Miller Lake Trail #902

Miller Lake was named after Walter Miller a 19th century Applegate Valley rancher who made his annual hunting camp at the lake. Miller Lake was originally a natural lake located near the ridge between Little Craggy Peak (6,250 feet) and Steve Peak (5,866 feet). A road was built by the Thompson Creek Irrigation District to deepen the lake by damming with a regulatory lock. The service road to the lake has since been permanently closed. Miller Lake remains a beautiful scenic lake, 3 acres in size and approximately 50 feet deep.

For those who like to hike and explore, there are many opportunities. Miller Lake is a botanical wonderland with Brewers Spruce, Matthews Sugar Pine, White Fir and Douglas Fir tree species and Oracle and Saddlers Oak, two of the rarer brush species. For the more ambitious, the view from the ridge above Miller Lake is spectacular, looking in to both Sturgis Fork and Steves Fork basins. Miller Lake is stocked with Brook trout every other year.

NOTE: A road bridge that spanned Sturgis Fork was removed in the spring of 2006. This bridge was located approximately 3.8 miles from the Miller Lake trailhead. Funding for a replacement bridge is uncertain. As a result, access to the old trailhead is now by foot, horseback, motorized bike, or ATV. Visitors must now ford the creek (dangerous during high water) and travel on the road to the trailhead. Round trip mileage is now 10.3 miles with a 1,500 foot elevation difference between Sturgis Fork on the 1020-400 road and Miller Lake.

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer through Early Fall
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns:
  • Applegate, OR
  • Ruch, OR
  • Jacksonville, OR
  • Medford, OR
  • Ashland, OR
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Information Center: Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District

General Information


From Ruch, OR, proceed approximately 7.7 miles and make a left onto Thompson Creek Road (just across the Applegate River, near Applegate, OR). Continue approximately 13.1 miles to Sturgis Fork Road (Forest Road 1020) and turn right. Continue to Sturgis Creek crossing, where road becomes Forest Road 400. The bridge crossing Sturgis Creek has been removed, and replacement is still uncertain, meaning the creek must be forded (DANGEROUS AT HIGH WATER LEVELS). Walk the remainder of Forest Road 400 to access the trailhead.

General Notes:
  • Trail is not designed for: mountain bike, motorized bike, ATV, 4-wheel drive, barrier free


Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: More Difficult

Horse Riding

Difficulty Level: More Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.5 miles

  Elevation : 
4,960 feet - 5,300 feet range