Paynes Lake Trail

Klamath National Forest, California

Elevation Gain2,265ft
Trailhead Elevation6,470ft
Elevation Min/Max4431/6507ft
Elevation Start/End6470/6470ft

Paynes Lake Trail

Paynes Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Siskiyou County, California. It is within Klamath National Forest and Russian Wilderness. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 6,470 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,265 feet. This trail connects with the following: Albert Lake Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.

Paynes Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity (Wilderness Press)
Mark White
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"Paynes Lake is a beautiful body of water backdropped by rugged cliffs of the Salmon Mountain divide, a worthy destination for backpackers and hikers alike. While the majority of visitors reach the lake along the longer but mellower Pacific Crest Trail from Etna Summit, this description takes the direct approach up the steeper Paynes Lake Creek Trail. The 2.1-mile trail leads up the creek’s canyon through mostly thick forest all the way to the lake, where fantastic scenery awaits, along with good camping, fishing, and swimming opportunities. Competent off-trail hikers can find plenty of diversions as well, including the Albert Lakes and nearby Big Blue Lake."
Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Wilderness Press)
Wendy Lautner
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"The only folks you will see out here are the ones who know this land intimately. Once people find this nook of backcountry nirvana, they return time and time again. While Paynes Lake is a family day hike or overnighter with great fishing, the Big Blue Lake Loop beckons adventurers who like to travel off-trail to see wild and scenic places."

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Trail Information

Klamath National Forest
Nearby City
Klamath National Forest
Pacific Crest Trail
Local Contacts
USGS Eaton Peak
Local Maps

Trail Log