Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views
This trail enters the Sky Lakes Wilderness and the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics. Camp 100 feet from fragile areas; bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually snowed-in between November and May.
This run uses the popular western trailhead for the Seven Lakes Trail #981
to access some of the wonderful lakes in the Seven Lakes Basin of Oregon's Sky Lakes Wilderness. The run then climbs along the Pacific Crest Trail to a saddle below Devils Peak
and then follows a clear trail to the extensive views from the old lookout site atop the peak. After that, the run continues around the head of the Seven Lakes Basin, with astounding views of the Crater Lake Rim to the north, before going all downhill back to the trailhead. This is a long, but very rewarding run.
Need to Know
Prepare for hoards of mosquitos around the lakes from mid-June through Labor Day. There is ample water along this route but it should be filtered or treated before drinking.
This loop can be done in either direction, but going counterclockwise gets the climbing out of the way sooner and makes for an easier return. It starts at the Seven Lakes Trailhead on the west side of the Sky Lakes Wilderness. From there you climb gently, but steadily, past a junction with the King Spruce Trail #980
after 0.6 miles, past Frog Lake (excellent campsites) at 2.2 miles, and on up to the divide above the Seven Lakes Basin at 3.5 miles.
From the divide, you continue on the #981 northeast and down into the Basin, past a junction with the Alta Lake
Trail #979 in 0.2 miles (a beautiful lake with excellent campsites), and on down past South and Cliff Lakes (excellent campsites and swimming) to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at 5.5 miles. If you have time, Middle and Grass Lakes are not too far off the #981 here.
At the end of the #981, turn right (east) for a quick jaunt up the Cliff Lake Trail #983
to reach the PCT and start a switchback-facilitated climb to the saddle east of Devils Peak
. Snow can linger on this stretch of the PCT into late June. From the saddle, a clear use trail climbs the ridge toward the summit of Devils Peak
, reaching it in 0.2 miles. From there you'll have an expansive view of Mounts Shasta and McLoughlin to the south, Klamath Lake to the east, the Crater Lake Rim to the north, and the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness far to the west. Plan on giving yourself time to savor these views.
When you're ready to head back, continue on a use trail as it descends Devil's southwest ridge to an unsigned junction with the PCT on the saddle southwest of the peak. Continue south on the PCT to a junction with the Devils Peak Trail #984
, 8.8 miles from the trailhead. Go west on the #984, across the head of the Seven Lakes Basin with views of the Crater Lake Rim to the north, to its junction with the Seven Lakes Trail #981
at 10.1 miles from the trailhead. Follow the Seven Lakes Trail #981
down past Frog Lake to the trailhead.
History & Background
There was a fire lookout on the summit of Devils Peak
starting in 1916. At first the person worked in the open and slept in a tent but in 1930, a stone and wood lookout was erected on the summit. It served until 1969 when it was removed by burning.
Shared By: Bruce Hope