Russian Lakes Trail Upper & Lower

Area Status: Open

A 21 mile multiple-use trail from Russian River Campground to Cooper Lake Road. Trail follows the valley of the Russian River, past Lower and Upper Russian Lakes then gradually climbs to the area at the head of Cooper Lake. Mostly wooded with frequent open areas with views of mountians and lakes. Snow can remain on the upper end of the trail into the early part of June.

Click here to download the Recreation Opportunity Guide

At a Glance

Restrictions: Russian Lakes Trail is closed to motorized vehicles year round between Russian River Campground and Upper Russian Lake Cabin. The remainder of the trail is closed to motorized vehicles from May 1- November 30. Russian Lakes Trail is closed to pack/saddle stock from April 1- June 30.

General Information


Lower (north) end: At mile 52.6 Sterling Highway turn south into Russian River Campground. Trailhead parking area is 1 mile further. Winter parking is at campground entrance station.

Upper (east) end: At mile 48 Sterling Highway in Cooper Landing turn south onto Snug Harbor Road. This turns into Cooper Lake Road after 9 miles. It is 3 miles further to the trailhead parking area. Winter parking is at 0.3 mile Cooper Lake Road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

The upper part of the trail can hold snow until early June. Trail can be muddy following spring/early summer melt off. Sections of this trail can become overgrown with tall grasses from mid summer on.

Dispersed Camping

Designated backcountry campsites at Russian River Rendzvous, Barber Cabin Trail, mile 5.7, mile 7.7, Upper Russian Lake (mile 11.9), mile 17, and mile 19.2 (distances from lower end). Most sites include bear resistant food lockers.

Day Hiking

2.4 miles to Russian River Falls viewing platforms from spur trail at mile 1.4

3.4 miles to Lower Russian Lake and Barber Cabin from spur trail at mile 2.6

Difficulty Level: Easy


Can combine with Resurrection River Trail for 32 mile (from lower trailhead) or 21 mile (from upper trailhead) through hike.

Horse Riding

Viewing Wildlife

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Fairly easy 4 mile ski to Barber Cabin though conditions can be icy. The 6 mile section between Lower Russian Lake and Aspen Flats does not see much winter use and can be a difficult and hazardous ski with many steep hills and avalanche paths to cross.


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude :