About an hour Southwest of Bend, the Waldo Lake trail (also called the Jim Weaver Loop) is an epic 20 mile loop in the Willamette National Forest.
Sitting at 5400′ the trail is covered with snow late into the season. With summer comes hoards of mosquitoes — so early fall when it drys out and cools off is prime riding season at Waldo.
Waldo is Oregon’s second largest lake, covering more than 10 square miles. One of the clearest and purest lakes in the world, you can see to depths of over 100 feet on a calm day. Water enters the lake from snow melt and subsurface flows so there is very little soil erosion entering the lake — resulting in its deep indigo color.
Views of the lake are plentiful around the entire loop – and the trail meanders through rugged boulders, some swampy wet areas, and picturesque burned forest. There is a little bit of everything. Some sections are technically black, but they are fairly short.