Fish Lake Interpretive Day Use


This site is the gateway to the Fish Lake Historic Site, also known as the Fish Lake Remount Depot, along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and the West Cascades National Scenic Byways.

The day use area with picnic tables and interpretive signs sits adjacent to  Fish Lake, A viewing platform takes you to the lake's edge.  Fish Lake is a seasonal lake which only has water in  winter and spring. In the summer, the water drains underground, leaving a lush meadow.

Follow the path through the replica of a toll gate to view the historic site, once a popular rest stop for weary travelers on the Santiam Wagon Road.

Find out more about the history of this area below:

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Fees No Fee
Usage: Heavy
Operated By: Willamette National Forest
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger Station

General Information


 See video for accessibility information.


From McKenzie Bridge, OR, follow Highway 126 east for 22 miles to Fish Lake Interpretive Site.

General Notes:
  • Viewing area, canoe launch, garbage receptacles
  • The lake dries up in the summer time which limits fishing and swimming.

Close to:

Recreation Map

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Day Hiking

Nature Viewing

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Toilets Vault
Picnic tables
Interpretive Site
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3200 feet