High at an elevation of 4,900 feet, with 7,215-foot Olallie* Butte looming over it, Olallie Lake is the main destination for one of Oregon’s most remote wilderness areas. Located between Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson and bordering the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Olallie Lake is actually one of more than 200 subalpine mountain lakes that make up the nationally designated Olallie Scenic Area.
The area is protected by miles of rough gravel roads from the north and the south, but once you pull up to Olallie Lake the attraction of this place will be clear as the heavily chiseled, 10,495-foot Mount Jefferson dominates the southern horizon.
With 240 acres of surface area and a maximum depth of 47 feet, Olallie Lake is by far the largest lake in the scenic area, with Monon Lake to the south being the second largest.
Be sure to bring your boat if you plan to try for any number of the lake’s annually stocked rainbow or brook trout, as many fish congregate toward the middle of the lake as summer progresses. You can also rent relaxing little row boats from Olallie Lake Resort for a fair price
The lake has no shortage of options for camping or accommodations. The Olallie Lake Resort rents out 10 primitive cabins, there are two yurts available at Paul Dennis Campground, and there are dozens of lakeshore campsites at Paul Dennis, Peninsula or Camp Ten Campgrounds. If those are full, consider nearby Olallie Meadow, Lower Lake, Horseshoe, or Breitenbush Lake Campground.
If you are looking to venture out into the surrounding wilderness, consider these nearby adventures:
* “Olallie,” a name associated with countless outdoor destinations throughout the Northwest, is Chinook slang for “berry.”
Note: Motorized boats and swimming are not permitted on the lake, as the lake is a source of drinking water the resort.