Miller Lake (Siskiyou Crest, Oregon) 08-Nov-2018

Miller Lake is a charming little three acre lake perched on the side of a ridge above Sturgis Fork to the east of Oregon Caves National Monument. It’s a natural lake that was deepened with an earthen dam years ago by the Thompson Creek Irrigation District. The dam remains but the old service road to it has been closed. There is now a good single-track trail that goes to the lake and then circles around it for views from the ridge above. The trailhead is at the end of Forest Road (FR) 1020-400 and the circuit up and around the lake is only 3.4 miles if you can drive to the trailhead. Unfortunately,  the bridge that got FR 1020-400 across Sturgis Fork was removed in 2006. Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and high-clearance cars and trucks can cross the Fork at low water (good luck with that during Spring runoff). Otherwise you have to walk up the road, which adds 6.6 miles round-trip to the journey. Although getting across the creek in my 4×4 truck wouldn’t have been a problem, I decided to walk for the exercise (The LovedOne had meetings at the library).

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Azalea Lake via Steve Fork (Red Buttes Wilderness) 06-Mar-2015

Azalea Lake Steve Fork Red Buttes Wilderness California

The Steve Fork Trailhead in Oregon provides relatively easy access to the north side of California’s Red Buttes Wilderness (where, because of the absurdly low snow year, I have been able to hike during much of this winter). It’s also an access point to the Boundary Trail, which I have also been exploring piece-meal this winter. Steve Fork is also an alternate trailhead for wonderful little Azalea Lake, which we had visited before via the Fir Glade Trailhead. So today’s hike was a twofer – check out the Steve Fork Trail (USFS #905) and visit Azalea Lake from a different trailhead. {UPDATE: The area around Azalea Lake was burned by the 2017 Knox Fire.}

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Swan Mountain (Red Buttes Wilderness) 25-Feb-2015

Swan Mountain Steve Fork Red Buttes Wilderness Oregon

Although most of the Red Buttes Wilderness is in Northern California, a small chunk of it is in Oregon, between Tanner Mountain and Sucker Creek Gap. The Steve Fork Trail or Steve’s Fork Trail (USFS #905) provides the shortest access to Sucker Creek Gap from the east side of the Siskiyou Crest. From the gap, it’s a short hike to views from Swan Mountain (which is, sadly, not in the designated wilderness area).

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