Clear Lake Trail

EASY 33 reviews

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

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
429 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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
3 days ago

The fall colors are here, along with tiny bits of snow. Very pretty walk around the lake - we took the whole family, and we haven't hiked for quite awhile. Taking our sweet time and stopping for lots of pictures, it took about 3.5 hours to finish the loop. The lava fields are a little more difficult to maneuver - there's some bits with paved path, mostly it's rocks you're walking on) but there isn't much of the trail with the lava fields. Mostly nice forest trails throughout. Would have loved to take a boat on the lake, get a closer look at the underwater forest - but the hike was gorgeous.

hiking
29 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely easier trail with views of lake and over lava beds as well as through forested trails.

trail running
2 months ago

Gorgeous, but challenging for a run in the summer. I went on a 90 degree afternoon and found the asphalt lava rock portions to be sheer drudgery. Not too crowded on a Monday morning. Couldn't find where the map said the trail forks off into the McKenzie trail, but that's probably on me.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

The lake is beautiful but the trail is not for mountain bikes. The portion that is the Clear lake trail is gentle and easy but the middle is the McKenzie trail and found ourselves caring our bikes

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

varied type of trail - from paved to volcanic to a peaceful forest hike. I enjoyed it . The scenery is beautiful and it didn't seem heavily traveled.

hiking
4 months ago

Once again right after you park the fall is right there!

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Pretty easy, some rocky areas but nothing bad. Very pretty hike.

4 months ago

Kid and dog friendly trail. Beautiful blue water.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Very well maintained. loved the underwater forest.

5 months ago

Easy hike that is great for the dogs and family. We went May 13th and there was some snow on the trail. Beautiful mix of blue water, the "Great Spring", lava rock, and wildlife.

hiking
11 months ago

Great workout and beautiful views after beautiful views.

trail running
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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

hiking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

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.