Summer Lake is a small community built around a lake of the same name that attracts many visitors to view its changing water levels and “dust storms,” a phenomenon caused by salts and alkali blown up from the sometimes-dry lake bottom. The community is surrounded by natural resources that provide opportunities for outdoors-loving folks and their pups to get out into the open air for hiking, camping, and other activities! While there are no veterinarians in Summer Lake, you’ll find an animal hospital in Lakeview ready and able to make your fur-buddy smile again!
The dog-friendly Summer Lake Wildlife Area is a wildlife refuge covering about 30 square miles that includes wetlands, dry lake basin, open water, marsh, and mudflats. Many come to the refuge to spot and photograph birds, which are in abundance, from waterfowl to songbirds. The refuge offers primitive camping on the meadows and gravel flats, but the pup-friendly Lodge at Summer Lake provides indoor accommodations with your pooch for a small additional fee. They offer hotel rooms and lakeside cabins, and a restaurant called The Flyway that serves up steaks, seafood, chicken, and chops, and Fido can join you for a picnic meal prepared and packed by the restaurant to-go! Arf!
Whatever your reason for being in the Summer Lake area, you’re sure to find outdoor activities that will suit both you and your furry bestie!
The Fremont-Winema National Forest lies alongside Summer Lake on Route 31. Its 2.3 million acres are comprised of forestland, mountains and flat meadows, and sage basins, and it is a place where many come to find solitude and enjoy nature, along with their fur-babies! The Fremont National Recreational Trail travels most of the length of the Fremont side of the forest, north to south, and is open for hiking, with Fido on a leash. Access points are scattered along the trail, including at Summer Lake. And for staying overnight, choose from forest camps with minimal services and lots of quiet, or campgrounds with good drinking water and more on-site maintenance where you can tent, park your RV, or rent a cabin! Woofderful!
is a town nestled against the Warner Mountains on the edge of the high desert
called the Oregon Outback, and is also the
home of the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. The refuge features vast and rugged
open space for hiking and camping, and your fur-pup is welcome to join you
on-leash! Prong-horn antelope are protected
here, as well as the plants that grow on the mountain. A natural hot spring and
run-off from the mountain have created an oasis where you and Fido can get away from it all. Besides the prong-horn, other wildlife species make
this their habitat, including many birds, small mammals, lizards and bighorn
sheep. There are no maintained trails in the refuge, but there are several open
roads to take you to camping areas and
observation spots, and you’re welcome to hike the backcountry, but be sure to come prepared with a compass, plenty of
water, good boots and other essential gear for desert
A few miles west of Summer Lake is where you’ll find the dog-friendly Crater Lake National Forest, named for the clear, deep body of water that was formed by an erupting volcano many centuries ago. This pawsome spectacle is a great place to visit with your fur-pup, perfect for hiking and walking around the lake’s high rim, or on mountain trails above. With over 90 miles of trails, there’s sure to be one just right for you, but be aware that leashed dogs are limited to Lady of the Woods and Godfrey Glen Trails, both 30-minute hikes. The campground at Mazama Village is also pup-friendly, and it’s here you can walk a ¼-mile promenade with furtastic views of the lake. With 214 sites for tents and RVs, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for you and Fido to lay your heads at Mazama Village, too!
The La Pine State Park lies in a forest in the mountains in this neighborhood of La Pine, amid clear, cool lakes and wilderness pawrfect for exploring with your fur-baby, on his leash. A river full of fish flows through the park, and mountain-habitat birds, including hawks and eagles, are abundant. The Forest has a campground with 10 log cabins, 2 of which are dog-friendly, and over 100 tent and RV sites where the pup is welcome to join you. Boasting hot showers and flush toilets, and a fenced, off-leash dog exercise area, the campground is a great jumping-off point for your park adventures. Be sure to visit “Big Red,” Oregon’s largest ponderosa pine! The park and campground are open year-round.
Chiloquin is a small community west of Summer Lake, and home to the dog-friendly Sun Pass State Forest, which lies near the southeastern corner of Crater Lake National Park. The Forest’s 34,000 acres covers mostly undeveloped land with some areas cleared for camping, but with no formally marked trails. That shouldn’t stop you and Fido from exploring, however. Just remember to bring a compass, plenty of water and layered clothing, among other wilderness hiking gear. The primitive campsites, most of which are located along Sun Creek, feature fire pits and can be accessed from main roads, as well. With over 250 species of wildlife, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and large and small mammals, there is plenty to for you and Fido to look out for! Pawsome!