Fish Lake

North Fork Little Butte Creek is the outlet of Fish Lake

  • Easy (to Fish Lake Resort)
  • 6.6 miles round-trip
  • 100 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-May to mid-November
  • Use: hikers, bicycles

  • Moderate (High Lakes Trail)
  • 9.3 miles one way
  • 500 feet elevation gain

A bicycle-friendly trail links Fish Lake with Lake of the Woods, passing the lava flows of the Cascade summit on the way. The lakes on either end of the broad new High Lakes Trail are probably Southern Oregon’s most popular—each has campgrounds, picnic areas, boat launches, and a rustic, old-timey resort. If the 9.3-mile, packed-gravel High Lakes Trail sounds too long, try the ungraveled 3.3-mile trail along Fish Lake’s shore instead. Because the two trails connect end-to-end, adventurous hikers (or bicyclists) can do them both.

The Fish Lake Trail is easy enough for hikers with children. To find it, drive …

… At the 1.8-mile the path skirts a sinkhole where water from the 20-foot-wide Cascade Canal vanishes underground. Irrigators built the canal to shunt Fourmile Lake’s outlet creek toward the Fish Lake reservoir. To their chagrin, the canal’s water vanished into a lava tube here. Then they realized the tube carries the water underground to Fish Lake anyway. …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.