Applegate Lake

Applegate Lake

The picturesque 988-acre Applegate Lake is nestled in the heart of the RRSNF in the Applegate Valley, and north of the Red Buttes Wilderness Area. The lake was formed in 1980 when the Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the 242-foot tall Applegate Dam as part of a flood-control project. The lake has a multitude of opportunities available for visitors to explore, including mountain biking, road biking, motorized boating, stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, fishing and hiking the various trails near the lake. Applegate Lake is home to numerous birds and other wildlife species, amazing fisheries, and a plethora of diverse plant life for those seeking spring and early-summer wildflower viewing!

There is a trail that travels around the entirety of the 17.5-mile long shoreline, as well as offshoots in the area to keep hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians going!

Picnic and day-use areas can be found around the lake, as are swimming areas and campgrounds, including Hart-Tish Park.

For boaters, there are conventional boat launching areas--please note that the speed limit on this no-wake lake is 10 mph!

Applegate Lake has large populations of trout, landlocked Chinook salmon, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and crappie. It is stocked each year with approximately 120,000 rainbow trout and 50,000 young Chinook.

This lake is a reservoir and lake levels will often be lower at the end of the summer.  Speed limit on the lake is 10 miles per hour.

At a Glance

Permit Info: Ensure you have a proper fishing license, as required by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Learn more here.‚Äč
Restrictions: Be aware of environmental circumstances, including advisories and consumption guidelines for specific fish species in specific locations across southwest Oregon, as determined by the Oregon Health Authority. Learn more here.
Closest Towns:
  • Ruch, OR
  • Jacksonville, OR
  • Medford, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
  • Ashland, OR

General Information


From Jacksonville, OR, travel west on Highway 238. Travel 7 miles, and turn left in Ruch, OR, onto Road 859. Continue 14 miles; the lake is located above Applegate Dam.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Road Cycling

Campground Camping

Lake and Pond Fishing

  • Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Rainbow Trout
  • Fishing Access: 2X4, boat
  • Fishing Methods: Spin, and bait
  • Angling Season: Year Round
  • Depth and Size: 85-225 feet - 988 acres

Fishing License

Oregon state fishing license required. See Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.

Day Hiking

Horse Riding

Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Plants

Boating - Motorized

  • 10 miles per hour speed limit

Boating - Non-Motorized


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
1,987 feet