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.Continue reading “Latgawa Peninsula Loop (Applegate Lake) 22-Feb-2021”
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.
Today was forecast as a nice day (and it was, at least through the morning), so we did a loop around the Latgawa Peninsula at Applegate Lake. We gave this geographic feature this name because it is the only peninsula at the lake (with French Gulch to the north and Squaw Creek to the south) and is home to the minimalist (i.e., a flat spot next to the trail) Latgawa Cove Camp. The peninsula is also home to an assortment of trails that can be woven together year-round into any number of short and long loops. Today we started on the Payette Trail, climbed the Calsh Trail, dropped back to lake level on the Osprey Trail, and made our way back to the French Gulch Trailhead on the Payette – for a 5.7 mile loop that my back only complained about a little bit. Because it seems to be one of the Ashland Hiking Group’s favorite hang-outs, we stopped at the Boomtown Saloon in Jacksonville on the way home. The beer was cold and the fries were hot, so we were pleased with this culinary choice. 😀
Per LaLande (1995), the name of the Calsh Trail was derived in the early 1980s from the initials of the five Forest Service employees who planned the trail.RETURN TO FRONT PAGE
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 accessiblity 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.
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.
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 parkingless, 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.