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Join us at the public meeting for the 60% draft Rogue River master plan on July 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Shady Cove Library (22477 OR-62, Shady Cove, OR 97539). The public comment period for the 60% draft master plan is open now through July 27, 2018. View the complete public notice at: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/notices/permit-application/Article/1561815/

Applegate project data

Dam length 1,300 ft 396.2 m
Height 242 ft 73.7 m
Elevation (NGVD*) 1,994 ft 607.7 m
Lake length 4.6 mi 7.47 km
Lake area when full 988 ac 306.5 ha
*National Geodetic Vertical Datum
(Mean Sea Level)

Applegate / Lost Creek pamphlet

Contact us about Applegate Dam:

Phone: 541-878-2255

Email us about Applegate Dam

Reservoir elevation, flow and temperature report: 800-472-2434

Rogue River Basin Project

Map showing Rogue River Basin locationsPortland District’s Rogue River Basin Project operates a water resource management system that provides flood risk management, fish and wildlife management, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, hydropower, recreation and water quality on the Rogue and Applegate rivers and Elk Creek.

During the rainy season, potentially disastrous flooding is controlled by storing water in the reservoirs behind the dams. During the summer, water levels in the reservoirs are maintained as high as possible to provide water-related recreation opportunities. In the drier summer and fall months when rivers are at low levels, stored water is released from the dams to improve water quality and conditions for fish.

Federal, state and local agencies and many Rogue River Basin stakeholders are united in their commitment to protect native fish populations and their habitat. They have been working together for many years on improvements essential for the successful protection and recovery of these Northwest treasures.

There are more than a dozen developed recreation sites within the Rogue River Basin Project. Available activities vary by location, but may include: camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, hunting, hiking, biking, equestrian use and wildlife viewing.

Applegate Dam and Reservoir

Applegate Dam is on the Applegate River, about 28 miles southwest of Medford, Ore. The lake covers 988 acres and extends to the California border. The average depth is 85 feet, with a maximum depth of 225 feet. 

The Corps of Engineers began building Applegate Dam in 1976 and finished this 242-foot rockfill embankment dam in 1980. Applegate Dam includes a regulating outlet conduit, a gate-controlled concrete chute spillway and an intake tower with multi-level intakes capable of removing water from various levels of the reservoir for downstream temperature control.

Applegate Reservoir has 82,200 acre-feet of storage for flood control and water conservation, and controls runoff from a drainage area of 220 square miles. Authorized primary purposes include flood risk management, irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and water quality improvement.

Development at most of the recreation sites is minimal and most of the lakeshore is maintained in a natural state. 

Link to larger Applegate map graphic

Operations at Applegate

Environmental concerns prompted the Corps to construct an innovative multi-port intake tower, allowing operators regulate the temperatures of water released from the lake by mixing water from different depths.

During the summer this water temperature regulation improves conditions for migrating fish in the Applegate and Rogue rivers.

The returning fish are collected just below the dam and transported to the Cole M. Rivers Fish Hatchery, located just downstream of William L. Jess Dam on the Rogue River, for spawning. Later, juveniles are released into the Applegate River to maintain the runs.

 

Recreation at Applegate

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Applegate Reservoir is 988 acres in size and extends to the California border. A hiking trail follows the 18-mile shoreline. Motorcycles are permitted only on the trail leading to Stein Butte. Horses are permitted on the Stein Butte, Collings Mountain and Da-Ku-Be-Te-De trails. Paved trails and other barrier-free facilities are provided at the day use areas so that they may be enjoyed by all visitors.

Development at most of the recreation sites is minimal and most of the lakeshore is maintained in a natural state. To help preserve its rustic nature, a 10-mph speed limit for all boats is in effect. 

Recreation facilities at Applegate are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. For more information about these locations, contact the Star Ranger Station, 6914 Upper Applegate Rd., Jacksonville, Ore. 97530, (541) 899-3800.

Boat ramps: There is one year-round boat ramp at Copper, near Watkins Campground on the southwest shore. A ramp east of the dam near French Gulch Campground is usually used when the water is low.

Fishing: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and rainbow trout can be caught.

Directions: Take OR-238 West from Medford for about 10 miles. Turn left at Upper Applegate Rd. and follow it for about 20 miles. 

Reservoir elevation, flow and temperature report: 800-472-2434.

Located along Carberry Creek, the campground features hiking and fishing. Parking for self-contained RVs is available. Facilities include vault toilets, well water and 10 tent sites. Please remember to pack your drinking water in and to pack your garbage out.

Directions: From Jacksonville, go seven miles south on OR 238, then 20 miles south on Upper Applegate Rd.

The Collings Mountain Trail features views of the Siskiyou Crest and Applegate Lake. Beginning at the Hart-Tish Park picnic area, the trail crosses Upper Applegate Road and drops down to Grouse Creek. An abandoned miner's cabin and inactive Sasquatch trap are about 3/4 mile up the trail.

Do not enter any of the mine adits along the trail. Leaving Grouse Creek, the trail climbs steeply for one mile to the ridgetop, gaining 1,000 feet in elevation before it begins a long traverse of the western slope of Collings Mountain. After traversing below the ridgeline for two miles, the trail then descends steadily for three miles to Watkins Campground. This last half mile of trail passes through the 62-acre Watkins fire that burned in 1981. Beware of poison oak, ticks and snakes along this trail.

Directions: West of Jacksonville, Oregon, turn off Hwy. 238 onto Upper Applegate Rd. and proceed to Applegate Lake. The trail begins at the Hart-Tish Park picnic area.

This trail is a beautiful, easy day hike that traverses the western shore of Applegate Lake. Beginning at Swayne Viewpoint, the trail passes the Hart-Tish boat ramp in a half-mile. Proceed through the parking lot and rejoin the trail on a paved walkway along the lake, passing an interpretive viewpoint. The paved trail ends at the lawn above the swimming area and resumes directly across the lawn, where pavement is replaced by gravel surfacing. The trail then follows the lakeshore, crossing the Copper Boat Ramp and continues along the high-water line before reaching Watkins Campground. Just before reaching the campground, the trail passes over a footbridge and intersects a quarter mile loop trail that circles the campground. Follow the trail to the right in order to reach the parking area. Be aware of poison oak, ticks and snakes along this trail.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859 eight miles past the Star Ranger Station to the Swayne Viewpoint parking area. The trailhead is located at the south end of the parking lot near the restrooms.
French Gulch activities include hiking, mountain biking and boating. The boat ramp is closed until the lake level drops below 1,940 feet (above sea-level) in the fall. Facilities include well water, vault toilets, and nine tent sites.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd. Continue 15 miles to Applegate Lake and turn left on County Rd. 959 (traveling across the dam). Continue along Rd. 959 about one mile to the campground.

The Grouse Loop Trail offers a pleasant hike with good views of the mountains surrounding Applegate Lake. Beginning at Upper Applegate Road across from Hart-Tish Park, the trail travels 300 feet to a loop junction. The left fork of the trail begins a gentle one mile uphill grade, gaining 700 feet in elevation. This gentle climb features a shallow basin of old growth Douglas fir and Sugar and Ponderosa pine. From the ridgeline, there are good views of Elliott Creek Ridge and Red Butte. Leaving the ridgeline, the trail begins a moderate descent back to Hart-Tish Park.

Directions: Travel south from Jacksonville on Hwy 238 to Ruch and turn left on to Upper Applegate Rd. Continue 16 miles to Hart-tish Park; the trail begins across Upper Applegate Rd. from Hart-Tish Park.

The Harr Point Campground is on the east shore of Applegate Lake and accessible by boat and trail only. This is a semi-primitive site with five tent sites and no drinking water or garbage service. Please remember to pack your drinking water in and to pack your garbage out.  The site remains open with reduced maintenance from November through mid-May.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd., for about 15 miles to Applegate Lake and turn left on County Rd. 959 (traveling across the dam). Continue along Rd. 959 about 3 miles and turn right on to Forest Service Rd. 100. Continue about a half-mile along Rd. 100 to Squaw Arm Parking Area. Hike about a quarter mile west along Payette Trail to the campground.
Hart-Tish is a well-developed and popular recreation area with an extensive day use area, a boat ramp and a small campground. The camping area has three walk-in tent sites and a parking area for self-contained RVs. Hart-Tish Park is one of the few Forest Service parks with several acres of groomed lawn sloping down to the water's edge. Facilities include piped water, flush toilets, three tent sites, seven RV sites, and three picnic sites. The boat ramp is usable until the lake drops below 1,928 feet (above sea-level) or when the facility is closed for winter.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd., for 16 miles to the campground.
Located on the east shore of Applegate Lake, the Latgawa Cove Campground is accessible only by boat and trail (about a half-mile hike). Latwaga Cove is a semi-primitive camping area with no drinking water or garbage service. Please remember to pack your drinking water in and to pack your garbage out.

Directions:From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd., about 15 miles to Applegate Lake. Turn left onto County Rd. 959 and continue two miles to trailhead. It is about a half-mile hike to the campground.
Payette Trail passes through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest. The trail continues along the shoreline for three-and-a-half miles to the parking area at Squaw Arm. The trail intersects a fire road. Options for following either the road or trail exist for approximately two miles before arriving at the Squaw Arm parking area. This section of trail offers good views of Applegate Lake, and the Kinney and Collings mountains. It's a good section of trail to view autumn colors.

Directions: From Star Ranger Station, drive south on Upper Applegate Rd. eight miles to the Applegate Dam and Squaw Lake turnoff. Turn left, crossing the dam and continue one mile to French Gulch Campground.
Located on a small stream, the Stringtown Campground offers hiking, fishing and a horse camp. Facilities include vault toilets, four tent sites and two RV sites. A hiking and mountain biking trail follows the eastern shoreline of the reservoir, connecting to other trails for several interesting loop hikes. There are horse facilities at the campground and the trailhead.

Directions: From Jacksonville, go about 7 miles south on OR 238, 15 miles south on Upper Applegate Rd., 3 miles east on County Rd. 959, then about a half-mile south on Forest Rd. 100.
The Tipsu Tyee Campground can be reached only by boat or trail. Facilities include vault toilets and five tent sites. There is no drinking water available.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd., about 15 miles to Applegate Lake and turn left on County Rd. 959 (traveling across the dam). Continue along Rd. 959 about 3 miles and turn right on to Forest Service Rd. 100. Continue about a half-mile along Rd. 100 to Squaw Arm Parking Area. Hike about 1.25 miles west along Payette Trail #970 to the campground.
Located on Applegate Lake, the Watkins Campground features hiking and mountain biking. Facilities include well water, vault toilets, and 14 tent sites. The site is open during the off-season with no fee required, but there will be no drinking water or garbage service. Please remember to pack your drinking water in and to pack your garbage out.

Directions: From Ruch, travel south for 19 miles on County Rd. 859, Upper Applegate Rd., to the campground.