Carl Lake Trail is a 3.8 mile out and back trail located near Camp Sherman, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until November.
This is a nice lake but it does not offer a lot of camp sites if you are backpacking. There are two day hikes that I found that you could do from the lake. The first will take you up to the PCT. The second starts on the NW corner of the lake. This is a awesome trail. At first it climbs a bit but then levels off and takes you north towards Mt. Jefferson. There is a lot of diversity; forests and wildflowers, open expansive, and great views of Jefferson from the south if you venture far enough.
Went on probably the hottest weekend so far this year, and hit the trail in the heat of the afternoon so the hike in was rough, but the trail itself is very moderate at the steepest. Once at Carl Lake it made the hot hike worth it. Very beautiful lake, and 360 degree views. The lake was very warm for an "alpine" lake, even did some swimming. It's busy during the days but at night very peaceful. I prefer more seclusion and that is why I'd only give it 4 stars but everything else was worth it, and it was a really good season opener for me.
The first few miles are nothing but loose dirt. No shade and lots of dust, so be prepared to either get a very early start or bring lots of water. Once you get into the forest, its quite a relief. Lots of switchbacks toward the middle. The lake was absolutely stunning! Clear and refreshing. But we couldnt stay long because it was swarming with mosquitos. We stayed til after sundown then headed back. Then moon was full and bright and there were toads all over the trail. Pretty easy hike overall. Nice to make a day of it
The Cabot Lake trail to Carl Lake is the East door to the Jefferson Wilderness and is a beautiful scenic hike. While it can be done in a day, 12 miles round trip, it is better enjoyed by taking a couple days to take it all in. there are Brown trout, brookies and Rainbow trout in the lake, but you have to have some skill to catch them. The deer feed by the lake every night and bear are common in the area. This is a real favorite!
First part of trail, thick huckleberry bushes, easy to lose the trail. But the rest of it is gorgeous and worth the trip.