“A thirteen-mile loop incorporating Yellow Jacket and Hemlock Creek Trails.
— Aaron Roe
An up-and-down loop running from Lake in the Woods to the ridgeline between the North and South Umpqua drainages and then running down Hemlock Creek.
Need to Know
On Hemlock Creek Trail #1505
, there are two road crossings. At the first, continue straight across the road and the trail continues from the righthand side of the large pull-out, dispersed campsite. The second road crossing involves just continuing straight, at which point you are only a few hundred feet from the end of the trail.
Done as a loop, you park at Lake in the Woods and ride the approximately five miles up to Hemlock Lake on the gravel road up to Hemlock Lake campground, climbing about 1,375 feet. If possible excluding this section and doing as a shuttle would considerably improve the experience.
From there, you climb about 1.5 miles and 341 feet in elevation along the east leg of Yellow Jacket Loop Trail #1522
to Dead Cow Lake through meadows and older forest.
Turn right to continue on Yellow Jacket Loop Trail #1522
(to the left is the Snowbird Shelter Trail). The trail follows the divide for 2.1 miles, as it passes through a mix of old forest, meadows, and previously harvested forest stands. You'll encounter viewpoints looking north toward Hemlock Lake and south to Mount McLoughlin.
Turn right at the intersection and continue about 1.5 miles downhill to the meadow just west of Hemlock Lake. Just past the boardwalk through the meadow turn left onto Hemlock Creek Trail #1505
for a really nice downhill trail that extends about three miles back to Lake in the Woods Campground.