Devils Lake (184) (Deschutes)

Reachcode: 17070301005429 | Area: 22.2 acres | Shoreline: 1.2 mi | View on Interactive Map

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985).  Devils Lake, a small lake in the Central Oregon Cascades, lies on the south side of the Cascade Lakes Highway about a mile west of Sparks Lake. Observers are impressed immediately with the brilliant turquoise color of the shallow lake and the clean sandy bottom. In this sense the name of the lake is a misnomer. However, is was probably applied because of the intense volcanic activity that has occurred in this region of the Cascades in recent geologic times. The lake was obviously formed by the impoundment of water by a lava flow which lies as a mass of jumbled volcanic rock at its east end. Inflow is from small surface streams, Hell Creek from the north and Tyee Creek on the west, as well as from a series of small springs which discharge from the steep southwest slope of Devil Hill.

Devils Lake is a delightful place to visit, is very scenic, and easily accessible. A good Forest Service campground on the west end of the lake provides several isolated sites for visitors. Fishing can be successful at times although the lake is not very productive and the fish are not very large; rainbow trout and eastern brook trout are both found. No motorboats are allowed on the water. Several popular hiking trails begin in the area of Devils Lake. One trail goes up Hell Creek to Moraine Lake, a favorite base camp for groups climbing South Sister. Another trail originates west of Devils Lake near Tyee Creek, and heads westward to Wickiup Plains and Rock Mesa.

This lake is a shallow with an average depth of just over three feet. The mineral content of the water is very low, characteristic of Cascade lakes. However, the concentration of phosphorus is fairly high, comparable to nearby Lava and Little Lava Lakes. The concentration of chlorophyl is low, and the water is sufficiently transparent so that the bottom of the lake is visible everywhere. The available data indicate that the lake is oligotrophic in spite of a fairly high phosphorus content