Collings Mountain Loop (Applegate Lake, Oregon) 03-Jan-2015

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon

Despite morning temperatures in the 20ºFs ( 😯 ), it proved possible to lure The LovedOne from under the down comforter and on to a trail. Continuing what has become an exploration of the trails in the Upper Applegate Valley (several of which will have to be re-explored once the wildflowers emerge), today we chose the Collings Mountain Trail (USFS #943) on the west side of Applegate Reservoir and made a loop by adding the Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Trail (USFS #940) that parallels the lake.

The northern TH for Trail #943 and that for Trail #940 come together near the Hart-Tish Park recreation site. From there, Trail #940 runs easily along the shore of the lake (or where the shore will be if we get a good Spring fill this year) through pleasant forests to the Watkins Campground.

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
Applegate Lake in winter
Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
Along the Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Trail

The southern trailhead for the #943 is across the road from Watkins. From there it climbs gradually up through mostly forest,

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
Bark!

with only occasional views.

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
Little Grayback Mountain to the left, Wagner Butte (snow) in the distance

Past the summit (no views), the trail ambles along the ridge through more forest,

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
Along the ridge north of Collings Mountain

before heading steeply down the Grouse Creek drainage back to the northern trailhead. The highlight of this hike was a visit to the famous (locally at least) Big Foot Trap, which was built – very sturdily – in the early 70s. Our initial thought was that if Big Foot was fearsome enough to warrant a trap sufficient to hold an angry rhinoceros, then we’d lock ourselves in the “trap” and wait for Big Foot to go away!

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
The Big Foot Trap
Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
The Big Foot Trap

This is a good, fun hike (10 mile loop; 1,700 feet of elevation gain) – particularly for a summer day since it’s mostly in the shade – but not one with the views to be had from those on the east side of the lake. But the trap is worth a visit!

Collings Mountain Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Applegate Reservoir Oregon
The Collings Mountain Loop

HOME