Maxwell Lake Trail is a 12.9 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lostine, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.9 km Elevation Gain: 747 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wildlife

hiking
snow
8 days ago

Awesome hike yesterday! The trail had a few downed trees and it was quite snowy. We didn’t make it all the way to Maxwell lake due to the trail becoming too thick with snow at the top and being unseeable. We were able to do some glissading down some of the valleys still packed with snow to cut time off our trek back. Overall, it was absolutely stunning! The road in to the trailhead is still snowy so we parked about 2.5 miles from the trailhead and hiked in. Even though we didn’t make it to the lake we had an overall trip of 10.9 miles and it took 4 hrs and 20 min. If you plan on going right now make sure you download the trail map on your gps, it was definitely a lifesaver for us when the trail became hard to find due to the snow.

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Had a great hike over to the lake. There was snow on the trail but wasn’t super deep. Scenic views all the way there and only ran into 2 people towards the end of the hike

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Perfect day hike. Still warm enough to jump in the crystal clear lake. Really discouraging and sad to see the amount of people that neglected the wilderness regulations and built illegal campfires. Beautiful and challenging hike.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Beautiful hike with views of adjacent mountain, Lostine River, wild flowers and more. The switchbacks are pretty nice the first 3 miles roughly. Last mile is fairly steep but with many spots to stop if needed. I have even seen horses on this trail although the gravel near the top is a little scary. The two lakes at the top are stunning, just be sure to bring mosquito spray as sometimes swarms of them are near the top.

hiking
9 months ago

spouse and I hiked this 8/6/19. we both really enjoyed the tree shade and rock-less trail. couple areas along trail have water. lake is very cool! mosquitoes at the lake are a hassle. only saw a few other people. oh yeah, the ice cold river at the trailhead, the clearest river water I've seen, is great for soaking the feet and legs. also noticed either gold or pyrite in the sand by the bridge.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

last mile 1 1/2 is a killer, But the view at the lake was beautiful mosquitoes were bad until the temperatures dropped off at night

hiking
9 months ago

I camped at Shady campground to get an early start very convenient and a very quiet clean campground. Nice trail with some switchbacks. A peekaboo glimpse of the lake from the top then it comes into full view. Spectacular. Wild flowers everywhere. The last mile in was tough for me, being used to much lower elevations. The hike down a little slick with granite gravel. I recommend not wearing trail runners as my shoes ended up full of granite dust and so I ended up with blisters. There is no trail around the lake. I scrambled over the rocks and snow/ice. It was pretty steep going. I saw 5 people the whole trail. All and all was a great hike. Mosquitos didn’t bother me but I had bug spray on. Did get two bee stings.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Hiked July 29. Trail is fantastic, great views, weather fantastic. Currently a lot of mosquitoes at the lake which keeps you from chilling out there for long but it’s beautiful. Water not too cold either. A normal pace In and out without taking too much time there because of bugs is about 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

hiking
10 months ago

One of our favorite hikes! Its beautiful all the way and once you reach the lake...amazing! The last mile is slow going, but absolutely worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike. A good amount of exposure, so it’s pretty sunny when the weather is nice. The last mile is tough, as others have noted, but very much worth it. I didn’t notice too many bugs today (7/13/19), some flies by the lake, but it wasn’t too bad.

hiking
snow
10 months ago

hiking
Mon Oct 01 2018

It’s a constant gradual up then the last mile or so a steep straight up. Then, it’s very steep down until it’s a constant gradual down. It’s pretty and otherworldly dropping into that lake.

Sun Sep 23 2018

I would agree with high end of moderate. It is a leg burner of a hike but the end result leaves you with stunning views. Would definitely do this one again. If you go to the left of Maxwell you will also find another little pond.

Sat Sep 22 2018

The last mile is tough but worth it.

Sun Aug 12 2018

The last mile is 'hardy' ;-) lots of elevation gain, but moderate is probably still an accurate ranking (just think on the high side of moderate.) My phone recorded 8.7 miles... Which could be wrong? But is at least a solid mile over what it says here. The hike has beautiful views, and makes for a lovely day hike. The lake is perfectly situated for relaxing when you arrive. This is a great hike.

hiking
Sun Aug 05 2018

Steady climb but not too difficult, moderate is fair description. Nice day hike that leaves plenty of time to relax at the lake.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

We did this hike mid-June—-hardly any people and no bugs, BUT unable to do last 1/4 - 1/2 mike because of snow. Switchbacks up and back with gorgeous views, and well maintained trails with wonderful wildflowers. Hike was longer, probably closer to 9-10 miles. Great camping along Lostine River on road into trailhead

Mon Jul 23 2018

This is a great hike to a beautiful lake. The bugs at the top in mid July were pretty thick. Bring spray and thermacell. My GPS said it was 9 miles round trip.

backpacking
Tue Jul 17 2018

Gorgeous views and maintained trail. The last mile is quite grueling, especially if you are backpacking in however it's worth it for the sights at the top.

hiking
Mon Jul 09 2018

We really enjoyed this trail. Beautiful hike through alpine forest to a small lake at the top. Last mile or so was challenging with steep loose gravel and rock. My gps tracker clocked this trip as 10 miles and other hikers we encountered said similar things. Lovely hiking - Under canopy nearly the whole trip. Mosquitos and flies were hungry at the top- take bug spray.

Thu Jan 18 2018

Trail is pretty easy for the most part. Last mile is a little bit more of a workout. Took 3 kids on both trips with no problem whatsoever. Youngest was 7. Beautiful lake and enjoy the camp area at the trailhead, Shady Camp, famous to some Walla Walla natives due to a murder that happened years ago involving a local couple. Ann Rule wrote a book about it called Heart Full Of Lies.

hiking
Tue Oct 10 2017

Hiked this trail on Fourth of July to find stunning frozen snow patches surrounding the lake. Worth the shlep.

hiking
Wed Aug 09 2017

10 miles down a gravel forest road you will find parking and a camp ground. After two quick bridges you start in on the switchbacks and the elevation. The trail is easy to follow and is composed of sandy soil and granite. As John said there is a small section of deadfall, but nothing difficult to get over/under. Once you get past the switchbacks the trail straightens out and becomes steeper. But that means you are getting close. It's a beautiful lake and a lovely swim.

hiking
Sat Jul 29 2017

Beautiful scenery. The trail is pretty steep after the 8th switchback, but worthwhile. There are a couple sections of deadfall across the trail (avalanche remnants?), less than 100 meters total. Spots of snow at peak (July).

backpacking
Mon Jul 18 2016

good hike had to much stuff in my pack.

hiking
Mon Oct 06 2014

Perfect hike

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

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