Azalea Lake

Azalea Lake

  • Difficult
  • 13 miles round-trip
  • 2030 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-June to mid-November
  • Use: hikers, horses

Showy pink mountain azaleas and white beargrass plumes fringe this lake deep in the Red Buttes Wilderness. The trail to the lake passes a Siskiyou crest viewpoint overlooking green Phantom Meadow and groves of two odd trees—knobcone pine and Brewer’s weeping spruce.

To find the trail …

Views here extend west to square-topped, snowy Preston Peak. Nearly all of the trees on the left side of this pass are Brewer’s weeping spruces, whose cones dangle from strangely drooping branch tips. The trees on the drier, right-hand side of the pass are even odder—they’re knobcone pines, whose cones cluster along skinny trunks like bumps on flagpoles.

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.