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.
Paynes Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"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."
--Mark White, A Hiking and Backpacking Guide: Trinity Alps & Vacinity (Wilderness Press).
"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."
--Wendy Lautner, Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Wilderness Press).
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