Clear Lake (Linn County, Oregon)

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Clear Lake
Clear Lake with Mount Washington.jpg
North end of Clear Lake with its source, Mount Washington, in background
LocationLinn County, Oregon,
United States
Coordinates44°21′38″N 121°59′33″W / 44.36056°N 121.99250°W / 44.36056; -121.99250Coordinates: 44°21′38″N 121°59′33″W / 44.36056°N 121.99250°W / 44.36056; -121.99250
Typenatural lake
Primary outflowsMcKenzie River
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area148 acres (0.60 km2)
Average depth50 ft (15 m)
Max. depth175 ft (53 m)
Water volume11,800 acre⋅ft (0.0146 km3)
Residence time0.5 mo
Shore length13.2 mi (5.1 km)
Surface elevation3,012 ft (918 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Clear Lake is a mountain lake 86 mi (138 km) northeast of Eugene, Oregon, United States in Linn County. It has two main bodies connected by a bottleneck. The lake is primarily fed by snow runoff from nearby Mount Washington and the surrounding areas. The runoff filters through underground caverns for more than 20 years before emptying into Clear Lake. The lake is also fed by two small creeks, which may dry up seasonally, along with Great Spring, the source of the McKenzie River.

Clear Lake is the headwaters of the McKenzie River, which is the sole source of drinking water for Eugene.[1]


Clear Lake is reported to be one of the most exceptional freshwater dive spots in Oregon.[2] Submerged 100 feet (30 m) deep in the lake is a stand of upright trees that were killed approximately 3,000 years ago when volcanic activity created the lake. The trees are remarkably preserved due to the cold year-round water temperatures of between 35–43 °F (1.6–6 °C).[2]


Clear Lake is circled by Clear Lake Loop Trail,[3] a hike loop made up of Clear Lake Trail and McKenzie River Trail that is 5 miles (8.0 km) long. An accompanying trail guide prepared by Willamette National Forest tells visitors about Clear Lake and the neighboring lava field and forest.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eugene Water & Electric Board: McKenzie Water". Retrieved 2007-08-29.
  2. ^ a b "Clear Lake Resort". Archived from the original on 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
  3. ^ "Clear Lake Loop Trail #4341". United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "Clear Lake Loop in Willamette National Forest". Hikespeak. Retrieved December 24, 2017.

External links[edit]