• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Kayaking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

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.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Food
  • Sandals or Hiking Shoes
  • Money to rent a cabin or row boat - Cabins run ~ $70 a night, Row Boats $35 (you can reserve a cabin online)
  • Kayaks or Canoes (optional)
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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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.

11 months ago
11 months ago

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

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I stopped here after exploring the nearby falls. The lake is calm and peaceful and there were several people out on the water in their kayaks and canoes. I wish I would have had more time to join them! I took a little time to wander the shores and marvel at the clear blue water. You could easily spend the entire day here!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Hillary Murphy

Artist, photographer and adventure enthusiast

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