Crescent Lake Loop - Oregon Scenic Drives
Distance: 161 Miles
Time: 6 Hours
The Crescent Lake Loop will take you from Eugene on Highway 58 to Oakridge, past Hills Creek Reservoir and over Emigrant Pass to Summit and Crescent Lakes, to Highway 58, and back to Eugene.
Highlights of this trip include a side trip to Timpanogas Lake, a hike to Indigo Lake, a side trip to Waldo Lake and crossing both the Emigrant and Willamette passes. This route follows the approximate route of the Oregon Central Military Wagon Road that was eventually replaced by the Willamette Pass Highway 58.
(Please note that many of the forest roads are closed seasonally. Check with the ranger station listed at the end of the loop description to find out current conditions.)
00.0 00.0 Junction Interstate 5 and Highway 105 in Eugene. Take Interstate 5.
4.8 4.8 Junction Highway 58 and Interstate 5. Take Highway 58 exit.
8.9 4.1 Pleasant Hill.
9.6 0.7 Bristow Monument Historical Marker: "Elijah Bristow, veteran of Andrew Jackson's Army, erected his cabin in Pleasant Hill in 1846, earliest year of settlement in Lane County. He and his wife Sussanah then led in establishing the county's first church and first school. The replica (at left) of their fireplace is from the original stones.
10.7 1.1 Junction: Left to Jasper and Jasper Park (Lane County).
14.5 3.8 Dexter Junction.
18.2 3.7 Lowell Junction. Lowell Bridge on left is located on Lowell Road, 1 mile south of Lowell. Built in 1925, it is one of the longest spans in Lane County. To Lowell Ranger Station, Lookout Point Dam and Viewpoint. Lookout Point Dam and Reservoir are part of the Corps of Engineers' Willamette Basin Project for flood control, and provide water storage for navigation, irrigation and power generation. Dexter Dam and Reservoir is operated in conjunction with Lookout Point Dam to provide a uniform flow in the river downstream from the project, and to generate additional electric power. Lookout Point Dam has a generating capacity of 120,000 kilowatts and Dexter generates 15,000 kilowatts.
24.4 6.2 Entering the Willamette National Forest.
30.8 6.4 Hampton Boat Launching (Lane County).
32.3 1.5 Black Canyon Forest Camp (U.S.F.S.). 13 tent, 3 picnic units, 59 tent/trailer sites.
34.3 2.0 Shady Dell Campground (U.S.F.S.). 6 tent, 5 picnic units, 3 tent/trailer sites.
36.5 2.2 Westfir Junction. (The North Fork-South Fork Loop starts at this point.)
36.6 0.1 Oakridge Ranger Station. Headquarters for the Oakridge District of the Willamette National Forest.
38.6 2.0 Ferrin Campground. Second Westfir Junction. The North Fork-South Fork Loop may also begin at this point.
39.3 0.7 Oakridge City Limits. Population 3,500. Oakridge is entirely surrounded by forest land and offers many recreational opportunities. The Oakridge museum is a recommended stop.
41.4 2.1 Greenwaters Park. Oakridge City Park offers picnic facilities and a nature trail.
42.4 1.0 Kitson Springs Road. Turn right.
42.9 0.5 Junction with Forest Road 21. Turn right.
43.5 0.6 To Hills Creek Powerhouse, left. Stay right on 21.
43.9 0.4 Larison Rock, a former lookout site is right on Road 2108.
44.2 0.3 Hills Creek Reservoir and Dam. This 304-foot dam and 8-mile reservoir are part of the Willamette Valley Project of the Army Corps of Engineers for generation of energy, flood control, recreation, irrigation, navigation, and alleviation of stream pollution. Its generating capacity is 30,000 kilowatts.
45.4 1.2 Cline Clark Picnic Area (U.S.F.S). 3 picnic sites.
46.1 0.7 Larison Creek Trail. Turn right.
47.9 1.8 Packard Creek Campground (U.S.F.S.). 33 tent/trailer sites and 7 picnic units.
53.1 5.2 Cross Middle Fork of the Willamette River. At this point you may complete a loop around Hills Creek Reservoir.Hills Creek Reservoir Loop
The trip from the south end of Hills Creek Reservoir back to Highway 58 is, via the east side road, about 15 miles and takes about 45 minutes. Thus, the entire loop from Highway 58 takes about 1 1/4 hours. The east side road is not advisable to travel after heavy rain.
00.0 00.0 Middle Fork of the Willamette.
0.1 0.1 Turn left on east side road, No. 2118.
1.9 1.8 Blacktop ends at junction with Road 2307.
9.8 7.9 Blacktop begins.
10.6 0.8 Road curves left over Hills Creek Bridge.
10.7 0.1 Junction with Forest Road 23. Turn left.
11.3 0.6 C.T. Beach Boat Launching and Picnic Area (U.S.F.S.). 8 units.
14.4 3.1 Junction with Kitson County Road.
14.5 0.1 Junction with Highway 58.
53.2 0.1 Bingham Boat Ramp (U.S.F.S.).
54.1 0.9 Sand Prairie Campground (U.S.F.S). 21 tent/trailer sites and 10 picnic sites.
54.6 0.5 Logger Butte Road 2120, left. You may take an interesting side trip at this point. Go 14 miles up timber access road to Logger Butte, Elevation 5,783 feet. Beautiful forest and mountain vistas are the rewards of this trip.
56.5 1.9 Little Pine Openings.
58.6 2.1 Junction Road 21 with Road 2127. Go straight. (If you turn at this point, you will be starting up the Bearbones to Steamboat Loop.)
60.6 2.0 Secret Campground (U.S.F.S.). 6 trailer sites.
62.2 1.6 Campers Flat Campground (U.S.F.S). 5 tent/trailer sites. Campers Flat was so named because it was a favored campsite on the old Indian Trail.
62.9 0.7 Big Pine Openings.
64.6 1.7 Mutton Meadows.
66.8 2.2 Sacandaga Campground (U.S.F.S.). 17 campsites.
70.8 4.0 Oregon Central Military Wagon Road historical sign.
75.4 4.6 Junction of Roads 21 and 2154. Turn left. You now start to climb rapidly over Emigrant Pass. Stay on Road 2154. You will climb 2,000 feet in the next 6 miles. This is the approximate route of the Emigrant Trail.
78.2 2.8 Blacktop ends. Continue up the hill on Road 2154.
82.4 4.2 Junction Road 2154 and 398. Leaving Willamette National Forest. Turn left for Summit Lake. The road is very narrow and winding for the next 7.5 miles. Use extreme caution. At this point you may also turn right on Road 2154 for the 3-mile trip to Timpanogas Lake and Campground. At 0.2 miles, you will be at the Junction of three counties-- Klamath, Lane, and Douglas. At 2 miles, you will be at Opal Lake Campground. A short 0.1 mile hike takes you to the lake and primitive campsite. At 3 miles, you will be at Timpanogas Campground. From here you can take a 2-mile hike to Indigo Lake, which is considered by some to be the prettiest lake on the Rigdon District.
82.7 0.3 Summit Lake
83.9 1.2 Summit Lake Campground. Turn right on Road 6010 to continue to Crescent Lake.
90.4 6.5 Junction of Roads 6010 and Forest Road 60. Turn left onto Road 60. Blacktop begins again.
90.6 0.2 Tandy Bay Picnic Area.
90.9 0.3 Whitefish Horse Camp. 19 campsites with individual corrals. 3 trail heads leave to Diamond Peak Wilderness from this campsite.
91.2 0.3 Tranquil Cove Picnic Area and Swimming Area (U.S.F.S.).
95.0 3.8 Crescent Lake Campground (U.S.F.S.). 50 tent/trailer sites.
95.4 0.4 Road reaches T-intersection by Snow Park. Turn left toward Crescent Lake Junction.
97.5 2.1 Junction with Highway 58. Turn left.
99.3 1.8 Odell Lake Junction. Odell Creek Campground (U.S.F.S.). 20 tent/trailer sites and 4 picnic sites.
99.9 0.6 Sunset Cove Campground (U.S.F.S.). 43 tent/trailer sites. 12 picnic units.
102.8 2.9 Princess Creek Campground (U.S.F.S.). 46 trailer/tent sites. 12 picnic units.
104.1 1.3 Turn left to Trappers Creek Campground. 33 tent/trailer sites. 2 picnic units.
104.4 0.3 Cascade Summit, elevation 5,128 feet. Willamette Pass Ski Area is on the right. You are now back on the Willamette National Forest.
105.2 0.8 Cold Lake Snow Park and Cross Country Ski Cabin to the left. Cold Lake road to the right.
107.4 2.2 Waldo Lake junction, right. At this point you may take a side trip up the 15-mile Waldo Lake Road to the lake and camping areas.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication