Carl Lake Trail

MODERATE 18 reviews
#40 of 127 trails in

Carl Lake Trail is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked 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 trail running and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.3 miles
1,345 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running




1 month ago

Perfect time of year for wildflowers and there were butterflies all over. There are still patches of snow heading from Carl Lake to the PCT, but very passable. The nights were cool, but it was pleasantly warm during the day, the mosquitoes were just starting to swarm.

1 month ago

What an amazing hike! Everything is so green and the wildflowers are blooming. The waterfall to the right of Carl Lake was the perfect spot for lunch. There were at least 4 lakes we passed. Don’t listen to google maps as it took us a random way. Head to Jack Creek and go out that way (vs. Camp Sherman Road). Mosquitos were out but not too bad. The first (and then last) part of the trail is in full on sun so be prepared.

1 month 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!

2 months ago

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!!

2 months 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.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Anyone who's been up here recently, how are the mosquitos?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some friends and I did this hike with 6 dogs, all of which are regular hikers also... We only made it as far as Cabot Lake because the ground was so hot that the dogs were running into the bushes to cool their feet! It was before noon and only 70 degrees out so we were't sure why it was burning their feet. Maybe cause the ground is more of a powdering type, like walking on the beach when the sand is hot. You run! Would not recommend for dogs unless it is cool weather. Those in the group that had small dogs were carrying them back. The bigger dogs we just had to stop many times on the return to let them lay in the bushes to cool off. Other than that it was a great day! Haha!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Made it to Cabot Lake and the trail was overgrown a bit but clear of snow except for two small spots. Very green and no mosquitoes out yet.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Absolutely gorgeous!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Super cool

Friday, August 14, 2015

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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

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!

Monday, May 31, 2010

First part of trail, thick huckleberry bushes, easy to lose the trail. But the rest of it is gorgeous and worth the trip.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Monday, August 03, 2015