Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

American Lakes - Jackson County
Aliases: Michigan Ditch
Ownership: None Listed
Description: Although Jackson County contains plenty of tundra, none of it is accessible by road. That means ptarmigan-seekers have no other option in this county but to hike. One of the easier ways to get above treeline in the county is by following the Michigan Ditch south from Cameron Pass to a trail which leads up to three gorgeous alpine lakes in the shadow of the Nokhu Crags. These three lakes are called the American Lakes or the Michigan Lakes, depending on the map you're looking at; the largest and highest of them is often called Snow Lake. Brown-capped Rosy-Finch breeds on the cliffs around Snow Lake, about four miles from Cameron Pass. Look for ptarmigan in the grassier areas above the other two lakes, and typical spruce-fir birds along the rest of the trail.

Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Krummholz, Alpine Tundra, Cliff Face, Stream, Streamside Willow, Mountain Meadow
Directions: Park at Cameron Pass. Hike south along the dirt road beside the canal (the Michigan Ditch) about two miles to where it meets the Michigan River; from there follow the trail up the valley about another two miles to the lakes.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Other Sites in Jackson County
eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

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CBRC Records from American Lakes

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