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Little Silver Lake Trail #1184

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.0 (1)

A short trail to the oldest landslide lake in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.


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Map Key

2.0

Miles

3.2

KM

78%

Runnable

3,353' 1,022 m

High

2,266' 691 m

Low

10' 3 m

Up

1,097' 334 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

46%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Unknown

Reaching the trailhead involves travel on a largely unsigned series of paved and gravel roads. These roads can be negotiated with a passenger vehicle. But do not rely on Google Maps to follow these roads. Obtain and follow a Forest Service road map instead. The main access road (Galice Access Road, BLM Road 34-8-6) is gated closed between November and May.

Description

A landslide lake is – as the name suggests – a body of water formed when a canyon wall slides or slumps to dam a creek or stream. These aren't created very often or usually last very long, as the dam is typically swept away by subsequent rain events. Little Silver Creek Lake is unique in that it is a landslide lake that has survived for over 100 years – it is one of the only landslide lakes to survive in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. This short trail connects Forest Road 065 with this unique little lake.

As of 2021, the trailhead is unsigned - the sign having been burned away by the 2018 Klondike Fire. A local trail maintenance organization has recently rebuilt the first several hundred feet of the trail that was damaged by this fire. It is now an easy path across a steep, loose, and treacherous slope. After that, you are back on the original trail. It's tread has not been maintained in a while and there are some short sloping, loose stretches where you have to be careful of your footing. But it is otherwise easy to find and follow and has recently been cleared of brush and large downed trees by that trail maintenance organization.

After descending a through several short and long switchbacks, the trail runs along the crest of a narrow ridge of white rock, with steep slopes on either side. The trail here is plenty wide for safety but the effect is still pretty exciting. After running along the ridge, the trail drops into the canyon and makes a gradual, but continuous, descent toward the lake into stretches of unburned forest. The cool gurgling of Little Silver Creek welcomes you as you near the lake. After having passed through the open, sun-baked, and fire-damaged slopes about, the lush vegetation along the creek is both a wonder and a welcome relief.

The trail has been cleared of brush to the head of the lake. It's possible to cross the creek here and continue on the original trail around the south side of the lake to its end at the landslide that created the lake. There are only a few open, flat areas near the lake for those who might want to overnight here.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bruce Hope

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#29002

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#982

in Oregon

#29,002

Overall
4 Views Last Month
124 Since Nov 11, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Little Silver Creek.
Jul 11, 2021 near Merlin, OR
Along the narrow ridge of white rock.
Jul 11, 2021 near Merlin, OR
Little Silver Creek Lake
Jul 11, 2021 near Merlin, OR

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