This scenic Central Oregon ride takes you to two pretty alpine lakes. And if you start your ride at Whitefish Horse Camp, you’ll ride through old-growth forest along the edge of Crescent Lake. It’s splendid!
Distance: 16 miles round trip from Whitefish Horse Camp, or 8 miles round trip from the Fawn Lake Trailhead
Elevation: 4,900 to 5,900 feet
This lollipop loop can be started at either Fawn Lake Trailhead, a day-use area on the shore of Crescent Lake, or at Whitefish Horse Camp, a couple of miles farther down the road. If you begin at Whitefish, you’ll follow the Metolius-Windigo Trail along the shore of Crescent Lake, through impressive old-growth forest.
When you reach the Fawn Lake Trail, you’ll begin to gain a little elevation, and when you turn onto the Pretty Lake Trail you’ll begin climbing in earnest, gaining 900 feet of elevation in 1.8 miles.
Pretty Lake is the smaller of the two lakes.
Fawn Lake is much larger, and it has a nice view of Lakeview Mountain.
Whitefish Horse Camp has 17 campsites, each with a 2- or 4-horse corral. The camp has potable water spigots next to each campsite, plus vault toilets, garbage dumpsters, manure bins, picnic tables, and fire rings. (Note: day-use parking at Fawn Lake Trailhead is free.)
From Bend, drive south on Hwy. 97 for 45 miles to the town of Crescent. Turn right on Hwy. 61 (the Crescent Cutoff) and go west 12 miles to the junction with Hwy. 58, then turn right and go north for 3.4 miles.
From Eugene, take Hwy. 58 to Oakridge and continue another 35 miles. All, turn west on Crescent Lake Hwy. Drive 2 miles, cross the railroad tracks, and immediately turn right on Road 60 (the first paved road on the right). Continue 4.3 miles to the horse camp.
You’ll find more information about Pretty Lake/Fawn Lake Loop in the Whitefish Horse Camp chapter of Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2018), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.