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Maxwell Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 21:39, 24 December 2018 by Bobcat (Talk | contribs)

Maxwell Lake (Cheryl Hill)
  • Start point: Maxwell Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Maxwell Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: (Out-and-back)
  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2,500 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Summer and Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: On weekends


Hike Description

This trail climbs high up the west side of the Lostine River canyon and ends at beautiful Maxwell Lake, nestled in a bowl of granite mountains. From the trailhead cross the road into the campground. A short distance down the campground road you will see the trail and a signboard on the right side. The trail crosses the Lostine River on a sturdy footbridge. It then crosses Maxwell Creek where there is no bridge. In late summer or fall it shouldn't be too difficult to rock-hop across.

For three miles the well-graded trail climbs up the canyon wall via a series of switchbacks. The trail passes in and out of trees and views of the surrounding scenery open up the more you climb. At the three-mile mark the trail abandons the switchback method and abruptly starts climbing straight up. This last mile is steep, and in many place the loose rock on the trail make for uneasy footing, especially when you're hiking back down.

The trail ends at Maxwell Lake. A boot path follows the shoreline to the eastern end of the lake where there is a little grassy meadow. Mosquitoes are bad here in July.

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. All visitors to the Eagle Cap Wilderness must obtain a Wilderness Visitor Permit before entering the area. Only one permit is required per group and there is no fee for the permits. The permits are self-issued and are located at the signboard in the campground before you cross the river.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon - by William L. Sullivan
  • Hiking Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness - by Fred Barstad

More Links


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.