Phillips Lake South Shoreline Trail #1610

Mountain bike trail along lake through pine trees forest

The Phillips Lake South Shoreline trail begins on the south side of Mason Dam and ends near Southwest Shore Campground. The trail traverses the southernly banks of the lake (actually a reservoir) through grasslands and young ponderosa pine trees. It is a scenic trail and offers outstanding views of the lake and the Elkhorn Mountains for summer and winter travelers. Numerous coves and inlets provide opportunities for viewing waterfowl, shore birds, and occasionally deer and elk. The multi-season trail is popular with hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. This trail is one of several mountain bike and hiking trails that are found in the Phillips Lake Trail system.

Difficulty level: Although there are some short sections with moderate grades, the trail is an 'easy' level.

Designation: The South Shore Phillips Lake trail was designated as an Oregon State Scenic Bike Trail in February 2016.

Maps: The Phillips Lake South Shoreline trail overview and map (210 KB) provides a quick one page overview of the trail, the facilities and directions on how to get there. The Phillips Lake Trail map (1.2 Mb, PDF) shows more details for the northern and southern trails around the lake and the adjacent area.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Reservations: This site is not reservable.
Fees: No fee are required for this site.
Open Season: May
Usage: Light
Restrictions: General rules of use and restrictions apply for this developed recreation site. The trail is closed to motorized vehicle use.
Closest Towns: Baker City, Oregon (17 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Whitman Ranger District

General Information


From Baker City, Oregon travel south on Highway 7 towards John Day, Oregon for about 16.5 miles to the Black Mountain Road (also known as Forest Road 1145); This road junction is before the top of the hill; Turn left on Forest Road 1145 going about 0.5 miles and crossing Mason Dam; Once across the southern end of the dam, the Southeast Shore Trailhead parking area is on the left near an information board;  The trail starts at this eastern access point near the lake.

You can also access the trail on the western end near the lake at South West Shore Campground Millers Lane Campground, and Dean Creek Trailhead. Directions for these recreation sites are found on the individual webpage.

To get to Millers Lane Campground, from Baker City, Oregon travel south on Highway 7 towards John Day, Oregon for 22 miles; Once past the upper end of the Phillips Lake turn left on Hudspeth Lane and go 1.2 miles to Forest Road 2220; Turn left on Forest Road 2220 and go 1.3 miles to campground entrance on left side of road; Designated campsites and the South  Shoreline Trail are down the road near lake.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking

Horse Riding

Viewing Wildlife

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

The trail is also designated and signed for winter snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Area/Length : 
6.6 miles

  Elevation :