Bolan/Tanner Lakes (Oregon Caves area)

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5

Location: Near Cave Junction, Ore.

Distance: 0.8 miles to Tanner Lake; 2.8 miles round-trip to East Tanner Lake; 2 miles to Tanner Mountain

Difficulty: Very easy

Camping: Yes

Quick hit: These two Siskiyou Mountain lakes are both very nice. Bolan Lake is surrounded by a campground, while Tanner Lakes require very short hikes to be reached. Both are good for fishing and family outings.

From the trailhead for Tanner Lake, located at an unmarked pullout, hike uphill on a few switchbacks for 0.4 miles to a beautiful mountain lake. To reach East Tanner Lake, continue past Tanner Lake for 1 mile to a smaller but just as spectacular of a lake. Both make nice places for lunch or to spend the day.

To reach the summit of Tanner Mountain from Boundary Trail, hike uphill about half of a mile to a grassy meadow. Walk upward through the meadow to a gray outcrop of rocks that marks the summit, and a nice place to eat lunch and enjoy a view that includes East Tanner Lake below, the Marble Mountains, Mount Shasta and the Red Buttes.

Directions: Bolan Lake Campground — take Highway 199 7 miles south of Cave Junction to Waldo Road. Turn east onto Waldo Road and continue straight for 5 miles until you reach a stop sign located at an intersection. Continue straight onto Happy Camp Road for another 12.5 miles. You will reach the crest of the hill and will see a Bolan Lake Campground sign pointing left onto Forest Road 4812. At this point it would be a good idea to set your trip odometer to keep track of miles driven. Follow Road 4812 for 1.8 miles there will be a couple of roads veering off along the way but stay on the main road. When you reach the 1.8-mile mark, you will want to stay to the right side of the road which goes slightly downhill. Drive for another 2.4 miles until you reach another intersection that will have a sign pointing to Bolan Lake. Follow Forest Road 040 to the campground for another 1.8 miles.

Tanner Lake — follow the same directions as you would take to Bolan Lake, but at pointers to both Bolan and Tannen Lake, follow the pointers to Tanner Lake along Forest Road 041. Follow the road, and fork left at King's Saddle (an unmarked junction), to the end at a parking spot. The trailhead is on the right side of the road just up from the parking lot. The trailhead is unmarked.

Tanner Mountain — Instead of forking left at King's Saddle, fork right onto Road 570 and follow it about 1.5 miles up the road to a marker for Boundary Trail.

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