Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon

With The LovedOne busy at the library, Plan A was to drive to where Forest Road (FR) 1055 intersects the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Cook and Green Pass on the Siskiyou Crest and then do some exploring along the PCT toward Kangaroo Springs. Uh, no. FR 1055 up from the Oregon side is closed indefinitely (there are locked gates at the bottom and at the pass)  because of damage sustained during the 2017 Abney Fire. It apparently won’t reopen until the Forest Service is able to deal with the burned snags that have fallen (or could fall) across it.

So to Plan B: A simple hike in ideal weather around the Latgawa Peninsula when Applegate Lake  looks most like a lake (i.e., when it’s near full pool). We usually hike the low-altitude trails here in winter when snow (if there is some) closes the higher trails. Hiking the peninsula trails in sunny, warm weather surrounded by the riotous greenery of late Spring was somehow very comforting. Not every hike has to be an adventure; sometimes just a good ramble is fine. The day was enlivened by several nesting ospreys who find the fish-filled lake and the snags around it just the place to raise batches of plump chicks. Starting from the French Gulch Trailhead, I went along the Payette Trail to Latgawa Cove Camp, then up the Calsh Trail, around the Prospector’s Loop Trail, down the Osprey Trail, and back to French Gulch via the Payette Trail.

Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
The waters fill French Gulch almost to the Payette Trail
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Riotous greenery (mostly poison oak) along the Calsh Trail
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Ponderosas along the Prospector’s Loop Trail
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
More greenery along the Osprey Trail
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
The old miner’s cabin along the Osprey Trail
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Hooker Indian Pink (S. hookeri)
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Salmon Arm (south end of the Osprey Trail) at full pool
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Salmon Arm during winter drawdown (80+ feet below full pool)
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
The main lake at full pool (note patches of brown burned trees on far hill)
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
The main lake during winter drawdown
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
An osprey (arrow) nests
Payette Trail Applegate Lake Oregon
Today’s 7.4 mile ramble around the peninsula
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