The fires in southern Oregon have finally subsided so I took some time off to hike. I was considering backpacking as well but the fire level was still at extreme so I day hiked instead. I’ve been wanting to explore more of the southern portion of Sky lakes Wilderness so I chose to do a loop around Four Mile Lake. This hike is number 43 in William Sullivan’s book “100 Hikes Southern Oregon “. The hike starts at the campground at Four Mile Lake. I did as the book suggested and parked in the day use area near the boat ramp and walked to the road closed gate. The hike only goes by Four Mile Lake for a short distance then heads towards Badger Lake and Long Lake. Make sure you walk down to Four Mile Lake before the trail heads away from the lake. This is one of the best views on the hike.
The hike follows along Badger Lake trail, passing Badger Lake and Long Lake. At the junction with the PCT turn left. There aren’t a lot of views along this section of the PCT and the only water source is Christi’s Spring. Shortly before you finish the PCT section you will get a nice open view of Four Mile Lake.
At the junction with Twin Ponds trail turn left. This trail will bring you by Squaw Lake and back to Four Mile Lake campground.
This loop is approximately 13 miles long with 840ft elevation gain. With the exception of a small section of the PCT the loop is under the canopy of lots of trees making it a good choice on warm days. There’s only one water source on the PCT section so make sure and carry enough with you.