Description - The High Cascades portion is characterized by steep to moderate slopes and includes many basin areas with lakes, meadows, and rock outcrops. The Western Cascades portion is typified by steep, dissected slopes.
Copyright: Willamette National Forest
Waldo Lake Wilderness Area
There is an impressive array of lakes scattered throughout the Wilderness which includes the Six Lakes Basin, Eddeeleo Lakes, and Quinn Lakes. Located just outside the eastern boundary of the wilderness is Waldo Lake, one of the purest in the world. This lake, scooped out by ancient glaciers, covers 10 square miles and reaches a maximum depth of 420 feet. On a clear day, you can see to depths of 100 feet.
The High Cascades are mostly Douglas-fir, mountain hemlock, and Pacific silver fir. This wilderness is approximately 98% forested.
- There are approximately 84 miles of trails which lead to many lakes and small meadows. Waldo Lake Trail (not in wilderness) provides users with a 22-mile loop around Waldo Lake.
Moderate use with Wahanna Lakes and Six Lakes Trails most heavily used. Hiking, camping, and fishing are primary uses of the area.
Recreation - This Wilderness Area offers hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, picnicking, photography and mountain biking.
Climate - Elevations on the Forest range from about 1,500 feet above sea level to 10,495 feet at the snowcapped top of Mt. Jefferson, Oregon's second highest peak. Climate on the Willamette changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.
Take State Hwy. 58 to Oakridge. Trailhead access off Forest Roads 24 (Salmon Creek Road), 19 and 5897.