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View of Applegate Lake

Bigfoot Hunting on the Remote Trails at Applegate Lake

Keep your eyes peeled for bigfoot on the remote trails near Applegate Lake.

Mountain Biking, Hiking Moderate, Difficult

View of Applegate Lake
View of Applegate Lake Photo: Greg Heil


Applegate Lake lies just north of the Oregon/California border, occupying a beautiful valley below an array of forested mountain ridges and towering peaks. This reservoir "was formed in 1980 when the Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the 242-foot tall Applegate Dam as part of a flood-control project," according to the USFS. But the civilization ends there—you won't find any homes or development on the shores of this reservoir. The only places to stay in the valley are at rustic campgrounds spaced at intervals along the lake's shore.

The seemingly endless wilderness of the Siskiyou Mountains is riddled with beautiful singletrack trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners to enjoy! One of the most popular routes is the 17.4-mile loop around Applegate Lake. This loop provides a delightful cross country mountain bike ride or long-distance trail run, but thanks to both frontcountry and backcountry campgrounds spread along the trail, you could also turn it into a backpacking trip.

From there, the terrain gets dramatically steeper. Collings Mountain and Stein Butte offer highly-acclaimed (but extremely remote) hiking destinations, with Stein Butte offering stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest from the summit!

On the Collings Mountain trail, you'll have a unique opportunity to view the only bigfoot trap in the world! According to the US Forest Service, the trap was built in 1974 by the North American Wildlife Research Team because "Miner Perry Lovell reported that he discovered 18-inch, human-like tracks with a 6-foot stride in his garden near the Applegate River." The trap was originally baited by hanging deer carcasses over a period of about six years. While they managed to catch a few bears, the team never did manage to catch a bigfoot...

As you explore this remote valley, you'll understand why a bigfoot might make the Siskiyou Mountains his home. Who knows: maybe you'll be able to snap a photo of bigfoot yourself?!

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