Crescent Lake, Oregon, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Oregon - Central -

Crescent Lake, aptly named for its shape, lies on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains, in the northwest corner of Klamath County, Oregon. With 4,008 acres of sparkling blue water, and over 12 miles of wooded shoreline and sandy beaches, the lake offers visitors plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation and family fun.

Crescent Lake is located within the Deschutes National Forest. The densely wooded area features many challenging trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and areas for off-road vehicles. There are also boat ramps that provide opportunities for sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, fishing, and swimming. Fish species found in the lake include kokanee salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and mountain whitefish. Lake trout caught in the lake consistently run in the five- to 10-pound range with an occasional 20-pounder. In 1993, a 30-pound lake trout was pulled from Crescent Lake. Note: Although most fish taken from Oregon lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Oregon Fish Consumption Guidelines (link below) before eating fish caught from any Oregon waterway.

A small wooden dam constructed across Crescent Lake in 1922 was replaced by a 40 foot-high concrete dam in 1956 by the Bureau of Reclamation. During the summer months, Crescent Lake is used for irrigation, and the water level can drop as much as 15 feet. With an average depth of 124 feet, the drop in water level is barely noticeable to boaters and anglers.

Families who like to camp when they vacation will find a number of campgrounds around Crescent Lake, nearby Odell Lake, and within the Deschutes National Forest. Crescent Lake stretches five miles long and four miles wide for plenty of private spots to set up tents or trailers. In addition to campsites, visitors can pick from many private vacation rentals and real estate in the surrounding area.

For non-water related outdoor activities, the Deschutes National Forest offers over one million acres for exploration. Within the Forest there are five wilderness areas, six scenic rivers, the Metolius Conservation Area, the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Crescent Lake is located within the Crescent Ranger District Wilderness Area. The Newberry National Volcanic Monument contains over 50,000 acres of lakes, obsidian fields, lava formations and waterfalls. Although the road to the monument’s highest point, Paulina Peak at 7985 feet, is narrow and unpaved, it is the showcase of the Newberry Volcano crater. In the winter, the crater offers more than 100 miles of snowmobile trails. Over seven million people visit the Deschutes National Forest every year.

Crescent Lake is approximately 75 miles southeast of Eugene off State Highway 58 and 65 miles southwest of Bend from State Highway 97. Eugene is one of the state’s largest cities and is home to the University of Oregon. Rated as one of the top ten cycling cities in the U.S., Eugene offers mile after mile of biking, walking and jogging paths. The city is also known for its cultural events and alternative lifestyles, with reminders of the 1960s seen throughout the area. Bend is a friendly and inviting town nestled between the snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Mountains. Known for its year-round outdoor activities, visitors to Bend enjoy skiing, snowboarding, golfing, fishing, hiking, biking and rafting. Vacation rentals, shopping and all the latest amenities can be found in both towns.

Whether you’re into challenging hikes or just laid-back wildlife watching, the Crescent Lake area is home to countless, year-round outdoor recreation opportunities. Anglers can enjoy world-class stream, lake, and ice fishing in the area’s many rivers and lakes. For outdoor lovers, hundreds of miles of trails to transport riders and hikers into vast, unspoiled wilderness and a diverse range of wildlife makes the Deschutes National Forest a premier destination for anglers, bird-watchers, and photographers alike.

Things to do at Crescent Lake OR

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Forest
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Crescent Lake OR

  • Brown Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Crescent Lake OR Photo Gallery

Crescent Lake OR Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Tumalo Irrigation District

Surface Area: 4,008 acres

Shoreline Length: 12 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,839 feet

Average Depth: 124 feet

Maximum Depth: 265 feet

Water Volume: 566,600 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1956

Water Residence Time: 13 years

Drainage Area: 57 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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