Summer Lake Literature

Summer Lake is both an unincorporated community and a large, shallow, alkali lake located in Lake County, Oregon, United States.

The lake:

  • At high water, it is about 15 miles (24 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) wide, and supports a wide variety of birds and other wildlife in its marshes.
  • The lake was named by explorer John C. Frémont on his expedition into Central Oregon in 1843.
  • The main source of fresh water is the small spring-fed Ana River, which is used for irrigation.
  • Today, Summer Lake and Abert Lake are separated by 20 miles (32 km) and are the only remnants of Lake Chewaucan.
  • At high water, Summer Lake is about 15 miles (24 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) wide; however, water levels fluctuate dramatically, and sometimes the lake is almost dry in summer.

The community:

  • The small community of Summer Lake has a population of around 90 residents.
  • It is located on Oregon Route 31, approximately halfway between Bend and Lakeview.
  • The community is situated at the base of the eastern slope of Winter Ridge adjacent to the Fremont-Winema National Forests.


  • The area is popular for bird watching, as over 200 species of birds have been spotted here.
  • Summer Lake Wildlife Area, established in 1944, is a popular destination for hunting, wildlife viewing, and environmental education. The best time to visit for viewing migrating waterfowl is March to April, while May to July is prime time for breeding waterfowl and shorebirds.
  • Fishing is another popular activity, with the lake being stocked with various fish species.
  • Hiking and camping are also enjoyed in the surrounding areas.

Overall, Summer Lake offers a unique combination of natural beauty, a small-town atmosphere, and diverse recreational activities.

Summer Lake
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Summer Lake
Summer Lake
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