Backpack to Bays Lake

Oregon Whitewater Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1800 Feet

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Wake up at Bays Lake and wander the majestic land of Mt. Jefferson.

Starting at the Whitewater Trailhead, the path begins in a gorgeous old growth Douglas Fir forest. The first 1.5 miles are switchbacks gaining most your elevation and probably the toughest section of the hike. As it starts to level you'll find yourself following a ridge with some spectacular views of Mt. Jefferson and hills below. The only important turn is at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) junction. Make sure you turn left! After entering Jefferson Park, continue a few more miles until you see the first small path on your left marked "Bays Lake". There are only eight campsites at Bays Lake leaving plenty of room and privacy. All sites within Jefferson park have to be reserved at http://www.recreation.gov/wild.... This is a very popular spot during summer so make sure you reserve!

Jefferson Park is easily one of the most beautiful, pristine pieces of nature I've ever seen. I'd recommend exploring the neighboring lakes and trails. If it's hot enough, take a polar plunge in the clear glacial water!

Things to be aware of:
1. Mosquitoes! Jefferson Park is full, and I mean FULL of mosquitoes. Bring a lot of bug spray or a net if you have one. 
2. No campfires.
3. You're in bear country so play it safe with a bear bag.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Backpacking Essentials 
  • Warm Clothes and swim suit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camera
  • Bug Repellent
  • Bear Bag
  • Whiskey
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Reviews

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The hike is was totally spectacular with some of its views. I will say after all the switch backs there will be a right or left turn that OP didn't mention. We met some people that hiked about 30 minutes the wrong way on the turn. So make sure you turn RIGHT (towards the mountain). Also I want to clarify that the left fork on the PCT, you will be hiking on the PCT until you reach the camp grounds and the lake. You will see a little wooden plaque that reads pacific crest trail. Other than that, simply amazing. We got a campsite that was almost right on the water, and just past the lake, Mt. Jefferson. Will be returning.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Aaron White

Find me on the road less traveled

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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