Baldy Creek Trailhead

Area Status: Not Cleared
Baldy Creek Trailhead toilet in a pine forest setting

The Baldy Creek Trailhead is located on the north side of the Baldy Unit of the North Fork John Day Wilderness along the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway where Baldy Creek joins the Wild and Scenic North Fork John Day River. The site is frequented by summertime day hikers, backpackers, horseback riders and during fall hunting season. A primary attraction of the area is the hike into Baldy Lake.

The site provides access to Baldy Creek Trail # 1603 which lies almost entirely within the North Fork John Day Wilderness, providing access to the remote Baldy Creek drainage country, Baldy Lake, and the open ridges above the Cable Cove area. The trail follows and crosses Baldy Creek many times. It passes spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine forest; grassy openings: and some boggy areas. The old Cal-Pacific power line corridor, installed in the early 1900's is still visible, intersecting the trail about 5 miles from the lower trailhead.

Baldy Lake sits in a serene subalpine basin under Mt. Ireland. The fire lookout on top of the peak can be seen from the lake's north shore. One-quarter mile before Baldy Lake, a trail forks off across the head of the east fork of Baldy Creek up to the end of Forest Road 5540-920 just below Crown Point. For a sweeping view of the historic Cable Cove mining area, take a short walk up the old road which has no public vehicle access.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Reservations: This site is not reservable.
Area Amenities: Tent camping, Toilets, Parking
Fees: No fee required.
Open Season: June
Usage: Light
Restrictions: General rules of use and restrictions apply for this developed recreation site. Wilderness Regulations apply within North Fork John Day Wildernes.
  • Motorized vehicles, bicycles, carts, hang glider and other mechanical equipment is prohibited in the Wilderness area.
Closest Towns: Baker City, Oregon (46 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Whitman Ranger District

General Information


From Baker City, Oregon, take U.S. Highway 30 about 10 miles to Haines; In Haines turn left (west) and follow the Anthony Lake Hihgway signs; this road is also known as the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway and follow the signs to Anthony Lakes (about 25 miles); Continue on this highway (also known as Forest Road 73) approximately 12 more miles to the trailhead.  The trailhead is about 46 miles from Baker City, Oregon.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Day hikes up Baldy Creek Trail #1603 to Baldy Lake.


Overnight hikes up Baldy Creek Trail #1603 to Baldy Lake

Horse Riding

Day rides up Baldy Creek Trail #1603 to Baldy Lake. 


Tent camping: Limited dispersed campsites near trailhead
Parking: Undesignated for 4-5 vehicles
Toilets: Accessible vault toilet

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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