The Blue Canyon Loop travels into the scenic Sky Lakes Wilderness of southern Oregon, taking you past more than a dozen small lakes and offering impressive views of Mt. McLoughlin and Fourmile Lake.
- Challenging trail
- 15.5 miles round trip
- Elevation 5,700-6,550 feet
You’ll start at Fourmile Lake Campground and head north into the Sky Lakes Wilderness following the Badger Lake Trail. The loop travels along the shore of Fourmile Lake, through Blue Canyon, and back on the Pacific Crest Trail.
It’s a fairly challenging ride, with rocky tread in some places and one steep ridge to climb. However, you’re richly rewarded for the exertion, because you’ll pass at least 13 lakes and have a stunning view of Mt. McLoughlin.
You can camp at Fourmile Lake Campground, on the shore of its namesake lake. The campground features nine horse sites, three of which have corrals. (All of the horse sites allow portable corrals and highlines.) At the camp, you’ll find a vault toilet, potable water from a hand pump, picnic tables, and fire rings. Reservations are recommended (www.recreation.gov). If you go for a day ride only, you’ll find easy parking for several trailers.
To reach Fourmile Lake Campground from Medford, drive north on Hwy. 62 for 6 miles, then turn right on Hwy. 140 and continue 35 miles. From Klamath Falls, take Hwy. 140 northwest for 35 miles. All, between mileposts 35 and 36, turn north on Road 3661 and follow it 5.7 miles to the campground.
You’ll find more information about the Blue Canyon Loop in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.
Reprinted with permission from Northwest Rider Magazine, November 2017.