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The Payette Trail is 9.2 miles long and parallels the eastern shoreline of Applegate Lake.

The Payette Trail parallels the eastern shoreline of Applegate Lake, contouring just above the reservoirs high water level. Several connecting trails provide opportunities for alternative loops (Harr Ridge Trail #947, Culy Trail #947A, cutoff Trail #946, Squaw Point Trail #946A and Viewpoint Trail #970A). Additionally, three walk-in campgrounds are found along the route including Latgawa, Harr Point and Tipsu Tyee. The camping facilities have restrooms, picnic tables and fire grills. Water is not available at these campgrounds or along the trail. Beware of Poison Oak, ticks and an occasional rattlesnake along the trail.

Beginning at the French Gulch Campground, the trail contours up the French Arm of Applegate Lake. Passing through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest, the trail continues along the shoreline for 3.5 miles to the parking area at Squaw Arm. The trail intersects a fire road and options for either the road or trail exist for approximately two miles before arriving at the Squaw Arm parking area. From here, follow the stock driveway south for 400 feet to rejoin the Payette Trail on the right. From this point, the Harr Point Campground is half a mile, the Tipsu Tyee Campground is 1.5 miles and the Manzanita Trailhead is 5.7 miles.

Good views of Applegate Lake, Kinney and Collings Mountains are offered on this section of the trail, ending at the Manzanita Trailhead. Vine maple, black oak, and Madrone become the predominant tree species. This would be a good section of the trail to view autumn colors.

Directions: From Ruch, Access: #1 (French Gulch Campground): Travel south on County Road 859 eighth miles past the Star Ranger Station Applegate Dam and the Squaw Lake turnoff. Turn left, crossing the dam, and continue 1 mile to the French Gulch campground. Facilities available at the campground include restrooms, drinking water, and overnight camping ($8/night charge Labor day through Memorial Day, $4 per additional night. No charge ³off season².) Access: #2 (Squaw Creek Arm): From French Gulch campground continue southeast on road #1075 for 2 miles to Forest road #100. Turn right on to road #100 and proceed 0.5 mile to the large parking area and stock driveway on the left. There are no facilities.Access: #3 (Manzanita Trailhead): Travel south on County Road 859 12 miles past the Star Ranger Station to the junction with Carberry Creek road. Turn left and continue 1 mile to Forest Road # 1041 (Manzanita Creek Rd.). Turn left and proceed 2 miles to the trailhead. Parking is available in a cul-de-sac at the end of the road next to the gate.

Elevation: 2,000 feet

Distance: 9.2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Rogue River National Forest, Oregon

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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