Russian Lake

8.6 miles
1300 feet elevation gain
Open late June to mid-November
Use: hikers, horses

This back-door route to the high country of the Russian Wilderness  contours around scenic ridges to a spectacular granite basin with sapphire lakes. The trail is not steep, but the long, narrow, gravel access road to the trailhead climbs relentlessly. The official trail leads to Waterdog Lake. A bit of routefinding is required for the final 0.2 mile to deeper, prettier Russian Lake. If you plan to use a stove or campfire, be sure to get a free permit at

To drive here from Oregon, take Interstate 5  . . .

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