The gradually uphill hike to Yoran Lake from the trailhead near Odell Lake leads 4 miles through the Diamond Peak Wilderness. For its entirety, the well-marked trail goes through moss-covered lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. Occasional wildflowers, clumps of beargrass and the sound of songbirds accompanies the hike in what is otherwise an uncrowded and quiet forest on the flank of Diamond Peak. The trail passes by two lakes an unnamed lake and Karen Lake, before ending along the southwestern shore of Yoran Lake. From the lake's western shore hikers get an incredible view of Diamond Peak less than a mile to the southwest and Mount Yoran even closer to the west of the lake. Well marked backcountry campsites with rock fire rings are spread out around Yoran Lake, and they make a great option for people wishing to enjoy a short backpacking trip in the Southern Oregon Cascades.
The hike to Yoran Lake starts at the parking area just past Trapper Creek Campground on NF-5810. To find the trailhead, take any of the paths from the parking area that head west and quickly lead to the train tracks a short distance away. Cross the tracks and look for the marked trailhead for the Trapper Creek Trail. Complete the self-issued wilderness permit and enter the Diamond Peak Wilderness. In a short distance the trail will fork, and follow the fork to the right pointing to Yoran Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail. After crossing Trapper Creek using the footbridge and continuing a half mile you'll reach the second junction, this time pointing left to Yoran Lake. This is the Yoran Lake Trail. The first part of the hike before the Yoran Lake Trail is full of wild blueberries and huckleberries in the late summer, so eat your fill before continuing further into the wilderness area.
Yoran Lake is one of many lakes in the area, and the trail to reach it is very well marked. But come prepared with a map of the Diamond Peak Wilderness, and if you're willing and experienced in off-trail travel, consider visiting some of the other lakes in the area. You should also consider bringing along your fishing gear if you can fit it in your pack. If you are interested in turning the hike into a loop, the PCT can be found a quarter mile north of Yoran Lake. From the northern tip of the lake, head due north until you reach Lils Lake, and the PCT is on the northern shore of this smaller lake. By taking a right and heading east on the PCT, it'll eventually take you back to Odell Lake where you can either hike by trail to the junction with the Yoran Lake Trail or follow NF-5810 back to the parking area.
The hike to Yoran Lake and the lake itself is a very quiet, peaceful place in the heart of the Diamond Peak Wilderness. It's also a perfect family-friendly day hike or overnighter. But come prepared for mosquitoes that are especially persistent and troublesome in the early summer and continue to provide a steady level of annoyance even late into August and early September. Also, if you are camping at Yoran Lake, expect fire restrictions to be imposed in the later parts of summer. In most cases fires are restricted to established fire rings and use of fire pans, but even these may be restricted if the conditions warrant. Fire restrictions are posted at the entrance to Diamond Peak Wilderness, and even if no restrictions are in place, use your common sense and keep fires small, under control, and fully-extinguished before you leave.