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


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FATMAP difficulty grade



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. 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: