- Marion County)
(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985). Breitenbush Lake lies on a high plateau near the crest of the Cascade Mountains. It is one of numerous lakes in a glaciated basin north of Mt. Jefferson. Olallie Lake, about three miles north, is the largest in this area, and thus lends its name to this section of the Cascades. Breitenbush Lake was named for the river, in turn named for John Breitenbush, pioneer hunter of the North Santiam region. The name was applied to the river in the fall of 1872 by John Minto's official exploring party and is also used for other features in the area such as the Breitenbush Hot Springs and Post Office.
The volcanic terrain yields relatively little surface flow. Small creeks feed Breitenbush Lake, but most of the inflow is a result of seepage. Outflow is apparently limited to a channel shared with a nearby small pond, but surface flow does not appear to be continuous. On many maps, outflow is shown directly into the North Fork of the Breitenbush River. Topographic relief is the surrounding area is gentle to the north and east and more rugged to the west and south where Campbell Butte rises. A dense, mixed conifer forest blankets the landscape.
Skyline road, a popular summer route through the Cascades, passes through the Olallie Lake area and permits access to the gravel road leading to Breitenbush Lake. This route is generally closed by snow until June, but through the summer this scenic area receives much use by Oregonians. Fishing is reported to be excellent at times and the lake is stocked periodically. There is some natural production of brook trout and rainbow trout.