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Lakes Loop Trail # 140:
Total length: 9 miles
Elevation: Low 7220 ft., High 8020 ft., Vertical difference, 800 ft.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

This trail system offers a variety of interconnected loops of various lengths between Campbell and Dead Horse Lakes. There is a lower trail and an upper trail and they are connected at their eastern and western ends as well as by an intertie trail approximately in the middle of their reaches. This arrangement offers users loop trips from five to nine miles long. The Lakes Loop system is also connected to the Dead Cow Trail #141, the Dead Horse Rim Trail #139 and the Cache Cabin Trail # 148 providing approximately 24 miles of trails in this area for Forest visitors.

Scenic vistas of the lakes and the surrounding country are found throughout this system, but particularly from the heights of Campbell and Dead Horse Rims. On a clear day the distant views from these lofty viewpoints are spectacular and limited only by the curvature of the Earth. The upper Lakes Loop Trail and Dead Horse Rim Trail also access one of the largest stands of subalpine white-bark pine in the Pacific Northwest. The trail is well signed at all junctions and has vertically aligned rectangular blazes for reassurance markers.

Dead Cow Trail # 141:
Total length: 3 miles
Elevation: Low 6710 ft., High 7400, Vertical difference, 690 ft.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

This trail runs from the northwest end of Dead Horse Lake down the Dead Cow drainage to a juncture with the Dead Horse Rim Trail. Users can access Lee Thomas Meadow on this trail or return to Dead Horse Lake on the loop provided by the Dead Horse Rim Trail and a portion of the Lakes Loop Trail. Either route provides a nice day hike of approximately five miles in length. The Dead Cow Creek drainage is full of wild flowers in June and July and there are beautiful aspen trees along much of the route. Some of these aspens bear dated carvings from early sheep herders that are in excess of one hundred years old! The trail has distance and destination signs at all junctions and has vertically aligned rectangular blazes for reassurance markers.

Dead Horse Rim Trail # 139:
Total Length: 9 miles
Elevation: Low 6280 ft., High 8130, Vertical difference, 1850 ft.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

This trail runs from Lee Thomas Meadow up and over Dead Horse Rim to the North Fork of Augur Creek and Forest Road 34. However, at the present time (March 2000), there is a gap in the route of about one mile on the southern end due to a clear-cut on private land. The Forest Service is attempting to acquire an easement through this area and reconstruct this section of the trail in the near future. Regardless of the current “dead end” aspect of this trail it is still a very scenic and interesting route. It offers some excellent views in many places as it follows the spine of Dead Horse Rim for several miles. It also connects into the Lakes Loop Trail system and the Dead Cow Trail. A great day-hike loop can be made by taking this trail to the top of Dead Horse Rim and then returning on a portion of the Lakes Loop Trail and the Dead Cow Trail. This loop creates a trip of about eight miles in length and it passes through a variety of environments with some wonderful scenery.

Cache Cabin Trail # 148:
Trail Length: 3 miles
Elevation: Low, 6050 ft., High, 7740 ft. Elevation difference, 1690 ft.
Difficulty Level: Difficult

The historic Cache Cabin Trail was established in the early days of the Forest Service to access a “tree platform” style fire detection structure located on Campbell Rim directly above Campbell Lake. It is a “hard scrabble” trail that in some areas runs right up the fall line of the slope with grades of 20-30%. This trail was abandoned from the late 1970s until 1995. In 1995 the Cache Cabin trail was reopened for its historical interest utilizing public volunteers in a “Passport in Time” project. The trail connects the Dead Horse Rim Trail # 139 with the Lakes Loop Trail # 140 system. It also provides access from the top of Campbell Rim down to the beautiful stands of old growth mixed conifers found along the Augur Creek drainage.

Unfortunately, in the winter of 1997 a freak windstorm blew through this area and practically flattened a 10 by 20 mile swath of the Fremont National Forest. The Cache Cabin Trail is right on the edge of this swath and suffered severe damage due to wind-bourne trees. In some places these huge pines and firs are in “jackstraw” piles 20 feet deep across the trail. Extremely tight trail maintenance budgets have not allowed the Forest Service to log out this trail since the windstorm event. Potential users need to be forewarned that this trail is extremely difficult to follow and requires frequent detours to navigate around fallen trees, piles of trees, and root wads.


Directions: From Paisley: Follow directions the the Lee Thomas Trailhead.

Seasonal Access: Normally Accessible: June-Mid-October

Facility Type: Trail

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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