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greenBlue Applegate Lake

  4.2 ( 12 ) Favorite

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17.2 mile 27.6 kilometer loop
75% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,192' 363 m
Descent: -1,181' -360 m
High: 2,217' 676 m
Low: 1,972' 601 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by Peter Carse

Beautiful, flowing, well maintained singletrack around Applegate Lake.

Peter Carse

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


If you ever need a break from the long climbs and descents in this area, take a spin around Applegate Lake!

Generally below the snow line, and above the valley fog, this year-round ride is also rarely muddy thanks to predominately DG soils. This is a smooth, forested cross-country singletrack that follows the shoreline with some beautiful lake views and even opportunities to 'dive in' on those hot muggy summer days. It's best to do this ride early morning in summer.

Need to Know

Expect this ride to take 2 to 3 hours at a relaxed pace, with breaks. There is a small store at the Hart-Tish campground open during the summer. Keep your eyes open for poison oak which is common in this part of the state.


This is easily ridden in either direction. From the Swayne viewpoint parking near the dam, follow Da-Ku-Be-Te-De south, along the west shore of the lake. When the reservoir is low, the trail may feel a little exposed in places. Following the contour, zoom in and out of side drainages, with frequent views of the lake and the Siskiyou mountains.

Da-Ku-Be-Te-De ends at Watkins Campground. Turn south here on the paved Applegate Road and follow it to the end of the lake to Seattle Bar. Here, turn left on a small gravel road (Manzanita Road). Within a couple hundred feet, the Stein Butte Trail heads up the hill on your right. Continue on Manzanita Road for 1-3/4 miles, gaining 250 feet, to a sharp turn in the road where you turn left on Payette singletrack trail.

Payette starts with a downhill run, then resumes the swooping contouring, heading north along the east shore of the lake. There are occasional junctions with feeder trails in the vicinity of walk-in campgrounds and a short section of gravel two-track near Squaw Creek. Three-quarters of a mile before you reach the French Gulch trailhead parking, pay attention to a signed intersection: a couple of dead-end trails go left here out to a peninsula.

When you reach the paved road at the northern end of Payette, go left for a little over a mile, crossing the dam back to your starting point.


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Oct 20, 2018
Jeff Ferdinandson
Nice ride. Saw nobody on the trail. Drop off the narrow trail and there are substantial risks of injury. Careful! 20mi — 3h 00m
Sep 2, 2018
Dawnelle Garcia
May 25, 2018
Ashley Ader
Only did front side. Lots of overgrown thorn bushes and big rocks in the apex of turns.
Mar 27, 2018
Andy Southmayd
Aug 2, 2017
Min Park
Jul 9, 2017
Chris Annen
In great shape, few fallen trees. Excellent trail! 18.2mi
May 6, 2017
Mike Hougham
Apr 29, 2017
Emilio Chavez

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 12 votes


  4.2 from 12 votes
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