The trip to Maxwell Lake makes an excellent day hike; it's relatively short, 4 miles one-way. Stands of larch and fir give shade and relief from the open meadows. Climbing the ridge behind Maxwell Lake affords you spectacular views of North Minam Meadows and some of the lakes and peaks in the Minam and Lostine drainages. Fishing for eastern brook trout is a favorite passtime at Maxwell Lake. Catched Two Lake is also a favorite fishing spot. The lakes are surrounded with granite walls and fine outcroppings of pine trees along the lakeshores. Small side streams cross the trail but may dwindle to a trickle later in the season. Be sure to carry drinking water with you.
Maxwell Lake Trailhead is a small trailhead split into two parts near Shady Campground. Set in the cool pine and fir trees along the Wild and Scenic Lostine River the trailhead is popular during the summer for local and regional campers visiting the Lostine Canyon and Eagle Cap Wilderness. The upper site has a parking spur for trailers and the lower site near the campground has a small parking area for other vehicles.