Silver Lake Forest Loop

Silver Lake Forest Loop: Address, Silver Lake Forest Loop Reviews: 5/5

Silver Lake Forest Loop
Paved roads through forests totaling 41.3 miles.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3 reviews
Very good

Lorenzo B
Sisters, OR173 contributions
Oct 2012 • Friends
The landscape around Silver Lake, Oregon contains many hidden treasures for the intrepid explorer. It is around 60 miles to any town large enough to have a full grocery store, so any visitors need to be well supplied with basic travel necessities, although gas and liquor and snacks are available in the tiny town of Silver Lake. Silver Lake is one of those blink and you missed it towns, however there is a fair number of people living in the general area. This area is mostly cattle and horse ranch and hay growing farm type land. The Forest Loop is a great way to get a feel for the land, as it starts in the lower ranch lands, which are very desert like with lots of basalt rock ridges sparsely populated by Juniper trees and Sage and Bitter brush and thence meanders to areas like Thompson Reservoir and Yamsay Mountain, which have thick stands of Ponderosa Pine and Sugar Pine and Fir trees. The basin areas have many springs and seeps, but this whole area gets very little rainfall, and very much lives up to its title of being the High Desert.

Some great treasures in the area, that take some time to explore are Table Mountain, easily accessed off Highway 31, and with its flat top, quite obvious why it is so named. Duncan Reservoir, also only a short distance of the Highway, but up a rocky dirt road is a nice quiet place with some lovely campsites. No firewood here to speak of, so bring some with you if you wish to have a campfire. Many of the areas around Silver Lake are BLM lands, and just like National Forest lands, they are open to camping. Many of these areas have dead Juniper which makes great firewood, a chainsaw helps greatly to chop some wood though. Thompson Reservoir has good fishing and camping, and has few other visitors most of the time. Klamath Marsh, the northern portion of the whole Klamath Lake basin is not too far south of Thompson Reservoir and it offers great bird watching. Another point of interest is Picture Rock Pass, just a few miles east of Silver Lake, so called because of some ancient Native American Pictographs, these can be challenging to locate, so allow a few hours to search around, these images were painted on the Basalt with red pigment, and they are somewhat faded by time, but very fascinating to view. This whole basin, named over all Christmas Valley, has many archeological sites. Right next to the eastern edge of the actual Silver Lake, (which rarely really has any water in it) an archeological dig was made on a site named Carlon Village by the University of Oregon. At Fort Rock Cave, Dr Luther Cressman of the University of Oregon found sandals of woven Sage Brush that are around 10,000 years old!!

All in all, exploring this area can take a great deal of time, tiny creeks gurgle through jagged basaltic canyons, and Trout and Beaver lurk in these little micro environments. Mule Deer and Elk thrive in these areas, hunting for their shed antlers in the spring is great fun. Just remember the desert rules: bring good maps, and know how to use them to navigate! Also bring lots of water, and a full tank of gas! Be prepared to spend a night out in case of vehicle failure, it is a long way back to town from many of these locations, and cell service is very spotty! Also be apprised, spending time here is generally ROUGHING IT! There is only bathrooms in the few little towns, and there is very little lodging available. However the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant is in this area, and it is well worth a visit, see their website first though, they require advance reservations and take cash only!
Written March 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bend, OR28 contributions
great drive with beautiful scenery and so close to the Cowboy Dinner Tree where you can get the best steak dinner ever.
Written March 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frederiksberg, Denmark49 contributions
Jul 2016
This is a loop initially on tarmaced later gravel roads from Silver Lake. The the western road down to Thompson Reservoir - this is a must for birders with Clark's Grebes, Forster's tern and American White Pelicans.
Continue through the quite varied and in places open dry forest and take the road down to Summer Lake. Panoramic views over a desert landscape. We did not return to Silver Lake
Written August 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing