“A tough, but scenic all-singletrack loop around the tranquil and pristine Waldo Lake.
— Anthony Harasimowicz
Although the snow melt at the high elevation lake will be gone by late June, the mosquitos can be relentless throughout the summer months. Best bet is to plan a ride here after Labor Day if possible.
Waldo Lake, with a surface elevation of 5414 ft., sits in the heart of the Central Oregon Cascades. This beautiful lake is encircled by a challenging 21 mile singletrack loop, the Jim Weaver Loop Trail (aka, Waldo Lake Trail #3590).
The elevation gain of the overall ride is manageable, however the relentless short, steep climbs and technical sections will give you a quite a workout. There are incredible views of the lake throughout the ride and plenty of spots to cool off during the hot summer months. Pick up the Waldo Lake Trail from the main parking area at the northeast corner of the lake and complete the loop either clockwise or counter-clockwise.
History & Background
The lake is termed ultra-oligotrophic as it has extremely clear water and very little organic material. Nutrients required for sustained plant life are not present as the lake has no permanent inlet. Depths of over 100 feet can be seen on a clear day and Waldo Lake is in fact one of the purist lakes in the world. Be sure to leave only footprints (and tire tracks!), take only pictures.