Scott Lake (Lane)
Reachcode: 17090004006177 | Area: 35.7 acres | Shoreline: 2.0 mi | View on Interactive Map
(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985) Scott Lake is one of the many lovely, pristine mountain lakes in the Central Oregon Cascades along the McKenzie Pass Highway, an area of volcanic terrain. The setting of Scott Lake is one of the most beautiful in the Cascades. It is situated in a corridor between two wilderness areas, the Three Sisters Wilderness and the Mt. Washington Wilderness; two snowcapped volcanic peaks, the South and Middle Sisters, loom dramatically over the lake, casting their mirrored reflections onto the calm waters. Geologically recent lava flows from nearby Belknap Crater stopped short of Scott Lake, leaving a jumbled unvegetated terrain that is in striking contrast to the peaceful forest of western hemlock and the meadows that surround the lake. The name Scott was derived from Felix and Marion Scott who passed by in 1862 as they blazed a trail for the McKenzie Wagon Road. Although Scott Lake is not a particularly good fishing lake, it nevertheless attracts many people because of its beauty and its convenient starting point for trips into the wilderness. A well maintained Forest Service campground is located at the south end of the lake. It is one of the few lakes in the McKenzie Pass area that can be reached by car and is therefore better known than most of the others.
Very little surface drainage is generated in this volcanic region where groundwater flow dominates. No surface streams enter or leave Scott Lake. The shape of the lake is very irregular and actually consists of three separate basins connected by narrow channels. All the basins are shallow, and the mean depth of the entire lake is only 3.5 feet. The water is very low in chemical constituents, phosphorus and chlorophyl concentrations are low, and the water transparency is very high; the bottom of the lake is visible at all depths. The present status of the lake is distinctly oligotrophic. However, because of its shallow depth it would be susceptible to any nutrient additions.