Explore the most popular lake trails in Klamath National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
8 days ago

Did this hike today, the short hike to Taylor Lake followed by hiking down to Hogan Lake. I was wanting to get to Big Blue Lake as well, but I couldn't quite figure out the trial to get to the area where I needed to start climbing up.

One of my favorite overnight hikes! We took our two children 8 and 11 last year on Father’s Day weekend! There is a brutal climb about 4 miles in. Was very quiet as the road was closed. We had to use logging roads to get to the trailhead! Hit snow at about 5 miles up and didn’t have GPS so set up camp. Didn’t make it to the lakes but it was a Beautiful hike! I want to go back! Plenty of shade and creek crossings and beautiful scenery!

on Kangaroo Lake Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Just as beautiful as the last time I visited. Very quick and easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, though we only made it about half-way before the trail disappeared under several feet of snow. A tip, though - if you want to do the hike shown in the map, be sure to drive to the end of the road; after parking in the parking area, walk up the dirt road to the gate marking the trailhead shown on the map. If your navigation system tells you to stop sooner (and there is no obvious parking area), keep driving to the end of the road. If you just want to go to the lake, it's an easy half-mile (or less) stroll from the parking area. This hike could easily be made into a 3-mile loop, hiking up the road to the PCT, around to see the gorgeous views, back down to the lake, then an easy stroll back to the car. That is probably the way I'll do it next time (later in the summer, after the snow has melted).

“Review stars” not accurate, just an update that as of today 3/12/18, the road after the bridge, past Indian Scotty campground is closed due to slides and fire suppression activities! Either adding an extra 5mi of hike, or the Lovers Camp trailhead is still open (the road-closed signs advised it) if you take Canyon Creek Rd another 2.5mi and turn left onto an unmarked road and then follow the randomly placed signs. I tried that but ended up turning around after a few miles, road got a little sketchy with loose clay-mud and melting snow/slush! (4wd rav4 was slipping a bit). Just leaving this here in case anyone else drives two hours to get here and go on this hike just to putz around and drive back haha :)

My husband and I backpacked this in August of 2016 in the middle of the week. We were surprised to see so many people up there, but it was still absolutely worth it. The first half is fun but nothing mind-blowing. There's a pretty steep stretch in the middle that gets your heart pumping, but other than that it was mild. The views are beautiful; lush meadows, peaks, streams, and plentiful tree coverage. Every reasonable spot around the Sky High lakes had already been claimed by early evening, but we nabbed the perfect spot on the south end of Frying Pan lake and had that whole area to ourselves. Such a great spot! We day hiked up to Shadow Lake the next day and decided to go back to camp, pack up our stuff, hike back up there and spend the night. Lots of traffic on the PCT ridge, but Shadow Lake we had all to ourselves until sunset. That view from the cliff past Shadow Lake looking down on the valley and Sky High Lakes was jaw-dropping. Don't miss it.

Cool view of the lake. Quick and easy hike.

The view of the ridge is reason enough to take this trip, but there is also the black marble mountain, the sky makes, and the elk lakes. The views were beautiful. I was only up there for two days. Ideally I would have liked to have gone for four and get in the sky and elk lakes in the same trip.

I will definitely be going again. The stairs were difficult but it was so worth it. Oh, and don't be afraid of the cows.

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty views of the lake.

I’ve been going to Taylor lake since 1957. It is a short, gentle hike from the trailhead that is accessible by wheelchair ( for fit people). There are three or four excellent camp sites. Don’t make the mistake of camping on the meadow at the far end of the lake. The bugs will eat you alive.

Fishing used to be terrific. You could catch fish from shore, float boat, or fly fishing at the far end of the lake. That ended when Fish and Game killed the fish and stopped stocking the lake to protect a threatened species of salamanders. This is one of the most accessible lakes is Siskiyou county. It’s a shame that short sighted environmentalists ruined the experience for so many people. They have presented no evidence that their actions improved the status of the salamanders. The salamanders flourished even when Fish and Game stocked the lake. This situation is unacceptable.

The best way to get to the lake is to drive north from the Taylor Lake trail head— not via the PCT. Thirty years ago the road went to within 800 yards of the lake. It’s blocked now because it’s too dangerous. Today, it’s a steep one mile hike to the lake.

My best trout fishing day in my life was at upper Ruffey lake. We camped overnight and fished the next morning. We caught fish using anything we tried: flies, lures, salmon eggs, worms, and Super Bait. This was my children’s first exposure to fishing. It ruined fishing for them because they thought their first experience was common. The next time we fished Ruffey lake, we didn’t catch anything.

The Lower Ruffey Lakes are a short, easy hike. These lakes are a good day hike, particularly if you approach from the Taylor Lake trailhead. I recommend this hike but don’t plan on a magic fishing day.

Little travelled, except maybe in hunting season (late Summer/ Fall: check). Good basecamp: lots of nearby features. Trout in the lake(s). In summer it is hot down at Sawyers Bar, but it is pleasant when you get to altitude. Easiest to take two days in (uphill) if your are heavily loaded or with kids. One day out isn't too hard.

I hiked to Devil's Peak-gorgeous but a lot of ticks!

walking
9 months ago

It's just a beautiful place to see..

This is a fantastic hike. I give it five stars especially for the last leg, between the Sky High Lakes (where we dropped our packs and camped) to Shadow Lake (where you can camp but there is no shade). We day hiked up there and took a swim. Mad wild flowers and scenic views of Marble Canyon, and nobody else was there. The first part was great too, through a shaded forest, crossing around 10 streams. Camping near Frying Pan Lake was incredible too, overlooking meadows and mountains, with incredible sunsets. The best campsite is right on the lake in a patch of trees, just off the trail.
The GPS map for this hike is wrong starting at around 5 miles (you can see it doesn't go to any lakes - do not turn right at the sign for Marble Vy Cabin!) so follow signs or better yet, bring a map (you especially need one if you explore beyond the lakes. Also the bridge was out when we went and finding the trailhead on an alternate route is challenging. Stop by the ranger station for instructions if it's still out.

Good hike. The first part of the trail is lush greenery in a dense forest. We cut down to Lower Sky High Lake to do some fishing and the next day bushwacked along marble mountain ridge, summited marble mountain and then cut down and back up to summit black marble mountain which was incredible. Once you are on the talus of the mountain, you will know how it was given it's name...

hiking
11 months ago

Long hike but pretty good.

hiking
Friday, May 12, 2017

Love this place! This fishing was great & the campground clean. The hiking trail connects up with the pacific crest trail. You can walk for days....

camping
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Great for kids. Nice campground, great views and easy hike

I hiked to Devil's Peak...pants were COVERED in ticks...I jumped in the water afterwards

backpacking
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

If you take the PCT section to the right, you come around the top side of the ridge and it's much better!

hiking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

I grew up near here and have been to Kangaroo lake countless times. The drive up is a small very windy road. Once at the top near the lake, you pass Lilly Pad pond. There is a a lot of parking and an easy trail, handicap accessible now to part of the lake. Camp sites, picnic tables and several outhouses. A pair of eagles have nested here for years, if your timing is right you can watch them dive into the lake to fish. Its amazing to watch.

First real backpacking trip. Entered at lovers camp and camped at little elk lake. Lots of deer and lots of bear. Trail is very fun and was challenging to me being green and all. Lake was stocked with small trout but I pulled out a pretty large one(adjusted for the setting). Very fun adventure and I will be back. Maybe consider waders for creek passage.

hiking
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's been a long time, but I remember the outstanding view from the vantage point on top, easy access to more trails (PCT crosses through on ridge above) & I believe there was a meadow with pitcher plants.

hiking
Monday, August 04, 2014

Great hike to Hogan Lake

hiking
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beautiful lake hike (short) with a great view of another privately owned lake on the trail (lucky sob's). Drive up to trail head is a little hard core. Getting down to the lake is a little steep but definitely do able.

It's been 6 years since taking our pilgrimage. This was my wife's favorite hike and during the 15 years we hiked the Trinities, Marble, Russian and Siskiyou Wilderness lake trails I think we trekked to Sky High Lakes 6 times. It's a vast area offering great seclusion. 2 major lakes and a "frying pan" lake make up the valley. There are a lot of steps to take going up and hikers with troubled knees should consider using a pole. It's not hard but has a relatively constant climb (and descent). I love the large grove of aspen you find as you approach the lakes. We felt like the hike was perhaps a 14 mile round trip which was our preferred route though we took the loop trail back one time. Going West up the trail toward Marble Mountain you come to a point where the sign says something like: narrow trail not suitable for horses. There is a trail down from there that reconnects with the Lovers Camp trail completing the loop. I highly recommend it though it adds a few extra miles. The marble massif is an incredible sight. We had no problems finding our trails but I wouldn't try it without GPS and a great map when going in the early season snow.

Mid Summer the trail gets pretty dusty due to the pack trains bringing fishing groups into the lakes. We found it best to get there in late June or late September and bring "Off" spray with you. We heard critters approaching the tent and sniffing around most night but that's just part of the fun. There were cattle in the lower valley area but they never came around us. There is little firewood and it takes a lot looking to get enough for an evenings fire. Logical campsites have been occupied in half a dozen different spots but in my mind, the premo spot is on a little peninsula jutting out into the big lake about 30 feet. It has a tree on it and a great place to spend a couple days. I know we have been lucky but in perhaps 800 day trips and overnighters during our NorCal hikes we never had our car broken into at any trailhead.

The PCT route is on the ridge above the valley and occasionally some hikers will come down to camp in the valley rather than at Shadow lake (pond) up on the ridge. There are so many lakes in NorCal and so little time but we tried. Sandra passed 4 years ago but we counted more than 60 destination lakes during that time from Devil's Punchbowl in Siskiyou down to Caribou in Trinity. Most were repeat trips with Upper Wright Lake (7400') being another favorite. Now that is a challenging lift to make using the Boulder Creek trailhead!

Will

Great trail, although half of the trail is still under snow till mid June. Beautiful views, lots of wildlife and moderate hike.

hiking
1 month ago

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