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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.

Length 4.6 mi Elevation gain 226 ft 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
Description
Waypoints (10)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

You will find Clear Lake on Hwy 126 3 miles south of the Hwy 20/126 junction. If coming from Eugene/Springfield go roughly 64 miles East of Springfield (18 miles east of McKenzie Bridge)on Hwy 126. From Portland/Salem take the Detroit Lakes Hwy 22 roughly 80 miles to the Santiam Junction. Go west on Hwy 20 for 3.5 miles and turn left on Hwy 126 for 3 miles. Make sure you bring plenty of water and sun block lotion, as some of the trail goes through lava fields where the sun can get very hot.

Directions from McKenzie Bridge: Travel east on Hwy. 126 to Coldwater Cove Campground.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (249)
Photos (493)
Recordings (186)
Completed (519)
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Ron Elliott
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking

Clear Lake Resort is closed due to wildfires in the last few weeks. I don’t know if the trails are open.

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Kristen França
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

One of my favorite trails in Oregon. Beautiful, fun and fairly easy.

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Addy Hoover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Longer than it says in both length and time. The lava beds are in complete sun and very warm (we went around noon at 86 degrees, so morning would probably be better) The views are amazing and the lake is as it says, clear. If you are looking for a shorter version I would just go south on the trail until you hit Coldwater campground and then turn around and head back — much shorter and easier half of the trail while still seeing the lake, woods and some lava beds.

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Linda Mulholland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking
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Jason Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking
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Jonathan Farmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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v w
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Mia G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
Hiking

This is a very easy trail with beautiful scenery. Little to no climbing, mostly flat or small hills. The lake is a beautiful and so crystal clear, and there is a natural spring on one side of the lake for pristine water. I’ve drank straight from the spring and it’s probably the cleanest water you’ll ever taste. There’s a section of the trail that goes through some lava fields which is cool to see, and a stark difference from the other side of the lake where you’re walking through a thick forest wonderland. Parking isn’t bad but go early, as it does tend to fill up on the weekends. We’ve also fished this lake and the trout are great! It’s almost worse when you can see the fish but don’t catch anything.

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Jen Hewlett
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 19, 2020
Mountain bikingRocky

great trail for hiking, NOT MOUNTAIN BIKING!!! (at least not for kids or beginners). There's tons of lava rock on at least 1/2 the trail and we had to push our bikes much of the way. Beautiful lake and views, just don't take your mountain bikes!!!

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Viri Solis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingRocky

Easy, short, and sweet. :) great mini hike for beginners like me.

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Lindsey Rust-Schenk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

Wow!! Beautiful trail. The water is just amazing.

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Alison Bishop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Very beautiful, but crowded. Didn’t necessarily run into people on the trails as most were on the lake, but it was almost impossible to find parking. Very nice hike, gorgeous lake and not difficult. Not many places to sit by the lake.

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Jake Shelburne
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Katie Bohn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Such a beautiful hike! I carried my 1.5 year old in hiking pack the whole loop. It made for a great workout. my 5 year old daughter also made it the whole way!

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Jenna Baehr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Trail was maintained for most the off the way. There is a bit of trail that is sharp lava rock. Otherwise, the lake is the most amazing color of blue. Lots of flowers and berries along the way!

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Margo Mandrillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Amazing! Definitely longer than 4.2 miles. We clocked 5.7.

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Kori Faraoni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

The trail is longer than stated in this app. Easy and mostly flat trail. Gorgeous views of the lake. I parked at the day use area in the am and got a great parking spot. Went Paddleboarding after the hike to cool off. Definitely a kid friendly hike if they don’t mind a 5-6 mile trail.

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Cynthia H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Definitely longer than 4.6 miles but so beautiful

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Mitra Aflatooni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

So beautiful! Lava rock on trail so wear proper hiking shoes. Half of the trail is shaded, the rest is in the sun. At many points on the trail, you can see the bottom of the water with it being so clear. Expect to see a lot of people at the start of the trail because of the resort. Other than that, it’s peaceful and there aren’t too many people on the other sides of the lake!

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Kayla Andrews
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
No shadeRocky

great hike! there is not shade on the opposite side of the lake in the lava rock area but overall really pretty

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Sara Curry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Beautiful!!!! Most of the trail is in the sun so be mindful of that on hot days. It tracked over 5.2 miles for me and it says only 4.6 miles on the app. Great place to kayak and paddle board.

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Brian Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

fun hike. Lots of shade on the Clear Lake Resort side, but not much when you hike through the lava flows on the opposite side. Popular hike, will have to share the trail with mountain bikes, but lots of places to step off the trail to let them pass. Nice place to come to escape the valley heat. Overall I recommend this hike.

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Steve Ryan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

The water is so transparent/blue it is amazing. Plenty of places you can go off trail a few steps and swim... or soak your feet. Kind of cool going through the lava rocks area. Definitely a fun Loop. Pretty busy when I went so finding parking near the resort/boat dock may not be easy. Appears if you know your way around you could park in other, more accessible areas. Definitely 5 star views!

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Justin Eckert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Unbelievably beautiful hike. Wear a mask people. :)

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Reid Beairsto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Running

Stunning. Pretty easy run and easy to access, though I found myself having to stop to take pictures of the brilliant water.

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Sue Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
Walking

Beautiful trail, some rocky areas and parts out in the sun. Head clockwise from the resort for an early peak at the mountains or counter clockwise to save the mountains until the end. Very beautiful views.

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Sina Siev
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Camping

This is probably my favorite lake of all. Been here a few times and I just enjoyed every moment. Did this hike while camping at ColdWater Cove. A nice little stroll around the lake, even my 10 year nephew liked it.

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