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Summer Lake

Southeastern Oregon, Oregon

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Summer Lake

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  • Oregon Fish and Wildlife headquarters building has maps and information about the wildlife area.- Summer Lake
  • Map of Summer Lake Wildlife Area.- Summer Lake
  • Signs in Summer Lake wildlife area.- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake in Oregon's Great Basin.- Summer Lake
  • Bird hunting is popular around Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • American coots (Fulica americana).- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake in Oregon's outback.- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge.- Summer Lake
  • The sun rising over Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus).- Summer Lake
  • Sun rising over Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake is home to a wide variety of waterfowl.- Summer Lake
  • Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • Hawk.- Summer Lake
  • Many hawks can be seen around Summer Lake.- Summer Lake
  • Hawk taking flight at Summer Lake. - Summer Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful views. Lots of birds.
Cons: 
Area closures during hunting season.
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Region:
Southeastern Oregon, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
ODFW Wildlife Area Parking Permit (daily or annual)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Oregon’s outback is home to a wide variety of wildlife and amazing geologic features. Summer Lake is nestled in the Great Basin and is the perfect stopover for many migrating birds. Over 250 species can be found in the basin including eagles, geese, swans, hawks, herons, and ducks. It is a popular spot for bird watching as well as hunting.

Established in 1944, the Summer Lake Wildlife Area was the first of several wetland-focused wildlife areas in Oregon. The 18,941 acres are managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Most of the refuge is accessible year round; however, sections of the 8.3-mile driving loop around the wildlife area may be closed during hunting season (October through January). It's best to visit in late spring and early summer for bird watching. The ODFW station at the site entrance is unmanned, but it is stocked with maps, bird lists, and other information about the areas. There are four campgrounds located in the wildlife area, all with vault toilets or outhouses.

The lake was named by the explore John C. Fremont in 1843 during his mapping expedition through central Oregon. For a good view of the lake and the entire valley, be sure to check out Fremont Point.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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