Russel Mountain Lookout Loop

By Brian Sather — updated Sun, 8/30/2015 - 1:41 PM, created Thu, 8/9/2012 - 1:59 AM

6.22 miles (10.01 km)

Elevation Gain:
942.53 ft. (287.28 m)
Elevation Loss:
-947.25 ft. (-288.72 m)

Max Altitude:
7490.16 ft. (2283 m)
Min Altitude:
6737.24 ft. (2053.51 m)
Take a gravel road climb up to Russel Mountain Lookout and then a fun singletrack descent back to the Deadman Trailhead. This is an easier version of some of the trails featured in the Russel Mountain to Twin Lakes guide. Although the singletrack is rocky in spots and includes a few stream crossings, most intermediate mountain bikers will love this trail for the challenges and ripping descent through the meadows and burnt snags. The last few hundred yards before arriving back at the trailhead are very rough and virtually unrideable. Trail Notes
  • From Deadman Trailhead (near Fish Lake), head back to road 66 and take a left.
  • Climb the road for 1.5 miles up to Road 450 on the left, and continue climbing Road 450 up to the lookout.
  • At the lookout, start on the trail to the west at the Russel Mountain Trailhead sign.
  • As the trail enters the meadow after some descending, make sure to go straight across the meadow to pick up the trail again, which continues to the right after crossing the meadow.
  • Upon entering the second meadow (below Sugarloaf Mountain), look for the Sugarloaf trail sign, which marks the connection with the Deadman Trail 1867. Turn left on this trail and head south back to the trailhead.
 Waypoint #1 — 45.051160, -117.101810

    The first meadow crossing. Follow the logs across to find the trail resuming on the other side.
    A steep section of Road 450 up to the lookout
    The Forest Service does not want you to climb the lookout.
    Trailhead for the singletrack.
    Sugarloaf Reservoir isn't too far off the Deadman Trail.
    The last rough bit before the finish at the Deadman Trailhead