Oregon's second-largest body of natural water dwells in a basin scooped out by ancient glaciers, covers 10 square miles (6,700 acres), and is 420 feet deep at some points. On a bright day, you can see 100 feet down into the water, as this is one of the purest lakes left in the world. Waldo Lake lies just outside the eastern boundary of the Wilderness, hinting at the impressive array of beautiful trout-filled lakes scattered within, including the Six Lakes Basin, Eddeeleo Lakes, and Quinn Lakes. Here in the High Cascades the terrain is characterized by moderate to steep dissected slopes with many basins, small meadows, and rocky outcroppings peaking at 7,144 feet. Roughly 98 percent of the area stands forested in Douglas fir, western hemlock, western fir, and some true fir. The northern border of Waldo Lake Wilderness is the southern border of the very popular Three Sisters Wilderness. Some 84 miles of trails lead to many of the lakes. The Waldo Lake Trail is a 22-mile loop trail around Waldo Lake itself (outside the Wilderness), and a 2.7-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail crosses the eastern portion. From North Waldo Campground, the Rigdon Lakes Trail travels 2.4 miles to peaceful Rigdon Lakes, with a rocky butte nearby that you can climb for a fine view. The trails to Six Lakes and Wahanna Lakes receive the most traffic.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Waldo Lake Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-328 (6/26/1984) To designate certain national forest system lands in the State of Oregon for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation
System, and for other purposes