Russian Lake

  • Moderate
  • 8.6 miles round-trip
  • 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 …

This chapter taken from the book, 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Southern Oregon & Northern California.