Lost Creek Lake (Southwest Oregon) 09-May-2021

Our friend Jennifer is a Southern Oregon native and her parents and brother still live in Medford. When she’s in town visiting them, and our schedules mesh, we try to do a hike with her. Today being Mother’s Day and all, there was just time for a short hike together in the morning. An out-and-back at Lost Creek Lake – between the Lewis Road Trailhead and the Blue Grotto – was deemed just the right length (4.5 miles / 7.2 km). The Grotto’s waterfall is now dry. This is, however, that fleeting moment in the annual water cycle when the reservoir is near full. For a couple of months, it will actually look like a lake, rather than like a mud-ringed bathtub (it’s now at 83% full and that may be as good as it gets this year). Plus there are some different wildflowers in bloom now. So we went out-and-back, enjoying views of the lake, catching-up on gossip, trying to identify odd wildflowers, and dodging (hopefully) the massive growths of poison oak bordering the trail. It was two hours well spent, with plenty of time remaining afterward for Mother’s Day festivities. 🙂

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North Shore Trail (Lost Creek Lake) 13-May-2016

Upper Rogue River Trail Oregon

Lost Creek Lake is a 3,340 acre (when full) reservoir situated on the main stem of the Rouge River in a scenic valley basin approximately half way between Crater Lake National Park and Medford, Oregon.  It was created in 1977, mainly for flood control and power generation purposes, with the completion of the William L. Jess Dam.  Since then it has become a major local recreation area, with boating, fishing, beaches, and miles of lake shore trail (for hikers, runners, equestrians, and mountain bikers).  Situated at about 2,500 feet elevation, the trails are open year-round, even when snow closes those further up in the Cascades.  But, like most of the water management reservoirs in our area, the level of this lake rises and falls some 60 feet with the seasons – going from a mud-rimmed bathtub in winter to a “real” lake during the summer.

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