Timpanogas Lake, the source of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, sits just to the west of the Pacific crest. The semi-circular ridge surrounding it divides three of Oregon's major watersheds: the Willamette, the Deschutes, and the Umpqua. Nestled just above Timpanogas to the east and south are Indigo and June Lakes. You'll find car camping at Timpanogas Lake and unimproved hike-in sites at Indigo and June.
All three lakes are linked by trails that offer a great afternoon of riding. Each of the three trails on this ride have their own unique characteristics. If you are camping in the area, this ride makes a great warm up for the much more challenging Windy Pass, which encircles the basin containing these lakes on a high ridge before descending down the southwestern flank of Sawtooth Mountain.
This is the shortest, flattest and most technical of the three. The trail circles the lake, providing shoreline access nearly all the way around. The tread is narrow and there are long, rooted sections.
Indigo Lake is the most scenic of the three lakes on this ride. The eastern end sits under the cliffs and scree fields of Sawtooth Mountain. There are many opportunities for backcountry camping around Indigo Lake. The trail is like a dirt sidewalk: smooth and very wide. The climb up to Indigo lake is relatively short, but it offers little relief. The wide trail makes for a fast downhill on the way back.
June Lake Trail is classic national forest singletrack: narrow, mostly smooth, with a mix of short climbs and descents. Keep an eye out for a view through the trees of the upper valley of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. June Lake itself is surrounded by dense alpine forest. There is some unimproved camping and a nice beach. This lake gets great afternoon and evening sun.