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Elevation Gain
318.00 ft (96.93 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Warming hut
No
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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)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Winter parking pass

Pros

Easy trail to follow. Good view of the lake.

Cons

Must cross the highway to get to the trailhead.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

3,134.00 ft (955.24 m)

Highest point

3,439.00 ft (1,048.21 m)

Net Elevation Gain

23.00 ft (7.01 m)

Features

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

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Snowmobiles allowed

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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