Hike around Clear Lake

Sisters, Oregon

based on 7 reviews



4 miles

Route Type



Added by Hillary Murphy

This little known spot provides hiking trails, row boats, and even cabins to stay the night in. It's one of the best lakes to visit in Oregon!

Once you arrive at Clear Lake, I suggest to start the relatively flat hike around the lake. You'll walk through a beautiful forest with peek-a-boo views of the stunning lake. The hike around the full lake may take a few hours, so if you're not staying the night, make sure you have enough time to rent a row boat and row around the lake. If you are staying the night in one of the cabins or camp, enjoy all of the wonderful views and take your time around the lake. You will even get to hike over old lava beds, which is really cool to experience.

After hiking, or if you don't want to hike, rent a row boat. This is the highlight of the trip! You could also bring your own kayaks or canoes if you have them. The water at clear lake more than lives up to its name. Walk out on the dock and take a look at the water - its bound to be unlike anything you've ever seen before. The lake is primarily fed by snow runoff from nearby Mount Washington and the surrounding areas. The runoff filters through underground caverns for more than 20 years before emptying into Clear Lake, creating the clarity that you will see.

Enjoy the lake and watch the sunset! Pack something to eat and some good beverages to truly maximize your experience on the lake. Take your time and enjoy!

FYI the lake is near freezing temperatures all year, so don't even think about swimming in it.

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Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Hike around Clear Lake Reviews

Did this hike in 11/1/2020 and it was a perfect way to start November! The weather was beautiful and the trail was easy to follow. Passed a few people, but mostly had the trail to ourselves. Not much elevation, so great trail for beginners. Views of the lake were breathtaking! We took the detour to Sahalie Falls, and I had to use the map often. That’s another trail I’ll be doing in the future though. Overall, this was a great hike and I definitely recommend it!

lovely hike with occasional views of a stunning lake with beautiful colors. on a clear day, you can see a nice view of mountains in the distance. we stayed in the cabins to have more time to explore. the park staff was friendly and the cabin clean and fairly comfortable. food at restaurant was decent.

I can see how the lake gets its name, it's pretty crazy how clear and blue it is! I hiked the loop yesterday but started from the Mackenzie River trail that crosses the Hwy on the side of the lake with Coldwater Cove campground. It was about 5 miles RT from there

The hike around the lake is nice, similar to many other hikes in the area. But what is really amazing is the clarity of the lake. The water has at least 100 feet of visibility, from a kayak or canoe you can look down and see the petrified forest on the bottom. The lake is also popular with local scuba divers, so you may see someone that looks like they are floating in thin air below you.

Gorgeous area with a nice trail. When you're finished, rent a boat and paddle the lake... You'll thank me later.

Great pictures. We stayed here at the Cold Water Cove Campground. We enjoyed hiking around the lake and to the nearby waterfalls. Epic moutain biking on the McKenzie River Trail. We also stand up paddleboard the lake. After an active week we hit the Belknap Springs for some soaking in their hot spring fed pools. Bliss.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Koosah Falls Trail

Sahalie and Koosah Falls Loop

Mountain Bike the McKenzie River Trail

Tamolitch Blue Pool

Snowshoe to the Mountain View Shelter

Camp at Big Lake