Reading Time: 11 minutes
Oregon is a popular destination for travelers around the world. It’s a geographically diverse state that offers incredible wildlife, high desert, adventures, rivers, valleys, mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and heavenly delicious & healthy food. There are about 1,400 named lakes in the state of Oregon as per the Water Resources Department. Oregon is undoubtedly a true wonderland to take a break from the daily grind and spend your vacations.If you’re on the hunt for a place to enjoy hiking, swimming, or a boat ride, Oregon has an abundance of beautiful lakes to cater to your craving for fun and adventure. There are many famous lakes in Oregon, including Crater Lake; Klamath County, Detroit Lake; Linn & Marion Counties, Strawberry Lake; Wallowa County, East Lake; Deschutes County, Waldo Lake; Lane County, Trillium Lake; Clackamas County, and many more. Let’s check out the 15 best lakes in Oregon that are worth visiting.

Crater Lake : Klamath County

Crater Lake, Oregon

Source: Pung / shutterstock

Crater Lake

When looking at the most beautiful lakes in Oregon, Crater Lake comes first in mind. Crater Lake sits in Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon. It is approximately 600 meters deep, making Crater Lake the deepest lake in the country.

It’s well-known for its clear, royal blue waters and magnificent surrounding landscapes. The lake was formed 7.500 years ago in the volcano caldera by the collapse of Mount Mazama. Crater Lake has two small islands to visit by boat. Crater Lake’s water comes directly from rain or snow. It’s the clearest lake in Oregon.

Rim Village and Rim Visitor Center are the best places to begin the journey to the national park. Cleetwood Cove is the only place in Crater Lake where you can enjoy swimming.

Best time to visit: July, August, & September (Summer).

Activities can be performed: Biking, photography, trolley tours, picnicking, hiking, boat tours, etc.

Google Map Link:

Nearby City: Klamath falls (44.0 mi) and Medford 57.8 mi

Wallowa Lake : Wallowa County

Wallowa Lake, Oregon

Source: ThelmaElaine / shutterstock

Wallowa Lake

Formed by a series of Pleistocene glaciers and surrounded by the Wallowa Mountains, Wallowa Lake sits at an elevation of 1,333 meters. Located 1 mile south of Joseph, Wallowa is a ribbon lake.

The Wallowa Lake State Park is situated at the southern corner of the lake where you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, and camping.

Wallowa Lake State Park is the ideal choice for travelers to use as a basecamp and explore the wilderness. The state park features a boat slipway, a day-use area, and a campground. Head to Wallowa Lake Marina for rental boats and Wallowa Lake Tramway for a ride to the top of Mount Howard.

Best time to visit: May and June.
Activities can be performed: Water sports, Hiking, Fishing, The Tram, Horseback Riding, Kids Stuff, The Arts, and Whitewater Rafting.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Joseph, Oregon

Waldo Lake : Lane County

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Source: Heather Elise Endicott / shutterstock

Waldo Lake

Waldo Lake is one of the clearest lakes in the world and the second-largest body of natural water in Oregon. It is one of many cascade lakes in the Central Cascade region of Oregon. At 1,650 meters above sea level, the natural alpine lake is also located within the Cascade Mountains.  

It is named after Oregon native John B. Wald, though it was discovered by Molalla Indian Charlie Tufti, Wallowa lake is the only major lake with a shoreline trail which is perfect for backpackers.

Best time to visit: August, September, and early October.
Activities can be performed: Camping & Cabins, Fishing, Hiking, Horse Riding & Camping, Picnicking, and Water Activities.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Oakridge, Oregon

Trillium Lake : Clackamas County

Trillium Lake, Oregon

Source: OLOS / shutterstock

Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake is a well-known photography and camping site. It is a man-made lake formed by a dam at Mud Creek headwaters, a tributary to the Salmon River. The lake sits around 7.5 miles south-southwest of Mount Hood in Oregon.

Trillium Lake is an excellent place for camping and Nordic Skiing in the winters. Located 40 miles southeast of Portland, the campground is a family-friendly camping spot and sits alongside Trillium lake. It’s well-known for spectacular views of Mount hood and offers abundant recreational opportunities. The campground also features a boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.
Boats with the capacity to go up to 16kph are not allowed on the lake. Spark Lake has restrictions for boats with engines that go above 16kph. Although Sparks Lake has brook trout and cutthroat trout, fly fishing is the only type of fishing allowed at Sparks Lake.

Best time to visit: Summer and Fall

Activities can be performed: Fishing, Swimming, Mountain Biking, Walking Trails, Hiking (2-3 miles), Interpretive Programs, Camping, Bird Watching, Kayaking, Stargazing, Boating (motorized & non-motorized), Canoeing, Historic & Cultural Sites, and Photography.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Portland

East Lake : Deschutes County

Paulina Lake and East Lake and the Obsidian Lava Bed

Source: Hills Outdoors / shutterstock

Paulina Lake and East Lake and the Obsidian Lava Bed

East Lake is in the heart of Oregon, near the city of La Pine. It is a twin lake nestled in the caldera and has an elevation of 15 meters and 55 meters deep. Snow meltdown, rainfall are sources of water for East lake. 

East Lake offers travelers plenty of outdoor activities to have fun, such as canoeing, kayaking, boating, photography, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, wildlife viewing. 

Along the shoreline of the lake in the caldera, there is East Lake campground. It features a boat ramp, beach 29 single-family campsites for trailers, RVs, and tents.

Best time to visit: January, February, March, April

Activities can be performed: Hiking, Horse Riding & Camping, Hunting, Nature Viewing, OHV Riding & Camping, Bicycling, Camping & Cabins, Caving, Fishing, Outdoor Learning, Picnicking, Rocks & Minerals, Scenic Driving, Water Activities, and Winter Sports.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Willowick, OH. Wickliffe, OH, and Willoughby, OH

Paulina Lake : Deschutes County

Paulina Lake

Source: Carmen Sorvillo / shutterstock

Paulina Lake

Paulina Lake is a twin lake within the caldera of Newberry Volcano. The lake covers 1,500 acres and sits 1,930 meters above sea level in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. It’s an ideal location for recreational activities, such as Kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing

Paulina Lake has kokanee and salmon brown trout in abundance. Other fish found in Paulina lake are blue chub, rainbow trout, and tui chub. 

It’s prohibited to run boats or motors above 16kph in Paulina Lake visitors can not enjoy waterskiing and jet skis. It protects the lake as a fishing destination.

Best time to visit: May through July
Activities can be performed: Hiking, fishing, hot springs, boating, camping, mountain biking, Paulina Peak, snowboarding, Paulina Creek Falls.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Bend, OR

Sparks Lake : Deschutes County

Sparks Lake, Oregon

Source: Victoria Ditkovsky / shutterstock

Sparks Lake

Sparks Lake was named for a 19th-century rancher, “Lige” Sparks. The lake is a natural body of water and well-known for its unmatched beauty and surrounding mountains. The lake is located near the peak of the central Cascade Range. 

The United States Forest Service takes care of a boat launch at the lake. Sparks Lake is a fantastic destination for fishing, camping, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Sparks lake provides both water and land recreational activities. It possesses colorful flora and stunning views making it the most desirable spot to spend summer vacations. The water level in Sparks Lake remains under 10 feet. Thus, it’s safe for boating and swimming. 

Boats with the capacity to go up to 16kph are not allowed on the lake. Spark Lake has restrictions for boats with engines that go above 16kph. Although Sparks Lake has brook trout and cutthroat trout, fly fishing is the only type of fishing allowed at Sparks Lake.

Best time to visit: June through November
Activities can be performed:  Hiking, fishing, photography, canoeing, camping, kayaking.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Bend, Oregon (25 mi)

Detroit Lake : Linn & Marion Counties

Detroit Lake, Oregon

Source: Claudio Del Luongo / shutterstock

Detroit Lake

Located 50 miles East of Salem, Oregon, and impounded by Detroit Dam, Detroit lake is a reservoir spread over 1,400 hectares. The lake was created by the damming of the North Santiam River and is adjacent to Oregon Route 22 near Detroit city.

Detroit lake is a popular destination to enjoy year-round fishing, boating, swimming, and camping. Moreover, seven different campgrounds are surrounding the lake. Detroit Lake State Park and Mongold State Park are the main attractions on the north side of the lake. Both parks offer boating, fishing, and swimming, but Mongold State park is only for day use.

Best time to visit: May 21st to September 30th
Activities can be performed: Swimming, camping,  fishing, and boating.|
Google Map Link:

Nearby City: Fergus Falls, MN, Moorhead, MN, Fargo, ND, West Fargo, ND, Wahpeton, ND, Bemidji, MN, Alexandria, MN, Brainerd, MN, Grand Forks, ND, Valley City, ND, Sartell, MN, Sauk Rapids, MN, Saint Cloud, MN, Willmar, MN, Grafton, ND.

Lost Lake : Hood River County

Lost Lake

Source: Robert Post Photography / shutterstock

Lost Lake

Known as a popular recreational site, Lost Lake is located within the Mount Hood National Forest, 10.1 miles northwest of Mount Hood in Oregon. The lake offers 125 campsites, facilities to hire kayaks and rowboats, seven rustic cabins, and a rustic general store. 

This 99 hectare has undeveloped surroundings, which are home to black bears, rabbits, cougar, blacktail deer, and bobcats. The surrounding lake is a protected wilderness area. Motor craft is also not allowed. 

Lost lake is home to brown trout, carry fish, brook trout, rainbow trout, otter, kokanee salmon, crayfish, and beaver.

Best time to visit: Summer
Activities can be performed: Hiking, yurts, boating, camping.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Washougal, WA, Troutdale, OR, Camas, WA, Gresham, OR, Fairview, OR, Gladstone, OR, Milwaukie, OR, Oregon City, OR.

Diamond Lake : Douglas County

Diamond Lake, oregon

Source: Checubus / shutterstock

Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake, known for its magnificent views and serene ambiance. It lies within the Umpqua National Forest between Mount Bailey and Mount Thiessen. The lake is a natural water body and features trails connecting the lake to the two mountains and Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking on these trails is the best way to explore Wildlife and observe birds living in the forest. 

In summers, travelers visit the lake for swimming, horseback riding, and hunting. But in winters, Diamond Lake turns into a popular spot for snowmobiling, inner tubing, sled dog racing, and skiing. The lake is a true heaven for anglers. Diamond Lake features five boat ramps with paved access.

Best time to visit: All year round
April, May, and early June (Fishing)

Activities can be performed: Bicycling, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, fishing (rainbow trout), hiking,  skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Roseburg, OR, Central Point, OR, Klamath Falls, OR, Medford, OR, Altamont, OR, Bend, OR, Ashland, OR, Springfield, OR.

Crescent Lake : Klamath County

Crescent Lake, Oregon

Source: Joshua Rainey Photography / shutterstock

Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake lies on the Cascade Range on the eastern side in Klamath County, Oregon. It is a natural lake formed in a glacial deposit. Crescent Lake got its name for its crescent-like shape. 

The lake has marvelous views and an excellent place for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The Crescent Lake area has many trails and areas for off-road vehicles. 

Several campgrounds and boat ramps surrounding Crescent Lake offer plenty of fun activities to experience. Visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, sailing, and water skiing opportunities. The lake has abundant fish, including mountain whitefish, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon, as well as other varieties of trout. Willamette Pass Ski Resort nearby the road offers lots of fun for the whole family.

Best time to visit: All year round
Activities can be performed: Fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, riding, skiing, and dog sled racing.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Bend, OR, Roseburg, OR, Klamath Falls, OR, Redmond, OR, Springfield, OR, Eugene, OR, Altamont, OR, and Lebanon, OR.

Lake Billy Chinook : Jefferson County

Lake Billy Chinook

Source: Hills Outdoors / shutterstock

Lake Billy Chinook

Lake Billy Chinook is a reservoir surrounded by public land. It is located in Jefferson County, Oregon. The lake spreads in 1,600 areas and contains 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline.

Situated at the confluence of Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius Rivers, Lake Billy Chinook is a popular reservoir. The lake lies within a canyon carved by three rivers more than 10 million years ago. Lake Billy Chinook is a perfect destination for boating, sailing, and water skiing. 

Lake Billy Chinook is filled with brown trout, smallmouth bass, sockeye salmon, Kokanee, and largemouth bass. It’s a popular spot for water sports like boating, water-skiing, swimming, and fishing.

Best time to visit: Open year-round to angling
Metolius arm March first to October 31.

Activities can be performed: Fishing, Water Activities, Motor Boating, Swimming, Waterskiing, and Windsurfing.
Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Culver, OR

Odell Lake : Klamath County

Odell Lake, Oregon

Source: / shutterstock

Odell Lake

Located near Willamette Pass in Klamath County, Odell Lake is the ultimate destination to spend vacation. It is surrounded by the Deschutes National Forest and gives breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains. Odell Lake’s proximity to Willamette Pass attracts visitors to explore and enjoy its beauty when traveling along. 

Angler’s favorite spot, Odell Lake, holds state records for lake trout. Other species found in the lake, including mountain whitefish, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. With three well-developed campgrounds around Odell Lake’s shoreline, there are a few boat ramps available to use for motorized and non-motorized boats. Visitors also get the opportunity to enjoy water skiing, sailing, and windsurfing.

Best time to visit: All year round

Activities can be performed: Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Hiking, Frisbee Golf, Lake Tours, Hay Rides, downhill skiing, Biking, snowboarding, nesting, horseback riding, fishing, and guided fishing.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City:  Bend, OR (65 mi)

Upper Klamath Lake : Klamath County

Upper Klamath Lake

Source: Gurcharan Singh / shutterstock

Upper Klamath Lake

With a surface area of 24,906 hectares, Upper Klamath Lake is the largest body of freshwater in Oregon. Upper Klamath Lake is a massive, shallow freshwater lake that sits east of the Cascade Range in south-central Oregon at an elevation of 1,260 meters above sea level. 

Upper Klamath Lake is approximately 8 miles wide and 25 miles long and sits at an elevation of 1,260 meters. It is surrounded by forests and mountains. 

The Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex is located at the very north end of it. Fishing, hunting, and boating are popular activities to enjoy at the lake. There are a plethora of opportunities to explore wildlife.

Best time to visit: February through November

Activities can be performed: Camping, boating, fishing, bird watching, and hunting.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Bend, OR.

Strawberry Lake : Grant County

Strawberry Lake

Source: virginia gossman / shutterstock

Strawberry Lake

Strawberry Lake is located about 10 miles south of Prairie City in Grant County. It’s a natural high-elevation body of water that covers about 36 acres surrounded by forest.

The most popular recreational activities in the Strawberry lake basin include skiing, fishing, hiking, backpacking, and camping. Strawberry Campground lies at the eastern edge of Sly Creek Reservoir.

Strawberry Basin Trailhead connects to other trails in the forest to provide day hiking or backpacking trips.

There is no road access to the lake In the winter. Though, it is accessible through cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Fishing in Strawberry lake is provided all year, with abundant brook trout and rainbow trout.

Best time to visit: Late September to early October.

Activities can be performed: skiing, and fishing, hiking, and backpacking.

Google Map Link:
Nearby City: Prairie City (10 miles)

Oregon is home to stunning lakes that are ideal for recreational activities. However, only Scout Lake and Bays Lake are the best lakes for swimming. Moreover, these two lakes are perfect for camping and have campsites around to explore.

If you made it to the end of the list, we are pretty sure that you are now planning to visit some lakes in proximity. Also, the blog might have given you the idea to own lakefront property. Anyone interested in lakefront properties or exciting land for sale opportunities, check out the listing at APXN Property.