Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crescent Lake, Oregon

usbackroads destination-Crescent Lake, Oregon

Crescent Lake, Oregon is just north of Crater Lake National Park and just east of Willamette Pass.  For a long time it was only known to Oregon residents, but slowly this special corner is being discovered by folks outside of Oregon.

There is a bit of land managed by the Willamette National Forest to the west, but most of the area is managed by the Deschutes National Forest.  Just to the south is the Umpqua Natioinal Forest.  The Deschutes National Forest, however, is very special.  It is a National Forest that is very FLAT and yet is complete with lakes, snow capped peaks and many trails.  A great combination for those of us with many years under the belt of hiking and roaming and not yet ready to give it up.

There are large lakes and small lakes.  Short hikes and long hikes.  Bicycle routes and quad trails.  In winter, there are snowmobile and cross-country ski trails.  Lots of public and private campgrounds with full hookups.  The Deschutes National Forest also has plenty of boondocking spots that can fit a large rig.  AND  my reason for coming back to the Deschutes is some of the best trout fishing in the West.

After getting settled, we brought out our cheater (electric) bicycles and got ready for a short bicycle ride on the west side of Crescent Lake.

While we were loading up two gentlemen from Switzerland bicycled up and asked for directions.  They were doing the Sierra Cascades Adventure Route.  This backcountry trail route goes a long, long ways through the Cascades and Sierra's.  After giving them directions we finished getting ready and soon caught up with them.  I think they were a little stunned at how fast we caught up with them.  I am not sure if they noticed the battery packs on the rear of our bikes.  I hope not.  I hope they just think American seniors are in great shape!!

The route had little traffic and the views were spectacular.

After chasing the Swiss bikers for a bit we turned around and headed back to the Dodge Ram.  I wanted to check out some high elevation country on boundary of the three National Forests.  We, unfortunately ran out of time before we could make it. However, check it out and give us a report.  The map and google earth looked wonderful. The best approach, as I learned later, is from the south on the Umpqua National Forest.

We did make it all the way to the Cascade Crest and the Pacific Coast Trail.  The PCT run from Mexico to Canada and is currently featured in the movie WILD.  Throughout my adult life, the PCT has always been a part of it.  I have run into it in all three state, but have never made a point of hiking it long-distance.  I still hope to hike the central portion of the Cascades known as the John Muir Trail one of these days.

This is the water cache on the PCT laid out by trail angels.

A little bit farther and we were on the Umpqua National Forest.  We turned the Ram around at this point and promptly ran into the Swiss bicyclists.  When they saw we were driving. I suspect they figured out that we were wimps.  If you look carefully at the road it looks pretty good.  That is because most road construction and maintenance on National Forests is paid out of timber sales.  So the rough road on the Deschutes National Forest became a pretty good road on the Umpqua National Forest!  Good or bad roads those guys from Switzerland were tough.

The pictures are all of the lakes of the Deschutes National Forest.  The rivers and streams of the National Forest are just as special as the lakes.  So don't delay in exploring this part of Oregon.  Someday soon it will be discovered by more than just two bikers from Europe.

Here is the link to the home page for the Deschutes National Forest:  Deschutes National Forest web site.

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