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Russ Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Jude Lake (bobcat)
Russ Lake (bobcat)
Meadow arnica (Arnica chamissonis), Olallie Meadows (bobcat)
The trails around Russ Lake (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Olallie Meadows TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Russ Lake
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 225 feet
  • High Point: 4,640 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



The Russ Lake Trail, leading past three lakes in the "McQuinn Strip" area of the Warm Springs Reservation, is only 0.9 miles long. This loop extends that short in and out hike a little by heading to Triangle Lake first and then using the short, but unmarked, Lodgepole Tie Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail in order to visit in Russ, Jude, and Brook Lakes. The Russ Lake Trail has not been officially maintained since the transfer to Warm Springs in 1972, but it is an obvious tread all the way to Russ Lake.

The trail heads into woods with Olallie Meadows on your left. Come to the Lodgepole-Russ Lake Trail Junction and go right. Where the trail rises, keep right at the unmarked Lodgepole-Lodgepole Tie Trail Junction, where a short connector joins to the Pacific Crest Trail. Reach FR 4220 and cross it. The trail drops into mountain hemlock, silver fir, noble fir, and lodgepole pine woods. Come to a junction and keep right (Left goes to the Triangle Lake Horse Camp). At another junction, go left on the “wet” trail, which takes you to the marshy shores of Triangle Lake and great views of Olallie Butte. A sign says “Triangle Lake 4560’”.

Return from here to cross FR 4220 and turn right at the Lodgepole-Lodgepole Tie Trail Junction. Soon reach the Pacific Crest Trail at the Pacific Crest-Lodgepole Tie Trail Junction, and go left, rising around rocky outcrops.

At the Pacific Crest-Russ Lake Trail Junction, go right for Russ Lake 1/4 mile away. The trail undulates, passing a water lily-studded tarn down to the left. Come to Russ Lake, where dragonflies buzz and the buckbean blooms in the water. Returning to the Pacific Crest-Russ Lake Trail Junction, go right on the wide PCT to Jude Lake, 1/4 mile from the junction. The trail drops and rises to a nice new footbridge crossing the creek spilling out of Jude Lake. Return to the junction one more time, and go right on the Russ Lake Trail. The trail, sometimes rocky, descends. A short spur leads right to Brook Lake. Arrive at the Lodgepole-Russ Lake Trail Junction, but keep straight to the parking area at expansive Olallie Meadows, rimmed with twinberry, spiraea, willow, lodgepole pine, noble fir and mountain hemlock.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Olallie Meadows Campground and the rental cabin here have been closed in recent years because of "hazardous trees."


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Breitenbush, OR #525
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Olallie Scenic Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region by Matt Reeder
  • The Olallie Scenic Area Guidebook by Tony George
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag

More Links

Page Contributors

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.