Whether you’re planning a summer or winter getaway, a trip to the lake is almost always in season. Enjoy a stay at a cozy cabin when it’s snowing. During the warmer months, spend your days fishing, swimming, and hiking around the shoreline. Book a stay at one of many Oregon vacation rentals for your upcoming lake getaway. When you’re ready to start planning, take a look at the 10 best lakes in Oregon.
1. Crater Lake
Known for its clear, deep blue water, Crater Lake is not only the deepest lake in the state but also in the country. This lake is located in Crater Lake National Park, and the best views come from hiking around it. In the summer months, you can take a boat tour to see the two islands in the lake. Find a vacation rental in one of the nearby towns for easy access to this gorgeous lake. Organize your boat tour at the Rim Village Visitors Center. While staying in the area, take a tour of Fort Klamath to learn more about the area’s history.
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2. Strawberry Lake
Located in Grant County, Strawberry Lake is a popular destination for families who enjoy fishing all year long. This lake sits at a high elevation in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. When you grow tired of fishing, just follow one of the hiking trails from the lake to the peak of the mountain. When casting your line, expect to catch rainbow and brook trout. Visit the Sumpter Valley Railway Passenger Station for a tour of this historic railroad, and then have lunch at Stampede for a quick burger.
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3. Wallowa Lake
In a county by the same name, Wallowa Lake is in the northeast section of the state and features a natural landscape created by Ice Age glacier. This is a vacation hot spot and has enjoyed visitors since the late 1800s. You can spend your days hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, and so much more. While staying in a vacation rental in the area, ride the Mount Howard Gondola for stunning views in all directions. Don’t forget to have lunch at the Summit Grill with its fast service and comfort food.
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4. Waldo Lake
In the Cascade Mountains, Waldo Lake is the state’s second largest lake with freshwater. This natural alpine lake features clear water that you can see the fishing swimming around your ankles in. Boating, hiking, and fishing are the biggest attractions here. You can take your motorized boats out on this lake but keep your speed to 10 mph. Rent kayaks and canoes to explore the shoreline from Hoodoo’s Crescent Lake Resort. Manley’s Tavern is the best place for a family meal in the area.
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5. Trillium Lake
Sitting in the shadow of Mount Hood and inside the Mount Hood National Forest, Trillium Lake is the place that photographers flock to get a photo of the mountain reflected in the surface of the lake. The Trillium Lake Loop Trail circles the lake, and it’s an easy walk for families with kids. Nordic skiing is big in the winter months. When the snow falls, split your vacation time between the lake and Summit Ski Area. Mt. Hood Roasters is a great place to pick up sandwiches for a picnic by the lake.
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6. East Lake
With blue-green water and a sandy beach, East Lake is a hot spot during the summer months. Use the public launch to put your boat in the water and bring home brown trout, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon for a fish dinner at your vacation rental. If you prefer to catch up on your reading, take the kids to the public beach for a day of sun and fun. Take the family to Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant for a tasty meal or opt for pizza and pasta at Casetta Di Pasta.
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7. Paulina Lake
Looking to while away the days fishing? Paulina Lake is your destination. The rules of the lake ensure you don’t face boats zipping around at high speeds while you try to catch rainbow trout, blue chub, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and tui chub. Canoeing and paddleboarding are great ways to explore the shoreline. Stop by Harvest Depot for breakfast one morning and enjoy the outdoor seating. Ponderosa Pizza Parlor is the place to unwind and enjoy a pie.
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8. Sparks Lake
Head out on to the lake when you launch your boat from the public ramp at Sparks Lake. Only angling is allowed on this lake, and cutthroat trout and brook trout are the two most commonly caught fish. Metolius-Windigo Horse Trail winds its way around the lake and ends at the Sparks Lake Day Use Area. In the winter months, Mount Bachelor Ski Area is a popular hot spot. If you’re faced with a rainy afternoon, visit the High Desert Museum for some hands-on activities and the chance to learn about the area’s natural wonders.
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9. Detroit Lake
With its close proximity to Detroit Lake State Park and Mongold State Park, Detroit Lake is a reservoir lake and popular family destination for boating, swimming, and hiking in the nearby state parks. Rent jet skis from Detroit Lake Marina to enjoy high speed fun around the lake. Get your hands dirty when you take the family to Connor’s BBQ and order the ribs.
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10. Lost Lake
In Hood River County, Lost Lake is a popular destination. While you can’t take motorized boats out on the lake, you see plenty of canoes and kayaks out exploring. Stop by Mt. View Orchards for fresh produce to make your own meals at your vacation rental. Stop by The General Store for your groceries and arrange for the rental of a canoe or kayaks for your stay.
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