Hike Difficulty: moderate
Trail Length: 6.0 mi RT
Elevation Gain: A couple hundred feet? There wasn’t a whole lot of elevation gain, as it was around lake
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – I originally planned to take an easy day and not travel very far, but when I got to Roxy Ann Peak’s trailhead above Medford, there were 20 cars already parked there and I knew I had to go elsewhere. Continuing onto other “year-round” hikes that my book suggests, I made my way to Lost Creek Lake today.
This trail is 18.7 miles total and circles the entire lake, which is manmade and created by a dam on its southwest end. I took Hwy 62 to Takelma Drive. Right off the bat there is a visitors’ center where you can see a map of the park. I continued down Takelma until it turned into a rocky logging road. You have to really look for the gate to double back to the Lost Creek trailhead, but it’s a cattle guard with orange posts on the side at the northernmost tip of the lake. You know you’re there if you see a bathroom by the parking.
I headed left and made my way towards the Grotto, which I had no idea what it even was. It has colorful volcanic ash deposits from Crater Lake. It was about 3.4 miles away and I didn’t quite make it. I had a sinking feeling that the weather was going to get bad, so I headed back to the car when I was probably only a half mile away. Luckily, I was close to my car when this tiny hail started that didn’t let up. I will definitely come back to hike more of Lost Creek Lake’s trail, perhaps starting from the Lewis Road entrance next time to get a different perspective.