Clear Lake Trail

EASY 12 reviews

Clear Lake Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sisters, OR that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.5 miles 433 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

canoeing

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

whitewater kayaking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

This hiking trail loops all the way around Clear Lake along the scenic McKenzie Highway in Oregon. Clear Lake, the "lake born of fire", is the headwaters of the McKenzie River and was formed 3000 years ago when lava from Sand Mountain reached the river and backed up water to form the lake. The original forest that had lined the river banks was submerged. Remnants of some of these submerged trees still stand under 120 feet of water and are visible from the trail and by boat. The nearly freezing temperature of the lake makes it unsuitable for swimming. Osprey and bald eagles, and native cutthroat trout call the lake home. Non-native rainbow and brook trout are also found in the lake. Clear Lake is popular for fishing, canoeing and boating. No motors are allowed on the lake. The Clear Lake Loop Trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikes.

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout and beautiful views after beautiful views.

trail running
1 month ago

went on a very rainy day so the lake didn't have the same awesomeness as on a nice one.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this hike. Great for distance and scenery. Do it on a week day lot less people. I personally would recommend it for dogs because one end is lava rock. Trails easy to follow the road is on a small
Part of it but it's wooded enough to not ruin the lake view.

2 months ago

I hiked the eastern portion of this trail while hiking down to Tamolitch pool, making this part of a 2 day backpacking trip. We camped near Tamolitch pool and the Clear Lake trail was at the very beginning and end of our hike, which was great! The paved path through the volcanic flows is wild to look at.

hiking
3 months ago

We like to start at Clear Lake Resort and hike North around the lake. Easy hike most of the way. You will hike thru an old lave flow on the East side of the lake. Some loose lava rock and can get very hot in the summer. Bring your water bottle. Beautiful views of the Three Sister's. And the lake's color is amazing. A nice bridge takes you over the start of the McKenzie river on the south end. Plan about 2.15 hours for this hike.

hiking
1 year ago

Just did the Blue Pool section which is a 2 mile hike in from the blue pool trail head.

mountain biking
2 years ago

totally love this trail. got back just in time to pack up the bikes! lots of climbs and pretty techy.. must start early! blue pool chilled the brewskis pretty darn fast!

mountain biking
2 years ago

Such a great mountain biking experience. I went during Memorial Weekend and it was pretty busy, duh. It was challenging but worth it. The best part was coming across crystal clear Tamolitch Blue Pool. One of these days I'm going to jump in.

I did see a rider go down pretty hard and cut their leg on some rock. Bring a first aid kit and tire repair kit.

hiking
3 years ago

we hike this every summer as we camp at cold water cove. It is the most beautiful lake in Oregon by far! the lake is fed by underground springs, it is cold and clear. the blue color will take your breath away. the hike is a very easy one, expect to see lots of wild life, especially birds. ducks, dippy birds, Osprey, and sometimes Bald Eagles. the lodge has good food, and snacks. and do include a hike down the McKenzie River to the waterfalls. so BEAUTIFUL!
I added some summer pictures, and some fall pictures. the vine maple around the lake are so pretty in the fall.

hiking
4 years ago

Started near picnic grounds on south end of the lake & walked counter clockwise. This first section of trail goes thru a lava field, some of the trail is paved. At the north end of the lake, took the trail to Fish Lake and back continuing back to car on west side of the lake. Most of the trail wanders thru forest with good glimpses of the lake. Expect some mountain bike traffic on the west side of the lake. Very well maintained, easy trail hike. Books list the trail milage around the lake to be 4.6 to 5.5 miles.

mountain biking
4 years ago

I started at Cold Lake Campground trail head and rode semi-leisurely through the trail stopping often to take pictures and enjoy the picturesque landscape. After reaching the end, I camped out at Paradise Campground and then headed back up the next day. The ride was great and very diverse. From easy flowing single tracks, to more technical sections with rocks and roots, to advanced and extremely difficult sections through the lava rock gardens. The trail is very enduring and challenging at times but the reward is great! I recommend this trail to anyone looking to escape the Portland Metro area for a weekend ride or want to check out one of the more popular trails in Oregon.

mountain biking
5 years ago

The Views, the Waterfalls, the trails. A Must do Epic ride. I took the Shuttle from the Ranger station (Grab a Map here) to the trail head and ride down from there. Pack plenty of water, tools & a lunch and enjoy 25 miles of beauty and fun