Explore the most popular lake trails in Deschutes National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I accessed Broken Top yesterday from green lakes trail. Stunning!

One of my favorite hikes of Central Oregon, this is my 7th time hiking it! pretty easy hike. Starts along the creek by some beautiful waterfalls and makes it's way to the base of south sister. Makes good trail running if your up for it. very pretty!

I was at Todd lake today the gate is still locked.

So there are two different ways to get to Moraine Lake. You can go on the south Sister trail to the junction with Moraine Lake trail. This way is pretty steep in places but you do get a pretty dramatic view when you get to the Moraine Lake trail. The other way is to go on the Green Lakes trail for about 2 miles until it meets up with the Moraine Lake trail. This way is my favorite - the grade is much easier and the trail is a lot more scenic. Also on the Green Lakes trail when you get a little more than a half mile in follow a small side trail downstream for a peek at the redundantly named but quite dramatic Falls Creek Falls.

Fantastic hike. Departed the parking lot at 1330. Made it to the summit by 1830. Spent 20 minutes on the top. Began our descent and made it back to the parking lot at 2200. Average temperature was 66°. Snow was fairly firm, each step sank about 3-4 inches in. Highly recommend lightweight quick-dry or waterproof pants, neoprene socks (or equivalent), and good shoes. We were a party of 3 guys and one girl in our 20s, and in decent physical condition.

Hiked yesterday and went about a mile and a half past the sign that says “Trail not maintained” to get to the spot where the view ranged from BrokenTop to Jefferson. Spectacular! So about 8 miles round trip. I’m sure we could have seen Hood on a clear day but threatening clouds were prevalent. Mosquitoes were a problem in the beginning and end of hike below tree line - bring repellent! Lots of snow fields on top but we only lost the trail once and were able to pick it back up without too much trouble. Only encountered a few other hikers.

hiking
4 days ago

The approach isn't that interesting - a walk along the river with only occasional views, but the basin around Green Lake is lovely. In mid-June there were still a few snow patches but easily negotiable.

hiking
4 days ago

If you're thinking of going to Carl Lake, do it! We went in mid-June midweek and only saw three people (on our hike out). The lake was gorgeous, very few mosquitoes (mid-June), and there was a little wind in the evening. There is also a small waterfall at Carl Lake if you continue to your right! The weather was fantastic and the hike's incline was moderate and gradual. The burn area was gorgeous in its own way, but (as other reviewers have pointed out) there is little shade for about 1.5 miles and the sand would be very hot on a dog's bare paws. Because there is such a distinct change of scenery and four lakes/ponds to stop at along the way, I think this could be a great introductory backpacking trip for active children or adults new to backpacking. It's very rewarding!

Just gorgeous and easily accessible! Dog friendly. Wear waterproof shoes and bring bug spray!

Left the trailhead about 8 am on 6/16. Saw many others using spikes/crampons, but personally I never felt the need as the snow wasn’t very hard. Waterproof boots and a good trekking pole or two will suffice. Reached the summit by noon. Was no visibility and 45 mph winds, but never felt dangerous due to the well marked trail. Brought some waterproof pants and gaiters for some glissading on the way down. Back to the car by 2 pm.

6 days ago

I went 6-16-18, day before Father’s Day, first time. There were plenty of snow 2-3 miles in, I put crampons by now. I used Gaia GPS and the AllTrails app to find my bearings because the snow covered up the trail. There are no markings except for a few signs the trail and intersections. I luckily ran into some locals that knew where to go. We only made it to the crater lake at the rim. There’s flurries of snow and mostly sleet towards the lake. I didn’t attempt the summit because it was very foggy and I could see maybe 20 meters in front of me. Lake was in the process of melting around the edges and had a beautiful hue of blue that my phone camera didn’t do it justice. It was an awesome hike overall but for unfamiliar hikers, better to wait for more thaw. I had crampons and trekking pole.

walking
6 days ago

Lovely, easy and well marked trail... if you begin to the Left, it will take you through peekaboo views of several Cascade Mountains as you walk through volcanic rock - such a contrast and a visual delight. The second half of the trail runs side by side with Sparks Lake - I had to pause to not only breath in the breathtaking views but to take photo after photo around every corner. I look forward to returning as everyday in Central Oregon has different weather patterns (blue skies, high/low clouds, rain, snow and more) and each brings its own magic.

very pretty with wildflowers, mountain views, & clear snowmelt lake. trail wet & muddy in places so be prepared.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked on 6/14. Started the hike at 6 am. Good amount of snow still so we put on ice spikes when the trail started to get steep. Was good to start early in the day while the snow was still hard as it turned to slush as the day went on and was harder to manage. Trekking poles were a must to keep from sliding and take some pressure off our knees on the way back down. It was clear up top with a beautiful view of the other 2 sisters, 3 fingered jack and mt Jefferson. Don't be discouraged by the false summit, keep going because the glacier/snow field and view from the top are worth it!

Awesome views the whole way but getting to both gold lake and green lakes are currently still snowed in wouldn’t attempt to do this till July as the temperature dropped to 25 overnight

hiking
10 days ago

I also would like to know -- hoping to head up there this weekend.,

hiking
10 days ago

I enjoyed this hike. The pollen was very thick in the air this time of year (mid June). I wore lots of bug spray per the recommendations of the internet, and I was ok as far as mosquitoes... I may have just gotten lucky that it wasn't a very buggy day. There were a few flies around the lake, and a lot of mosquitoes when I got back to my car. I only ran into a few other people since it was a week day afternoon. The view of Diamond Peak from the shore of the lake was amazing, and the woods were very peaceful. Although there is a decent amount of elevation gain its spread out over 4+ miles so no individual stretch is intensely steep.

nature trips
12 days ago

What an incredible place. My husband and I showed up at this trailhead looking for Jack Lake and ended up doing almost all of the Canyon Creek Meadow hike. We stopped when the trail forks to the left and right with a gorgeous view of Three Fingered Jack. We had to walk through tiny patches of snow to get that far, and gave up when we couldn’t see the end of it. It’s mostly uphill so it was an excellent workout. We ran into 11 people and 3 dogs. Can’t wait to return with the kids once the snow is gone. This was our favorite place yet!!

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike!

Made it to Carl Lake on the 26th of May, last 2 miles is all over snow, most pond/lakes frozen over. Carl Lake reminded me of going thru the wardrobe into Narnia.

Cabot lake was nice tho!!

Has anyone done this recently? Is the gate open for high clearance vehicles?

Great hike. Still some snow but easy to navigate through and around. Mosquitos are brewing so come prepared. Amazing views!

lots of mosquitos A LOT. bring bug spray. plus side is we had the whole trail to ourselves aswell as the lake. bears are there btw we had one walk into our campsite at 2 am. friendly and left once it noticed us

This was an amazing hike from start to finish! The majority of the time you are next to the river and in a pine forest that provides some nice shade. The last third or so is opposite the old lava/obsidian flow, which provides for some other worldly sights as well. The finale at the lakes is just spectacular and well worth the effort to get there. It really is a hike with something for everyone. At this time of year (June 7) the trail was still about 50-60% snow-covered, but the path in the snow was well worn and easy enough to follow. The lakes are partially frozen still, but that just adds to the beauty. I can see why this trail is so popular but ended up seeing only about 10 other hikers on the path.

Went over memorial day and the trail is completely hidden by snow about 2 miles in. Beautiful hike and I look forward to coming back so we can summit.

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Still a ton of snow which made it difficult to stay on the exact trail but the adventuring was fun trying to find it as we went along. We brought snowshoes and poles and were super glad we did after we got about one mile in. Highly encourage you start early in the day as most of the trail is exposed to the sun.

It's a very easy hike with a beautiful view of Mt Bachelor.
Most parts of the trail were still covered in snow and even the road to the trail was closed, but you can park you just before the barricade and walk down to trailhead (~0.4 miles).
Also, wildflowers just started to bloom!!!

hiking
22 days ago

The lake is really beautiful but PLEASE be careful bringing your dog here. Our poor guy really burned his feet up in the beginning part which had a forest fire and is really exposed sand. We got booties for him after this hike and will never make that mistake again.

Went on 5/30 with my 10 year old boy. Great trail and we made it all the way up to the base of Three Fingered Jack. The GPS was a bit spotty, but necessary due to snow. Runoff is picking up and there are fewer snow bridge crossings, but the snow all the way up was firm other than late afternoon slush on surface. We wore low-top Merrill shoes and had no issues. The Google Maps directions to the trailhead were a disaster, however, make sure you follow directions or a map and don' rely on Google Maps.

on Lucky Lake Trail

backpacking
25 days ago

Great hike. Yes, mosquitoes are out. Trail actually loops North for some distance and switches back to the South before heading West up to the lake (not directly West and up across the contour lines as shown on the map.) 5-6 rather clear areas to pitch a tent for the night, or find rather flat ground on the west side of the lake if they're occupied. Several people were fishing, including us, but no one seemed to have any luck. People were catching a lot of trout at Lava Lake.

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