Waldo Lake Loop

Oakridge

An epic backcountry loop circumnavigating the crystal-clear Waldo Lake.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
31 km
Ascent
544 m
Descent
544 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
Waldo Lake Loop Map

Waldo Lake is the second largest lake in Oregon, covering over 10 square miles. "One of the clearest and purest lakes in the world, you can see to depths of over 100 feet on a calm day,” writes BendTrails.Org. "Water enters the lake from snow melt and subsurface flows so there is very little soil erosion entering the lake — resulting in its deep indigo color,” they continue.

Description

Trail runners can circumnavigate the entire lake on this epic 20-mile loop. Despite this route's respectable length, it only climbs and descends a mere 1,800 vertical feet along its length. Consequently, it appeals to trail runners looking for a fast, scenic run without too much up-and-down brutality.

The singletrack is relatively buff and fast, allowing you to cover the miles quickly... that is, if you don't stop for too many photo stops!

The campground at Waldo Lake offers a great camp-and-run experience, with the trail directly accessible from the campground.

Note: The snow stays on the ground around Waldo Lake until late in the summer. Consequently, the mosquitoes are reportedly vicious through the entire summer. Most sources recommend riding this trail in the fall, after the temps have started to cool.

Sources: https://bendtrails.org/trail/waldo-lake/ https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/bicycling/waldo-lake-loop/ https://cascadesingletrack.com/WillametteNF/WaldoLake/trail.html

Difficulty

Moderate

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Guidebooks in this area