Elevation Gain
318.00 ft (96.93 m)
Trail type
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Warming hut
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.

The snowshoe trail to Fish Lake and the historic site around it starts from the Lava Lake Sno-Park. The trailhead is actually on the south side of the highway from the parking area. From there, the trail winds though the old-growth forest and eventually meets up with the Old Santiam Wagon Road. The trail also passes a grave site with an interpretive sign. Around the lake there are picnic tables and interpretive signs telling the history of the area. During the winter the lake is usually frozen over.

The Fish Lake Remount Depot was a stopover for people traveling from Eastern Oregon to the Willamette Valley and back again. There they could resupply and/or wait out the bad weather before continuing on with their journey. It has been in use since the early 1900s; it is currently managed by the Forest Service as a staging areas for people heading into the field. Two of the cabins have been turned into accommodations during the winter months for those looking for a rustic lake-side site. 

During the winter the road into Fish Lake is closed. Although it is possible to park and hike in from the main entrance (along the highway), it's not as ideal. And if you're staying overnight at the cabins, you must park at Lava Lake Sno-Park. The sno-park offers vault toilets, interpretive signs, and other trails for snowshoeing.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Winter parking pass


Easy trail to follow. Good view of the lake.


Must cross the highway to get to the trailhead.

Pets allowed


Trailhead Elevation

3,134.00 ft (955.24 m)

Highest point

3,439.00 ft (1,048.21 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Big vistas
Bird watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Groomed trail


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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