area.
Access #3 (Lower Trailhead): Follow directions to the junction of Road #1040/#1050. Turn right onto Road #1040 and follow for 5 miles to junction with Road #1035. Turn right onto Road #1035 and proceed 0.5 mile to the trailhead sign and large parking area on the left.

The Middle Fork Trail is a beautiful hike or horseback ride that follows the Middle Fork of the Applegate River. This trail offers opportunities for swimming in the emerald pools of the river, fishing for brook trout, or picnicking along the rivers edge. This is a good hike to view brilliant autumn colors! While several springs are found along the trail, the water sources have not been tested and may be unsafe to drink. Water treatment is recommended.

The upper section of this trail is not recommended for horse use at this time due to narrow tread and rocky creek crossings. For the time being, it is best to use the middle trailhead beginning on Forest Road #1040 and ending on Road #1035. Check with Star Ranger District for updated information.

Beginning on Forest Road #1040-600, the trail passes through mixed stands of old-growth Douglas-fir, white fir, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine. Huckleberry, hazelnut, and vine maple form a dense understory. After 3 miles, the trail crosses Road #1040 and begins the final 3.1 miles of trail.

The lower section of the Middle Fork Trail is highlighted by lush fern grottos, unique pothole formations, and deep swimming holes. The forest changes dramatically to a mixed deciduous forest of alder, dogwood, and big-leaf maple.

Outdoor Study Area Trails

Recommended Use: Hiking
Length: 0.6-1.6 Miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Season: Open all year
Level of Use: Moderate
Elevation: 2000'
Connecting Trail: Payette Trail
Access (Dagelma Trailhead): From Star Ranger Station drive south on Upper Applegate Road 8 miles to the Applegate Dam. Turn left, crossing the dam and drive 3 miles on Squaw Creek Road #1075 to Dagelma Trailhead. No facilities are available other than off-road parking in the paved parking lot. Two trailheads are located at Dagelma. The trailhead to the right of the parking lot leads to the Calsh, Sinns Bar, and Prospector Loop Trails. The trailhead to the left leads to the Osprey and Prospector Loop Trails. If hiking the Prospectors Loop Trail, it is best to take the trail to the right and return on the left side of the loop. This makes for less climbing, and more downhill travel!

Beginning at the Dagelma Trailhead, four trails extend throughout the Outdoor Study Area. These relatively short trails range in length from 0.6 miles to 1.6 miles. When used in conjunction with the Payette Trail, several loop possibilities are available. Excellent views of the Applegate Lake and surrounding vicinity may be seen at various locations. Drinking water is not available along any of the trails.

Calsh Trail, #971 This trail is 0.7 miles in length and connects to the Payette Trail near Latgawa Cove Campground. Starting at Dagelma Trailhead, pass through the pedestrian stile at the far end of the parking lot. The Calsh Trail takes off to the right and begins a moderate descent through a mature Douglas-fir forest. This trail offers good views of the Applegate Dam.

Sinns Bar Trail, #972 This is an O.8 mile trail connecting the Prospectors Loop Trail and the Payette Trail. For ease of travel, it is recommended that one hike down this trail because of steepness. From Dagelma Trailhead, take the Prospectors Loop Trail to the right and follow for 0.6 miles to the Sinns Bar Trail. The trail begins a short, moderate descent through a large stand of ponderosa pine, offering views of Applegate Lake. The trail ends on the Payette Trail, 0.8 miles from Latgawa Campground. Sinns Bar is named for a Chinese prospector who mined the gravel bars along the Applegate River during the gold rush years of the 1050's and 1060's.

Osprey Trail, #973 This trail is 0.6 miles in length and extends from Dagelma Trailhead to the Payette Trail above the Squaw Arm. The trail begins on the left side of the parking area and follows the Prospectors Loop Trail for 400 feet before reaching the Osprey Trail junction on the left. The trail begins a gentle to moderate descent through a mixed conifer forest of Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, white pine, changing to a beautiful forest of oak, madrone, and manzanita. Poison oak is common along the trail. After 0.2 mile, the trail follows an old road to its junction with the Payette Trail.

Prospectors Loop Trail, #974 This trail is a 1.6 mile loop offering views of Applegate Lake and surrounding mountains. Starting at Dagelma, pass through the pedestrian stile on the right at the far end of the parking area. The trail climbs steadily for 0.2 mile to a ridge top, then begins a short descent to the junction with the Sinns Bar Trail. The Prospector Loop Trail continues to the left at this junction and traverses a hillside offering good views of the surrounding mountains. The trail winds its way through a mixed conifer forest before reaching the junction with the Osprey Trail. Stay to the left and return to the parking area. Evidence of past mining activity may be seen along the trail. Shallow exploration holes were dug in the early 1900's in search of mercury and copper ore.

Stein Butte Trail, #929

Recommended Use: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding
Length: 7.5 Miles (one-way)
Difficulty: Difficult
Season: All year
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: Begins 2069' (Seattle Bar); Ends 4400' (Stein Butte)
Access #1 (Seattle Bar): From Star Ranger Station, drive south 13 miles on Upper Applegate Road to the junction with Carberry Creek Road. Turn left and continue one mile to the Seattle Bar Trailhead.
Access #2 (Elliott Creek Road): Continue past Seattle Bar Picnic Area 0.5 mile to the junction with Forest Road #1050. Turn left and drive 3 miles to the trailhead. Off-road parking is available in a turnout area.

Named for one of the many prospectors who mined in this vicinity during the early gold rush years of the 1850's and 1860's, the Stein Butte trail features areas of historical as well as scenic interests. Panoramic views of Applegate Lake and the rugged Siskiyou mountains may be seen along the ridge. Evidence of hydraulic, surface and lode mining activity, dating from the turn of the century, is present along the trail. There is no water on this route.

Beginning at Seattle Bar, the trail passes underneath the Upper Applegate Road bridge, and crosses Manzanita Creek Road. Leaving the road, the trail climbs steadily at a moderate grade for 2.5 miles up the west end of Elliott Creek Ridge. The trail continues along the ridge to a crest just below Stein Butte. A cross-country trip to the top of Stein Butte offers excellent vistas of the Red Buttes.

Leaving the ridgeline, the trail descends at a relatively steep rate for 2.5 miles to Elliott Creek Road, marking the end of the Stein Butte Trail.

Viewpoint Trails

Recommended Use: Hiking
Length: 0.1-0.6 Miles
Difficulty: Easy
Season: All year
Level of Use: Light
Elevation: 2000'
Connecting Trail: Payette Trail
Access #1 (French Gulch Campground): From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road 8 miles to Applegate Dam. Turn left, crossing the dam and continue on Road #1075 1 mile to French Gulch Campground.
Access #2 (Squaw Arm Parking Area): From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Road 8 miles to Applegate Dam. Turn left, crossing the dam and continue on Road #1075 3 miles to the junction with Road #100. Turn right onto Road #100 and continue 0.5 miles to the signed Squaw Arm Parking area.

The Viewpoint Trails are short trails leading to excellent vistas of the Applegate Lake and surrounding mountains. The trails are located off the Payette Trail, a 9.2 mile trail that traverses the eastern shoreline of Applegate Lake.

Overnight camping facilities are located at three primitive campgrounds along the Payette Trail. Latgawa Cove, Harr Point, and Tipsu Tyee Campgrounds have firepits, toilets and picnic tables. No water is available in the campgrounds or along the trail. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

All trails begin at the Squaw Arm Parking area access, with the exception of Viewpoint Trail #970A. This trail begins at the French Gulch Trailhead.

Harr Ridge Trail, #947 The Harr Ridge Trail begins at Tipsu Tyee Campground, located 2.0 miles south of the Squaw Arm parking area on the Payette Trail. This trail offers a good opportunity to see some examples of an old-growth Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine forest. The trail leaves the Tipsu Tyee Campground, and begins a gradual 0.3 mile climb to the ridgeline. The junction with the Culy Trail is soon reached, before the trail descends to the junction with the Cut-Off Trail. To return to Tipsu Tyee Campground, turn right and continue for 1 mile to the campground.

Culy Trail, #947A The Culy Trail is a short 0.1 mile hike along a ridge overlooking the mouth of Squaw Arm and Tipsu Tyee Campground. The trail is reached via the Harr Ridge Trail. From Tipsu Tyee Campground hike south 0.3 miles on the Harr Ridge Trail to the Culy Trail junction. Turn right onto the Culy Trial and continue for 0.1 mile to the viewpoint area.

Cut-Off Trail, #946 The Cut-Off Trail is a short 0.2 mile trail that connects between the Payette Trail. Access to the Harr Ridge Trail and Squaw Point Trail are located on this trail. The trail is located 1 mile south of Tipsu Tyee Campground.

Squaw Point Trail, #946A The Squaw Point Trail is a short 0.1 mile trail that overlooks the mouth of Squaw Arm on Applegate Lake. The trail begins on the Cut-Off Trail.

Viewpoint Trail, #970A The Viewpoint Trail begins just south of Latgawa Cove Campground on the Payette Trail. This short trail is 0.2 miles in length, and offers panoramic views of Applegate Lake and surrounding mountains. The Viewpoint Trail access begins from French Gulch Trailhead. Follow the Payette Trail south for 0.7 miles to Latgawa Cove Campground. From the campground, continue south on the Payette Trail for another 0.2 miles. The trail begins at the junction with the Calsh Trail.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Jan 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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