10 Best Things to Do in Clear Lake (Oregon)


Known for its crystal clear turquoise waters, Clear Lake is not accidentally named like this.

It is considered one of the cleanest lakes in the Americas and in the world, and that’s why it attracts many tourists, especially during the summer season.

It is located in northern Oregon, less than an hour and a half northeast of Eugene.

It is surrounded by dense pine forest and is an ideal place to visit during the hot summer days, when the weather conditions are very favorable.

Here’s what not to miss while here:

1. If you are a fan of diving

diving in clear lake
Diving in Clear Lake by YouTube

The crystal clear water and exceptional underwater visibility is the main reason why Clear Lake is one of the most attractive diving lakes in the United States.

In the lake with a depth of 53 meters you will discover a very interesting and rare phenomenon.

It comes to a unique submerged forest at the bottom of the lake.

Although it has remained below the water surface for over 3000 years, thanks to the low temperature, it is extremely well preserved and is a major attraction for divers.

Because of the freezingly cold water, a protective swimwear is required.

2. Swimming in the clear water

crystal clear water
Crystal clear water by Thomas Shahan/Flickr

Clear Lake is an attractive place for recreation, and this is not surprising, especially considering the combination of smooth waters and secluded small beaches along the shore.

Its mirrored surface is ideal for swimming but only with a special protective thermal swimwear.

The temperature of the water is usually dangerously cold – between 34°F (1°C) in winter and about 43 – 45°F (6 – 7°C) in summer.

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3. Try some biking

biking in mckenzie river trail
Biking in McKenzie River Trail by Dave H/Flickr

There are thousands of wonderful places to ride your bike into the wild in the USA and Clear Lake is definitely one of them.

If you love cycling, there are some great and very convenient hiking trails in the vicinity of Clear Lake.

There are no very difficult sections of the route and this is why the area offers a great opportunity for outdoor sports even if your level of fitness is lower.

4. Sailing, boating and canoeing

With its scenic landscapes and quiet waters, Clear Lake is an attractive place for sailing, boating and canoeing.

An important condition is that you should not exceed the speed of 10 miles per hour, regardless of the type of vessel.

You should also know that motor vessels are not allowed because they could affect the water clarity and thus put at risk the fragile ecosystem.

On the other side, the lake is approximately 1.4 miles long, so you can explore the shores easily, even with a canoe.

5. Clear Lake Loop Trail

clear lake loop trail
Clear Lake Loop Trail by J We/Flickr

Because of its beautiful forests, dense shade and summer temperatures of about 81°F (or 2°C), Clear Lake is an excellent place for hiking.

Clear Lake Loop Trail is a well-maintained hiking trail, about 5 miles (or approximately 8 km) long.

The route is easy to walk and there are no difficult sections.

At some points the trail is sunny and passes by the lake, and in other places it runs under the pleasant shade of coniferous trees.

6. If you travel in winter

snowfall in winter
Snowfall in winter by Oregon DT/Flickr

During the winter months, Clear Lake is extraordinarily charming.

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The combination of its geographical location, the proximity of the Pacific and the altitude of around 3012 ft (918 meters) above sea level suggests heavy snowfalls.

For this reason, the area is a popular place for snowmobiling or Nordic skiing.

Usually during the winter season, between December and February, you can expect temperatures between 25 and 43°F (or between -4 and +6°C).

7. Go to the volcanic rocks

the volcanic rocks
The volcanic rocks by Chris Brooks/Flickr

Following the eastern coast, the tourist trail runs through the black rugged rocks of a thousands of years old volcanic field.

The rocks are covered with a thick layer of yellow-green lichens and moss.

Although there have been no volcanic eruptions in the region for millennia, scientists warn that they periodically record seismic activity of volcanic origin in the area.

8. Relax with some fishing

fishermen on clear lake
Fishermen on Clear Lake by Rick Obst/Flickr

If you are a fan of the water sport, Clear Lake will not disappoint you.

Here you can enjoy successful fishing, even if you are doing it for the first time.

And the secret is the abundance of fish in the lake. Although you can find different species here, the most popular one is the local trout, known for its exceptional taste.

9. Stop for a moment and enjoy the wildlife

little squirrel
Little squirrel by A.Davey/Flickr

The rich volcanic soil in the area of Clear Lake is very fertile so here you will find a huge variety of species of trees and other plants.

Of course, this is a great habitat for a wide variety of species of mammals and birds.

Normally, most animals are afraid of people so you should stop for a moment quietly if you want to see some of the forest inhabitants.

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10. Don’t forget to take some great pictures

turquoise lake water
Turquoise lake water by Thomas Shahan/Flickr

Be sure to take a lot of pictures of Clear Lake, as the place is extremely photogenic.

It is very important to have a good camera, to choose the right weather conditions, and of course, the best part of the day.

The most important moment is to try to capture the turquoise lake waters with the camera.