Fish Lake

Fish Lake

  • Easy (to Fish Lake)
  • 3 miles round-trip
  • 630 feet elevation loss
  • Open May to mid-December
  • Use: hikers, horses

  • Difficult (to Rocky Ridge)
  • 12.6-mile loop
  • 2800 feet elevation gain
  • Open July through October

This Fish Lake (not to be confused with the larger, better-known reservoir near Mt. McLoughlin) won its name in 1889 when a group of explorers caught 70 trout in an hour using venison for bait. Fish still jump in this forest-rimmed, half-mile-long natural lake near the South Umpqua River’s headwaters, but you’ll find other wildlife too: ducks, eagles, and a cute family of river otters. If the stroll down to the lake seems too easy, you can continue on a moderate loop past two smaller lakes, or take a longer loop along Rocky Ridge past dramatic cliffs with views across the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness.

To start, drive Interstate 5 …

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