View Full Version : Marble Mountains Hike and Fish

09-13-2009, 10:30 AM
Sniffer Friends:

I would have liked to get this to you sooner, but this has been a summer of hiking, not particularly fishing.* Since August 8, I have hiked the Marble Mountains with my scout troop, hiked Goat Rocks Wilderness, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood in the northwest with my brother, and climbed Mt. Whitney with friends from work.* This is a report of the Marble Mountains trip, the only trip where I had time to fish.

For those of you that donít know, the Marble Mountains are west of Yreka, wedged in between the Scott and Klamath Rivers.* Itís a beautiful and unusual area, with many endemic plant and animal species.* Its also home to a large number of bears, who, fortunately, are shy and stay away from people.* Although we saw lots of bear poop, we never saw a bear, although on two occasions we were close enough to smell them hiding in the bushes.*

One warning for those of you that may consider backpacking in the Marble Mountains, the available maps from both the Forest Service and the Wilderness Press are inaccurate for both mileage and trail condition.* Our first day from the Loverís Camp trailhead to Deep Lake I estimated at 7 miles from the map; it was 11.8 miles on my GPS.* The trail from Big Elk Lake to Summit Lake is completely overgrown and non-existent.* Our hike turned from a 50 miler to a 65 miler with little effort.* Fortunately the boys were more than up for it.

So hereís the basic itinerary and some fishing related photos:

August 8:* Hiked from Loverís Camp Trailhead to Deep Lake, passing Little Elk Lake.
Here is Deep Lake at dusk.* There are what looks like Brooks in this lake.* I didnít have a chance to fish.
Here is Little Elk Lake.* Although it looks shallow, people told us there were browns in it.

August 9:* Deep Lake back to Rock Creek.* Since we couldnít get through from Big Elk Lake to Summit Lake, we backtracked and camped along Rock Creek.

August 10:* Rock Creek to Campbell Lake via Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). We briefly stopped at Summit Lake on the way where we saw the eft phase of the Coastal Giant Salamander Dicamptodon tenebrosus. These are rare and should be left alone if you ever find one.
Campbell Lake is only 4.5 miles from the trailhead, so it is quite popular.* I caught two nice 12Ē Browns there and some 8-10Ē Brooks.
August 11: Day hike up to Cliff Lake.* Caught Brooks and Rainbows there.
Then hiked up back to Campbell, and over to Summit Lake.* Caught Brooks and Rainbows at Summit Lake.
Newts in the lake put on a feeding frenzy when I gave them a fish head. :P

August 12:* Hiked from Summit to Sky High Lakes.* This is a great place with beautiful meadows.
We had a front come through that put the fish off the bite for a day, but it finally warmed up a bit and I caught a nice Rainbow.*
Hereís an old cabin that faces the Marble Mountain.
August 13:* Hiked the boys out to Spirit Lake, passing the backside of the Marble Mountains on the way.
August 14: Hike from Sky High Lakes to the Marble Gap. Great views all the way to southern Oregon.*
Then headed out to the trailhead at Loverís Camp.* 64.6 miles total for the trip.* What a great trip. :D

09-13-2009, 01:02 PM
IM, cool pics and story. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like an awesome hike, too. I love hiking. Glad to hear that the boys also enjoyed the hike and were up to it. Till next time, FISH ON!

09-15-2009, 04:55 AM
Great post and pic's. Brings back many memories of camping along the Scott River, then hiking to Campbell and Upper Wrights lake with my Dad and Uncle about 40 yrs ago! Sounds like you had a great time!

09-15-2009, 06:49 AM
Wow, great pics! Brings back lot's of memories from the '80's. My dad had some relatives that lived in Fort Jones and his uncle's would pack us in on horseback. Red Rock and Sky High are the places I remember, and Lover's Camp of course ;) Dang, we pulled some enormous bucks out of there!

09-16-2009, 08:35 AM

Square hewn logs on the cabin. Some dude went off with an axe up there at some point.

Thanks for sharing.

09-16-2009, 08:38 AM
Spectacular, thanks for sharing with us. I think an experience like that is worthy of more attention. You might write it out in documentary form along with your pics, and someone might publish that! ;) That is an area, experience, that very few people have the opportunity to have, and to share that with readers, might inspire them to trek out to some remote places that they have never been to or have not been to in years. Kudos on the fun trip.

09-16-2009, 01:54 PM
Wow. Great report and great pics! Thanks for sharing your trip, IM. ;)