Big Lake Area


Image of Big Lake

Big Lake is 225 acres in size and is situated on the historic Santiam Wagon Road. It was the first resting place for early travelers heading west. A youth camp operates under special use permit on the east side of the lake. Volcanic peaks and cinder cones visible from the lake include Mt. Washington, Sand Mountain, Hoodoo Butte, Hayrick Butte and Three Fingered Jack.

Big Lake is popular for motor boating and water skiing, as well as camping, picnicking, fishing and swimming. Access to wilderness trailheads is located nearby. The nearby Santiam Pass Dispersed Motorized Recreation Area is open to Off-Highway Vehicles. A boat launch is located in the Big Lake Day Use Area (fee required). Two campgrounds are situated on the lake.

At a Glance

Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: McKenzie Bridge
Passes: Some trails and day use sites require a Recreation Pass
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger District

General Information


From McKenzie Bridge, OR, travel east on Highway 126 for 29.5 miles to Santiam Pass.

Turn right, heading south on Big Lake Road (Forest Road 2690).

Follow Big Lake Road for 3 miles to Big Lake.

General Notes:

map of area around Big Lake



Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW