Latgawa Peninsula Loop (Applegate Lake) 22-Feb-2021

Most of the geographic features at Applegate Lake (actually a reservoir) don’t have official (USGS) names but some have local names. A peninsula, bounded to the north by French Gulch (official name) and to the south by Squaw Creek Arm (local name), juts out from the east side of the lake. I’ve taken to calling this the Latgawa Peninsula simply because there’s a campsite (actually just a flat spot next to the trail) on it by that name. The USGS spells it “Latgawa” but the Forest Service’s opportunity guide spells it “Latagawa” (and shows the campsite as a trailhead, which it’s not unless you have a boat or want to walk across a mud flat at low water). All this cartographic wizardry aside, the peninsula does harbor some pleasant, low-altitude trails ideal for a winter leg stretch.

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A Peninsular Loop at Applegate Lake (Oregon) 19-Feb-2019

Once you’ve managed to injury yourself on the trail, you have two options: wait it out on the couch with a supply of crisps and beer or keep moving (judiciously). While the first option certainly 🙂 has its points, I knew that the second was what needed to be done – but not overdone. Try roaring back into long hikes with a bad back, exacerbate 😦 the injury, and the couch will become a permanent home. So, I’ve been staving off ambulatory senescence with some short, but fun, local hikes. The current weather pattern of one or two nice days interspersed with days of storm and gloom has helped to enforce some rest and recovery time between days with increasing levels of hiking activity.

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Applegate Lake at Full Pool 29-Apr-2017

Appelgate Lake Oregon

Since we moved to Southern Oregon, we’ve done any number of hikes around and near Applegate Lake, a reservoir  at the head of the Upper Applegate River Valley, owing to the accessibility of its trails almost all year round.  But for any number of reasons, we’ve never visited the lake when its near to full; that is, when it looks like a lake and not giant mud-rimmed bathtub. The desire to see it at least once as a lake was strong, so when its pool elevation reached 1983.17 feet, with 1987.00 feet being full pool (dam hydrograph), it was time for a visit to view the waters.  The LovedOne’s library volunteer duties kept her off this hike, so we’ll be doing another one here soon so she too can see the waters.

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Latgawa Peninsula Trails (Applegate Lake) 26-Jan-2017

Latgawa Applegate Lake Oregon

While the Great Storm has made the Mount Ashland ski area (and Nordic skiers and snowshoers) ecstatic, it has had a dampening effect on simple snow-free hiking. On the upside, all this snow has given me permission, so to speak, to hike some of the shorter, lower altitude trails that have been overshadowed by longer trails in less snowy years. So we’ve done more hikes around Applegate Lake than ever before.  A couple of weeks ago I did a somewhat snowy hike out to the western tip of the lake’s Squaw Arm and that got me thinking about finishing hiking all of the trails on the Latgawa Peninsula across the water to the north.  We had done one of those trails early in 2016 but never got back to do the rest.  So, with The LovedOne preoccupied with finishing her quilting class homework, it fell to me to make my way to the Payette Trail’s Payette Trailhead at the head of Squaw Arm to finish these hikes.

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Applegate Lake (Southern Oregon) 12-Jan-2017

Payette Trail Applegate Lake Southern Oregon

After seven days of cold, wet, snowy fury, the Great Storm of 2017 (or at least the first round of it) finally passed into history. This first day post-storm was predicted to begin grim but end clear and sunny, so I planned to hike up Baldy Peak on the Mule Mountain Trail (USFS #919), figuring my arrival on the summit would coincide with the dissipation of the clouds and the emergence of big views. Great plan, had it not been for the fact that the Great Storm had left a surprising amount of low-altitude snow in its wake – more than enough to smother the small road shoulder that functions as the “parking lot” for the #919 trailhead.  So, now without parking, I pushed on to Applegate Lake where I was able to find, with some difficulty, a little snow-free parking near the Dagelma Trailhead.  From there, an out-and-back hike to the west end of Squaw Arm seemed like it might offer some sun-dappled views over the water should the clouds lift as promised.

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