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Linton Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Fishing at Linton Lake (Jamey Pyles)
A sunset reflected off of the lake (Jamey Pyles)
  • Start point: Alder Springs TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Linton Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 3.0 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 250 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Mid summer thru fall
  • Family Friendly: yes
  • Backpackable:Yes (There are campsites at the lake)
  • Crowded: Only on weekends


Hike Description

This is an easy hike that is good for kids. It works well as an overnight camping trip, but there are no bathrooms at the lake. This is a nice short scenic walk through rhododendron and fir forests, as well as over a small lava field at the high point of the hike. It is only crowded on weekends, so plan for a weekday hike.

The trail starts out at a small campground along Highway 242 called the Alder Springs Campground. From your car, cross the road, and look for a set of stairs leading up to a trail sign marking the Linton Lake Trail. From here, travel along the well graded trail under douglas firs. The route is easy to follow and well maintained. The route comes to a closed off junction, then starts a mild climb up a hill to the right at about 3/4 mile. The trail climbs up the hillside then comes to a flat section with many lava boulders. This is the high point of the hike. The trail now descends in a few switchbacks, then you see your first views of Linton Lake at 1 1/8 mile from the road. The route continues another 3/8 mile descending along the lakes edge to a group of campsites at one of the lakes two inlets Obsidian Creek.

You can stop here and turn around or set up a camp, or you could continue on a less traveled (and less crowded) route around the lake another 1/2 mile to another campsite area along the banks of the larger Linton Creek. There is also a nice view of the sunset from Linton Creek campsites.

A side trip up Linton Creek to two major waterfalls is a fun adventure for those in good shape. See more about this side trip at the Linton Falls Add-on Hike page.


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Wilderness permit needed.
  • Fishing permit needed to fish for people ages 14 and up.

Trip Reports

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.