Maidu Lake Trail In Oregon

Here is everything you need to know about the Maidu Lake Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Oregon
  • Length: 2 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Plumas National Forest
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Maidu Lake Trail holds significant historical importance as it traverses through the ancestral lands of the Maidu people, one of the indigenous tribes of California. The Maidu people have a rich cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years, and their presence in the region can be traced back to prehistoric times. The trail itself was an integral part of their daily lives, serving as a vital transportation route and connecting various Maidu settlements.

For centuries, the Maidu people relied on the Maidu Lake Trail for trade, communication, and access to important resources. The trail provided a direct link between different Maidu villages, allowing for the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultural practices. It also facilitated travel to nearby hunting grounds, fishing spots, and gathering areas, enabling the Maidu people to sustain their communities and maintain their way of life.

The Maidu Lake Trail also played a significant role in the history of European exploration and settlement in the region. During the 19th century, as European settlers began to venture into California, the trail became a crucial pathway for their expeditions. It provided access to the abundant natural resources of the area, including timber, minerals, and fertile lands for agriculture. The trail’s historical significance continued to grow as it became a key route for the transportation of goods and supplies during the Gold Rush era.

Today, the Maidu Lake Trail stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Maidu people and their deep connection to the land. It serves as a reminder of their rich cultural heritage and the importance of preserving and honoring indigenous history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Maidu Lake Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Maidu Lake Trail, located near the Maidu Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

2. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Junction: The Maidu Lake Trail intersects with the famous Pacific Crest Trail, providing access to hikers coming from or heading towards other parts of the PCT.

3. Deer Lake Trail Junction: This junction allows hikers to connect with the Deer Lake Trail, which leads to the beautiful Deer Lake.

4. Long Lake Trail Junction: Another junction along the Maidu Lake Trail, offering a connection to the Long Lake Trail, which leads to the scenic Long Lake.

5. Hidden Lake Trail Junction: This junction provides access to the Hidden Lake Trail, leading to the hidden gem of Hidden Lake.

6. Rockbound Pass: A major access point along the Maidu Lake Trail, Rockbound Pass is a high mountain pass that offers stunning views and connects hikers to other trails in the area.

7. Rubicon Trail Junction: This junction allows hikers to connect with the Rubicon Trail, a popular off-road trail that follows the Rubicon River.

8. Lake Aloha: Located near the Maidu Lake Trail, Lake Aloha is a beautiful alpine lake that serves as a popular destination for hikers and backpackers.

9. Echo Lakes: The Maidu Lake Trail passes by Echo Lakes, a pair of interconnected lakes that offer recreational activities such as fishing and boating.

10. Echo Summit: The Maidu Lake Trail ends at Echo Summit, a high mountain pass on Highway 50, providing access to the trailhead and connecting hikers to other trails in the area.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Taxi – Traditional taxi service for convenient transportation.
4. Bus – Public transportation service with fixed routes and schedules.
5. Bike Share – Rental bikes available for short-term use.
6. Car Rental – Vehicle rental service for independent transportation.
7. Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from the airport.
8. Limousine Service – Luxury transportation with professional chauffeurs.
9. Train – Rail service for longer-distance travel.
10. Trolley – Historic or tourist-oriented transportation service.


The amenities available at the Maidu Lake Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities that you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail. This could include both paved and unpaved parking lots.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there might be designated camping sites available near Maidu Lake Trail. These sites could have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail or near the trailhead. These areas might have picnic tables, benches, and trash bins for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals or snacks.

5. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you might find interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural features of the area. These signs can enhance the educational experience for visitors.

6. Trail Markers: The trail might have markers or signs indicating the route, distance, and points of interest. These markers can help visitors navigate the trail easily.

7. Information Kiosks: There might be information kiosks at the trailhead or along the trail, providing maps, brochures, and other useful information about the trail and its surroundings.

8. Benches: Along the trail, you might find benches or seating areas where visitors can rest and enjoy the scenery.

9. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there might be trash receptacles placed at regular intervals along the trail. Visitors are encouraged to dispose of their waste properly.

10. Water Access: If there are water bodies such as lakes, rivers, or streams along the trail, there might be designated access points for visitors to enjoy activities like fishing, swimming, or boating.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary, and it is recommended to check with the local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on the amenities provided at the Maidu Lake Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Maidu Lake Campground – A scenic campground located near Maidu Lake, offering tent and RV sites.
2. Maidu Lake Resort – A lakeside resort providing lodging options, including cabins and cottages.
3. Maidu Lake Lodge – A cozy lodge offering comfortable rooms and stunning lake views.
4. Maidu Lake Restaurant – A restaurant serving a variety of delicious meals, including local specialties.
5. Maidu Lake Snack Bar – A convenient snack bar offering quick bites and refreshments.
6. Maidu Lake General Store – A well-stocked general store providing groceries, camping supplies, and other essentials.
7. Maidu Lake Ranger Station – An emergency services center providing assistance and information to visitors.
8. Maidu Lake Medical Clinic – A medical clinic offering emergency medical services and basic healthcare.
9. Maidu Lake Police Station – A local police station ensuring safety and security in the area.
10. Maidu Lake Fire Department – A fire department equipped to handle emergencies and provide fire protection services.

Maidu Lake Trail Difficulty Notes

The Maidu Lake Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 6 miles round trip and features a gradual incline, rocky terrain, and occasional steep sections. While it may pose a challenge for beginners, experienced hikers will find it manageable. The trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and the serene Maidu Lake, making the effort well worth it. Proper hiking gear, including sturdy footwear and plenty of water, is recommended to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the Maidu Lake Trail.

Features And Attractions

The Maidu Lake Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Maidu Lake Trail:

1. Maidu Lake: The trail is named after this beautiful alpine lake, which is a highlight of the hike. The lake offers stunning views and is a great spot for picnicking or fishing.

2. Sierra Buttes: As you hike along the trail, you’ll have breathtaking views of the iconic Sierra Buttes. These towering granite peaks are a prominent natural landmark in the area.

3. Wildflower Meadows: During the spring and summer months, the Maidu Lake Trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers. The meadows along the trail are a sight to behold, offering a colorful and picturesque experience.

4. Historic Gold Rush Sites: The trail passes through areas that were once bustling with gold mining activity during the California Gold Rush. You may come across remnants of old mining structures, such as cabins or mining equipment, which provide a glimpse into the region’s history.

5. Alpine Forests: The trail winds through dense alpine forests, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere. You’ll be surrounded by towering pine trees, providing shade and a refreshing scent.

6. Granite Rock Formations: The trail passes by impressive granite rock formations, adding to the scenic beauty of the area. These unique geological features are a testament to the region’s natural history.

7. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for various wildlife species along the trail. You may spot deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and a variety of bird species, including woodpeckers and jays.

8. Mountain Streams: The trail crosses several mountain streams, providing opportunities to cool off or take a refreshing break. These streams also add to the overall scenic beauty of the trail.

9. Panoramic Views: As you ascend along the trail, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. These vistas offer a sense of awe and are perfect for capturing memorable photographs.

10. Peaceful Atmosphere: One of the most notable aspects of the Maidu Lake Trail is the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The trail is less crowded compared to other popular hiking destinations, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a serene experience.

Remember to check local regulations and trail conditions before embarking on your hike, and always practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No camping or overnight stays are allowed along the trail.
– No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians.
– No hunting or fishing is allowed in the lake or surrounding areas.
– No littering or dumping of any kind is permitted.
– Fires are strictly prohibited along the trail.
– No off-trail hiking or exploration is allowed.
– Visitors must stay on designated paths and trails.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
– No swimming or boating is allowed in the lake.
– Visitors must adhere to all posted signs and regulations.
– The trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions, so it is advisable to check with local authorities or park management for any specific limitations during certain times of the year.

Seasonal Information

The Maidu Lake Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. This scenic trail offers breathtaking views of alpine meadows, towering granite peaks, and crystal-clear lakes. While the trail is accessible year-round, the best times to visit are during the summer and early fall months.

During the summer, from June to August, the Maidu Lake Trail is at its prime. The weather is generally warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 80s Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius). The trail is usually snow-free during this time, allowing hikers to fully enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The alpine meadows are in full bloom, adorned with vibrant wildflowers, and the lakes are perfect for swimming or fishing. It is advisable to start your hike early in the day to avoid afternoon thunderstorms that are common in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the summer.

In the fall, from September to October, the Maidu Lake Trail offers a different kind of beauty. The changing colors of the aspen and willow trees create a stunning display of red, orange, and gold hues. The weather is cooler, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low 70s Fahrenheit (10-21 degrees Celsius). Fall is also a great time for wildlife enthusiasts, as you may spot deer, elk, or even black bears preparing for winter. However, it’s important to note that the trail can become more challenging due to occasional snowfall and colder temperatures, so proper gear and preparation are essential.

It’s worth mentioning that the Maidu Lake Trail has seasonal closures during the winter and spring months. From November to May, the trail is typically covered in deep snow, making it inaccessible for hiking. The area receives heavy snowfall, and the temperatures can drop well below freezing, creating hazardous conditions. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the trail’s managing agency for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning your visit.

Overall, the best times to visit the Maidu Lake Trail are during the summer and early fall when the weather is pleasant, the trail is snow-free, and the surrounding landscape is at its most vibrant. Whether you choose to hike through blooming meadows or witness the stunning fall foliage, the Maidu Lake Trail promises a memorable outdoor experience for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Maidu Lake Trail offers a wheelchair-accessible path with a smooth surface and gentle slopes, ensuring easy navigation for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing convenient access for visitors with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability are located near the trailhead.
4. Braille Signage: Braille signage is installed along the trail, allowing visually impaired individuals to access important information about the surroundings.
5. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the Maidu Lake Trail, providing support to individuals with disabilities.
6. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail features strategically placed benches and rest areas, offering individuals with mobility limitations a place to rest and enjoy the scenery.
7. Handrails: Sturdy handrails are installed at certain sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with balance or mobility concerns.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be wheelchair accessible, allowing everyone to enjoy outdoor dining and relaxation.
9. Audio Guides: Audio guides are available for individuals with visual impairments, providing audio descriptions of the trail’s features and points of interest.
10. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trail are designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, featuring large print, tactile elements, and audio descriptions.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Maidu Lake Trail is a moderately difficult trail with steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking gear and physical fitness.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, including sudden rain or snowfall, and check the forecast before heading out.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 6 miles long, so plan accordingly and allow enough time to complete the hike.
4. Altitude: The trail reaches an elevation of over 8,000 feet, so be aware of potential altitude-related issues such as shortness of breath or altitude sickness.
5. Wildlife Encounters: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, including bears and mountain lions, and store food securely to avoid attracting them.
6. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost, as some sections may be less defined.
7. Water Sources: Carry enough water for the duration of the hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
8. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays at higher altitudes.
9. Hiking Gear: Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring trekking poles if desired, and carry a backpack with essentials such as a first aid kit, map, compass, and extra layers of clothing.
10. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and to have assistance in case of emergencies.
11. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting the natural environment.
12. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with the trail route, inform someone of your hiking plans, and carry a fully charged cell phone or emergency communication device.
13. Trail Conditions: Check with local authorities or hiking forums for up-to-date information on trail conditions, closures, or any potential hazards.
14. Physical Limitations: Assess your own physical abilities and limitations before attempting the trail, as it involves moderate to strenuous exertion.
15. Wilderness Area: The Maidu Lake Trail is located in a wilderness area, so be prepared for limited facilities and minimal human presence.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Maidu Lake Trail is considered to be relatively stable. The trail is located within a protected area, ensuring the preservation of its natural resources and wildlife. Efforts have been made to maintain the trail’s ecological integrity and minimize human impact on the surrounding environment.

Conservation measures have been implemented to protect the sensitive habitats and species found along the Maidu Lake Trail. These include the establishment of designated camping areas and the enforcement of strict regulations to prevent littering and disturbance to wildlife. Additionally, educational programs and signage are in place to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of preserving the trail’s natural features.

The Maidu Lake Trail is subject to regular monitoring and assessment to ensure that its conservation status remains intact. This involves regular surveys of the flora and fauna, as well as monitoring the impact of human activities on the trail. Any necessary actions are taken promptly to address any potential threats or issues that may arise, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the trail and its surrounding ecosystem.

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