Sky High Lakes

The Sky High Lakes

  • Difficult
  • 13.6-mile loop
  • 2350 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-June to mid-November
  • Use: hikers, horses

A mountain of white marble looms above the lakes and wildflower meadows of the two alpine basins on this spectacular loop. The flower show peaks in July. By mid-September, cattle are typically herded here to graze. Backpackers in the Marble Mountain Wilderness need to pick up a free permit from the Scott River ranger station in Fort Jones.

To find the trailhead, …

The mountain’s white marble has the same geologic age and origin as the marble of the Oregon Caves. Not surprisingly, the rock here is riddled with caves too. Bigfoot Cave, the largest of the area’s nearly 100 known caves, was discovered in 1976 and has proven more extensive than the Oregon Caves. Because of dangerous dropoffs, endangered bat habitat, and extremely fragile dripstone formations, however, casual scramblers are urged to stay away from cave openings. Serious spelunkers should check with the Scott River Ranger District (916-468-5351) for information.

To continue the loop hike, …

For a worthwhile detour, follow …

Other Hiking Options

For a less visited 13.2-mile loop, hike to …

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