Added by Isaac Desautels
This 11 mile loop features great mountain views and refreshing swimming holes.
Begin at the Lower Lake Campground and take the Lower Lake trailhead. The best direction to hike is counter clockwise, however you can do either. Continue along Trail #717 and very shortly you come out to Lower Lake featuring Mt. Jefferson as the backdrop. From here keep hiking and you reach your first junction. Either you continue on #717 to Fish Lake and then take trail #706 or you bear left on #706 right away. Off of #706 to left, on an unmarked trail, lies Gifford Lake and Finley Lake. Gifford Lake’s cerulean blue water and nicely situated camping spot, on a peninsula sticking out into the lake, make for my personal favorite lake on the hike. The water temp is perfect for swimming on a hot day and for enjoying some snacks. Wander back to the main trail and continue on. The next junction with trail #719, head west to see Sheep Lake or head south east to continue the loop. Sheep Lake is another worthy visit and is less than a mile hike to the lake and back. The trail climbs from here and joins the Pacific Crest Trail. Head east form here along a ridgeline where you first see lake Olallie and enjoy views of Mt. Jefferson. Continue down to Lake Olallie where there is small store as well as row boat rentals. Once you’ve had a snack or a drink, head back down towards the Lower Lake trail head to your vehicle.
- Swim Suit
- 10 essentials
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