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Number of days
?
Motorized watercraft allowed?
No
Water difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
?
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Clear Lake was formed nearly 3,000 years ago when a lava flow disrupted the course of the McKenzie River.  Currently the headwaters of the McKenzie, this 148-acre lake is primarily fed by snowmelt from Mount Washington and surrounding peaks, water that can spend decades working through subterranean spaces before resurfacing in creeks and at the springs near the north end of the lake.  This water is only a little warmer than snowmelt, and the cold temperature and spring fed course conspire to reduce suspended matter, organic or otherwise, keeping this lake so remarkably clear. 

Search the bottom of the lake for the submerged, 3,000 year-old forest remains that still stand upright and preserved in the frigid water.  Or paddle out onto this quintessential Cascade lake for remarkable views of Three Fingered Jack and Three Sisters.  If you didn’t bring your own watercraft, you can rent a rowboat from Clear Lake Resort.  In addition to a wild brook trout population, the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. 

Two boat ramps offer access to Clear Lake, the busiest being the Clear Lake Resort ramp.  Alternately, launch at the Cold Water Cove ramp to avoid crowds.  Both ramps charge a day use fee, and motors are not allowed on the lake.  The Cold Water Cove Campground offers plenty of camping and direct access to the lake.  Clear Lake Resort offers lodging and camping as well.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Beautiful water and views. Lodging and camping options. Hiking. Boat rental.

Cons

None.

Address

NF-775
Sisters, OR 97759
United States

Features

Campgrounds + Campsites
Lodging
Fishing
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

07/31/2017
Currently the largest butterfly hatch I have ever seen. Beautiful butterflies everywhere along shoreline near lodge. Also, noteworthy is that there is no cell service (or wifi) anywhere at the lake. You're on vacation; so it shouldn't be a problem unless you plan on calling someone to tell them you've arrived safely. If that's the case; you'll need to make that call 4 miles up the road.
07/31/2017
Currently the largest butterfly hatch I have ever seen. Beautiful butterflies everywhere along shoreline near lodge. Also, noteworthy is that there is no cell service (or wifi) anywhere at the lake. You're on vacation; so it shouldn't be a problem unless you plan on calling someone to tell them you've arrived safely. If that's the case; you'll need to make that call 4 miles up the road.
08/23/2015
Remarkably beautiful lake and surroundings. Clear Lake Resort is quaint and friendly, but the rustic tent sites are extremely small and uneven.
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