The Calamut Lake Trail is just one of several outstanding trails out of Kelsay Valley Trailhead Campground. It’s a fun lollipop loop that visits three scenic alpine lakes, traveling through pretty forest and offering views of the nearby mountains along the way.
Distance: 12 miles round trip
Elevation: 4,200 to 5,900 feet
Start at Kelsay Valley Trailhead Campground and ride for a mile back along the road you drove in on. At Kelsay Forest Camp, a wide spot next to the road, you’ll pick up the Calamut Lake Trail. You’ll travel steadily uphill for a couple of miles, then veer left at a trail junction that will take you to tiny Lake Linda.
Fun Fact: The Forest Service website says that Lake Linda is really named Lake Patricia, but all the trail signs nearby refer to it as Lake Linda. So does the official Forest Service map. Apparently, this shows that once you carve the wrong trail name into a wood sign and print it on a paper map, it’s mighty hard to correct it.
After you pass Lake Linda, you’ll soon reach tiny Lake Charline. A little less than a mile later, you’ll come to Calamut Lake, a great place for lunch and the best place along the trail to water your horse.
Continue along the lake to a forest road that will return you to the junction with the trail to Lake Linda/Patricia. From here you’ll retrace your steps to return to the horse camp.
Kelsay Valley Trailhead Campground
This horse camp has eleven equestrian sites with 1- to 4-horse corrals, and 5 non-equestrian sites. Some sites are reservable at www.recreation.gov. A fee is assessed for overnight camping. Kelsay Valley has a toilet, manure bin, and camp host. Stock water is available from Bradley Creek, which runs along the east side of the campground. Mosquitoes can be plentiful early in the season, so bring a fly sheet and plenty of bug spray.
Getting to Kelsay Valley Trailhead Campground
From I-5 in Roseburg, drive east on Hwy. 138 for 72 miles. Turn left at Lemolo Reservoir Junction. Go north on Road 2610, cross the dam, and turn right on Road 2612. Continue 4.2 miles to the junction with Road 60. Veer left, then immediately turn right onto Road 6000-958 (the sign points to Kelsay Forest Camp) and follow it 1.5 miles. The horse camp is at the end of the road.
You’ll find more information about the Calamut Lake Trail and other trails near Kelsay Valley Horse Camp in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.