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Clear Lake Trail is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Camp Sherman, 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: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 226 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

walking

running

forest

lake

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

As of May 2020, the trailhead parking lot / road to the trailhead is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. It is only reachable by foot or on a bike. 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.

muddy
9 days ago

Both gates are locked by Clear Lake, but you can park by the gates. Bathrooms are closed. I parked by the waterfalls and made this a longer hike by doing both loops and the 0.6 mile connection. I did both counter clockwise. Most people seem to do it clockwise. To do the longer hike, you do have to cross the road. A book I go off of shows it is 8.6 miles, my Garmin GPS showed 10 miles, and the sign at the trailhead showed just over 7.5 miles. It is an easy trail. There are a number of downed trees to go over and under. My medium size dog did it with me and had no problems getting over the trees or over the foot bridges. For a Friday and beautiful weather, it wasn't as busy as I thought at first, but then as the day went on I saw a lot of people, especially by the falls. There were a few muddy spots but I was able to walk around or jump over them. There are great views of the lake. I could hear the road the whole way around the lake.

hiking
blowdown
closed
15 days ago

There was no ice or snow. Quite a few trees were down blocking the trail making you have to climb over or go under. Saw a lot of people out there today. Gate is closed to parking lot, but you can park by the gate and walk down. There is room for about 15 cars and it was full when we left at 12:30-ish.

hiking
icy
off trail
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful and I would recommend going but be careful! We plan to try to go again later in the year when it hopefully has a little less ice. When we went on 3/10/20 most of the trail was covered in ice and in certain parts trees looked to have fallen on the trail so we had to go around them. Most of trail is shaded except by the lava rock section which is a great place to take in the lake. We spent most of the day there (taking pictures and ice slowed us down. Never crossed anyone else and only saw 1 guy in a kayak towards the end). I would recommend having good shoes and possible poles to stay steady on the icy parts.

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Very pretty trail, not many people. Road to come in was clear, very clean bathrooms onsite. Lake was absolutely beautiful. Not enough snow for snowshoes, would be good to have spikes but I just hiked in boots and only slipped in a few places

hiking
icy
snow
3 months ago

microspikes a must! the entire trail is absolutely gorgeous but the snow is all iced over and unable to snowshoe as of 2.22.20. I'm so happy I finally got to do this hike with the Hiker Babes group.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

very nice trail. The main asphalt path through the lava flows disappears at times and you have to walk over the lava flow to connect to the rest of the trail. Would have finished the reason but I came across a wolf and decided I was done.

hiking
icy
rocky
6 months ago

This was the most gorgeous hike!! The colors will take your breath away.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Another McKenzie River area gem, this trail is a great way to experience the youngest natural lake in Oregon. Fall colors are nothing short of spectacular and the water clarity and color are simply unreal. Wholeheartedly recommended.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, very mellow elevation changes, lots of variation in scenery and landscape. Gorgeous lake views and it may be slightly past peak but the fall colors are still going strong! We clocked it at 5.5 miles and we took our time taking pictures and stopping for lunch, made it back to the car in about 3.5/4 hours.

hiking
7 months ago

I loved this hike. My daughter & I intended to just walk over to the resort from the campground to use their phone. We ended up going around the north side of the lake, which ended up being the long way, and much more scenic. I would love to do this again.

hiking
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

it was beautiful. started in the early morning while it was foggy out but after an hour it had all burnt off and we got to enjoy the crystal clear blue water. hike took us 3 hours cuz we enjoyed stopping and taking in the views and enjoying the quiet. going out early we didn't find any hikers or bikers until near the end of the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

was absolutely beautiful but longer than what they tell you we had it recorded at almost 5.5 miles. with that said the changing landscapes were neat. you go from almost rainforest landscape to ancient lava flow it kept you on your toes. nice hike.

hiking
8 months ago

The colors always pop on this trail. It’s an easy loop with beautiful views

hiking
8 months ago

My first time there. It’s gorgeous! I don’t have anything else to add that hasn’t already been said. Took about 3 hours with my kids along. They only complained the last mile. I can’t wait to go back again.

hiking
9 months ago

Love this trail! Great views.

hiking
9 months ago

One of my favorite hikes this summer!!!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful clear water- trail is well kept, great parking! Overall I recommend

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

8/7/2019 A great lake hike with some elevation gain. The majority of the path is dirt and easy to walk, some of the path is through Lava rock that is challenging but my 8 year old had no problems. The majority of the path is shaded, no bug problems though it was hot. The views of the lake and lava rock were amazing, some parts reminiscent of Blue Pool.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike but gets crowded quick, did it with a 7yr old no prob.

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