DescriptionExtending from the high mountain country of the Cascade Crest north and south of Crater Lake eastward through the Klamath Basin to the area known as “Oregon's Outback,” the Fremont-Winema National Forest embraces more than 2 million acres. The two forests, which were administratively combined in 2002, extend over a high plateau broken by numerous faults and buttes, presenting a variety of landscapes, from sagebrush and juniper to pine forests and meadows.
So dramatic is the contrast that Lt. John Fremont in his journal of 1843 described being snowbound on a ridge in December while summer conditions prevailed in the prairie below. Fremont named these neighboring areas Winter Ridge and Summer Lake, respectively. Winter Ridge's topography is a familiar pattern—timbered slopes often rise sharply from sagebrush flatlands.
Volcanism shaped the area and left such features as Gearhart Mountain, one of the forest's highest volcanic domes. This mountain is the centerpiece of the Gearhart Wilderness Area, which is characterized by high mountain meadows, U-shaped valleys and other glacial features. The terrain of the Gearhart Wilderness makes it popular with hikers and cross-country skiers. Mountain Lakes, Sky Lakes and Mount Thielsen wilderness areas also preserve nature in its primitive state.
Other favorite areas include forest camps and dispersed sites in the Warner Mountain Range, the Crane Mountain National Recreation Trail and the southern portion of Abert Rim, a favorite hang gliding launch site. Fremont-Winema National Forest also offers small mountain lakes, the largest of which is the Thompson Reservoir. Skiing is available at the Warner Canyon Ski Area. Historic fire-lookouts and cabins are available to rent and provide breathtaking views of the forest's landscape.
Part of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail threads along the west edge of the forest. Horseback riding, hiking and cross-country skiing are popular diversions. Resorts are at Lake of the Woods and Rocky Point.
For further information contact the Information Receptionist, Fremont-Winema National Forest, 1301 South G St., Lakeview, OR 97630; phone (541) 947-2151.
Things to SeeLake of the Woods