Sunday, July 31, 2016

ExplOregon, June 2016 edition, part three.

After three days in Steens Mountain and two days exploring five geologic wonders (among other things) in Lake County, Oregon, family duties called and it was time to meander back to Eugene.

We considered trying our luck at Paradise Campground again, but a quick check showed that almost all the sites were reserved that night so we opted for Coldwater Cove Campground instead. Sometimes no planning really does pay off...

campsite #1 for the win

Our site was surrounded by Douglas-fir pines and steep hills on either side. Hummingbirds buzzed around the flowers all afternoon; bats swooped around the trees all evening. A funny little chipmunk kept us entertained.


And? There was no generator running all night (we didn't even hear any of our neighbors)... Thank you, Universe.

There's a ~5-mile easy loop that circles Clear Lake. The trail goes from the campground through lava fields and pine forests, and offers stunning views of the lake.

 open to hikers and bikers - watch out!

about a mile of this, then forest the rest of the way

 the little boy caught his first fish!

 {hearting} Oregon right about now


 Washington lilies...

 ... and tiger lilies...

... and Alaskan bunchberry, oh my

 to the west
no filter...

... yes, the water really is that color

Many more photos start here. I cannot recommend this loop enough! If you're not up for the walk, you can rent kayaks and canoes from Clear Lake Resort. No engines are allowed on the lake so the walk/row is quite peaceful.

Leftover soup and salad after that five-mile walk didn't really cut it for dinner...

 bottom of the barrel... er, cooler

... so the next morning, we treated ourselves to a breakfast of champions at Clear Lake Resort. 

never. eating. again.

Coldwater Cove and Clear Lake were the perfect ending to our trip. Deserts and hot springs and arid flatlands with geologic wonders are fun and all, but walking (and sleeping) among those tall pines, with that crisp, cool air all around us and that glacial lake just a few hundred feet away, we felt like we were home again.

And now, if you'll excuse us...



  1. Lovely photos! I haven't spent nearly enough time at Clear Lake. Remembering this spot to reserve a tent site next summer!

    1. Thanks! Hope you make it there - it's really beautiful!