Whole worlds can be found underwater, but this American lake is not only the most beautiful, but it also holds. a secret just below the surface.
A sunken forest beneath the waters of an impossibly clear lake might seem like something out of a fairy tale – or perhaps the remnants of the lost civilization of Atlantis. However, the natural world is filled with weird and strangely beautiful things, which at first glance may seem fantastic, but are actually the result of good old-fashioned volcanic activity.
Such is the case with one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. Aptly named Clear Lake, this Oregon wonder nestled in the Willamette National Forest is full of hidden (and less-hidden) wonders.
The History of Clear Lake
Clear Lake formed about 3,000 years ago when Sand Mountain erupted nearby, causing lava to flow into what was then the McKenzie River. After cutting its way through the forest, the lava then hit a trap in the form of the McKenzie River, whose cold waters stopped it in its tracks. The result? Much of the surrounding forest that lined the banks of the McKenzie was submerged under water, and behind the supported lava wall a natural dam formed, filled, and eventually became Clear Lake.
Today, evidence of the eruption remains in the form of volcanic silt lining the surrounding grounds and many perfectly preserved tree trunks beneath the icy lake. The wooden remains of past shipwrecks scattered throughout the area (some are over 100 years old), and the beautiful clarity and aquamarine color of the lake only enhance the enchanting and magical atmosphere that surrounds Clear Lake, at the time above and under the cold, clear waters that owe their clarity to the runoff of ice and snow from the surrounding mountains.
About Clear Lake
Anyone visiting Oregon’s Cascade Mountains will want to visit Clear Lake and its cold, crystal-clear waters nestled in the Willamette National Forest, whether it’s for the area’s outstanding recreational opportunities or simply to take stellar photos of this unique lake. and wonderful.
Things to do: In and around Clear Lake
Clear Lake is widely known as one of the best places for freshwater diving in the United States, but cooling off in the lake’s icy waters isn’t the only reason to visit – there are a number of opportunities to recreation in the surroundings that make the lake pristine is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outdoor adventure.
The cold waters of the lake are not ideal for swimming, but there are plenty of other aquatic opportunities to occupy visitors.
- Brave time and Dive– definitely worth it and the absolute best way to experience all of Clear Lake’s underwater wonders. Rent equipment or take a guided tour – either way, underwater adventurers will certainly dig into the aquatic world below the surface. Note: Prospective divers should ensure they have their equipment before heading to the lake, as there is nowhere to rent equipment nearby. Towns like Bend and Salem offer plenty of opportunities for scuba gear rentals and excursions.
- Motorized watercraft are not permitted on Clear Lake, making it the ideal location for other the water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, boating or pedal boating. Rowboat rentals are available at Clear Lake Resort
- Clear Lake is also known for its outstanding fishing-especially of the trout variety. The Fish Cleaning Station is available May through September at Coldwater Cove Campground
Although the crystal clear waters of the lake are the main attraction, there are plenty of activities on land that make the surrounding area a fun place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts and would-be explorers looking to soak up the scenery. distinctive in the middle of the region shaped by an ancient volcanic eruption.
- Go on the famous McKenzie River National Recreation Trail which is great for biking and hiking and known for some of the most beautiful scenery (including lava fields!) that surrounds Clear Lake. The entire MacKenzie River Trail is 25 miles and there are several access points that make it easy to get in and out of the trail.
- Want to learn more about Clear Lake and its geology, history and surroundings? Then take a hike on the Clear Lake Loop Traila 4.6-mile trail for families and pets that winds through old-growth forest
- take a ride and explore – there are plenty of scenic spots along the McKenzie River where travelers can find other hiking trails, hot springs, and fun stops like the Head of Metolius lookout site and Camp Sherman, which houses the historic century-old Camp Sherman Boutique
- Camp at Coldwater Cove Campground and enjoy views of Clear Lake and lava fields. On a clear day, campers can even see Mount Washington or the Three Sisters
Located in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and nestled within the boundaries of the Willamette National Forest, Clear Lake is rightly known as one of America’s most beautiful lakes. In addition to its vibrant blue-green hue and crystal clear appearance, Clear Lake is also home to a myriad of wonders above and below the surface – a true adventure nestled amidst volcanic terrain that is also home to a treasure of recreational opportunities perfect for any outdoor enthusiast and visitor to Central Oregon.
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