Waldo Lake

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Go to the Oregon Birding Trails website.  http://www.oregonbirdingtrails.org/ Choose the Cascades Birding Trail. Click on the “trail guide” and choose the Three Sisters Loop Guide. Section 97.

Additional information can be found at the following link.  http://www.oregonwild.org/waters/waldo-lake

There are three campgrounds on the lake – Shadow Bay at the south end of the lake, Islet, and North Waldo at the north end of the lake.


Habitat and Birds

This spot is productive for high elevation species, and is subject to snowy conditions sometimes late into the spring and early summer. There is a natural surface trail the circles the lake and is popular with mountain bikers, so if you’re hiking/birding on the trail, watch out for them.  Taylor Burn Road (off-road 4WD’s only) and that portion of the trail along the north end of Waldo Lake (both accessible from the North Waldo parking area) are both good places to take birding hikes. In 1996 the Charlton Butte Fire burned over 10,000 acres at the north end of Waldo Lake, so if you take a hike on the Taylor Burn road or the trail along the north end of the lake, you will see the burned forest that is starting to regenerate.  This burned area has provided nesting habitat for Black-backed Woodpeckers, Mountain Bluebirds, Cassin’s Finches, etc., but destroyed the breeding habitat for the local Boreal Owls.  They may still breed in the forest habitat around Charlton Lake, which is outside the fire area and east of the crest of the Cascades, which puts it in Deschutes County. This area burned again in the Cedar Creek fire in 2022.

The eBird hotspot link for Shadow Bay Campground is:  https://ebird.org/hotspot/L15555233 The eBird hotspot link for Islet Campground is:  https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1160652 The eBird hotspot link for North Waldo Campground is:  https://ebird.org/hotspot/L6114462

Bring mosquito repellent.