Front Page, Outdoors

Outdoor report: Hallelujah! The high country is thawing out

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Melting snow has greatly improved access and parking at Odell Lake Resort. Rob DeHarpport photo
By ROB DEHARPPORT/for The Herald  —  The snow and ice are receding at a faster rate than my hairline receded back when I was in my mid twenties. That’s pretty darned fast!

Access and open water have increased greatly in the high lakes within reach of the Highway 58 corridor. The boat ramp at Odell Lake’s Sunset Cove is now accessible thanks to the USFS. It’s nice to see camp ground fees and trail pass fees being put to use. Those who know me know I rarely dish any compliments towards the Forest Service. Camp spots at Sunset Campground are still under 1-3′ of snow.

Odell Lake is near completely open

It took several days of snow blowing by the USFS to open up parking and the Sunset Cove boat ramp. Rob DeHarpport photo
Parking has opened up at Odell Lake Resort as well with our recent sunny and warm weather, for those who choose to launch a boat there. $7.00 fee to launch.  East Odell Campground maybe accessible any day, check with Odell Resort.
Shelter Cove Resort at Odell has the RV Park open for business, the snow is deep with fire pits and electric hookups likely buried. No need to purchase ice for your fish cooler! The ice has receded exponentially in a week, and looks very thin at the west end of Odell. Shelter Cove’s boat ramp is still iced in, but may open within days. $10.00 fee to launch.

Fishing is fair and getting better

Opening day of fishing season last Saturday at Odell was one of the quietest in many years. The ice on the lake and limited options to launch due to deep snow kept many anglers at home or pursuing other recreation. The anglers who did fish had a tough go catching Kokanee with the water temperatures at 34-35°. A few were caught, as well as several nice Mackinaw or Lake Trout. As the water temperature increases, so should the catching!

Crescent Lake is a tricky launch

Sunset Cove Boat ramp is open! Rob DeHarpport photo
Crescent Lake has very limited access with the resort road not completely plowed and still closed. Launching a larger boat from the shallow beach could result in getting towed out of the sand. Parking is severely limited due to snow as well a single lane of access and egress.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway is open from the cut-off road. Access to most lakes remains nonexistent due to deep lingering snow on most side roads, campgrounds and boat ramps.

South Twin Lakes Resort is open under new ownership and mostly ice free! They have rental boats in the water ready for paddlers. The Store and Restaurant are open, although the restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Paddle boats, kayaks, peddle boats and rowboat are ready at Twin Lakes Resort. Rob DeHarpport photo

Include Willamette Pass in you high country plans

With so many Campgrounds closed due to snow many options remain for those wanting to get “up on the mountain.” Willamette Pass Ski Area will remain open through mid May with some great rates! Consider renting a cabin at one of the local resorts and fishing one day and hitting the ski slopes the next. Make this year’s great snow pack a blessing rather than a curse. We sure needed it!
Check out the following businesses for cabins, rooms or camp spots withing the Highway 58 High Lakes area:
  Crescent Creek Cottages
  Odell Lake Resort
  Shelter Cove Resort
  Willamette Pass Inn
  Twin Lakes Resort
Of course more resorts will be opening as soon as they can dig out from the snow and ice and be ready for business. Those include: Cultus Lake, Elk Lake, Crane Prairie. Lava Lake and Crescent Lake. We will keep you posted as they open.
Get outside and enjoy Springtime in our beautiful area!
Rob DeHarpport was a long-term resident and former mayor of Westfir. Rob now lives in the Crescent Lake area and is The Herald’s reporter for the Outdoor Report. Rob DeHarpport photo

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