Located at an altitude of 3200 feet in the Willamette National Forest is a lake, Fish Lake. In the early 1900’s a hotel, store, saloon, barn & blacksmith shop were built nearby. The area served as a popular stop for travelers crossing the Cascades via the Santiam Wagon Road. Once Highway 20 was built, it was no longer needed as a way stop. Many of the original buildings are no longer standing.
The Forest Service, though, has used this depot since 1910. Many of the log buildings built in 1924 are still standing today.
During the hot days of summer, it’s an interesting place to learn about the history of the area. In the winter, the cabins are available to rent.
There are many hiking & snowshoeing opportunities nearby.
On the opposite side of Fish Lake from the Remount Depot is a camping area. It is not an official campground. There aren’t even outhouses. But, there are places to park a trailer or pitch a tent.
Throughout the camping area are pits edged in lava rock. As a kid, I loved playing in those pits. Now my kids enjoy the pits. Falling on those horribly rough rocks hurt… a lot. But, that certainly doesn’t stop any kid from thinking those pits are the best place to play.
Whether it’s the high dessert climate of Bend or the forested area of the Cascade Mountains, central Oregon is a beautiful place to visit. As a matter of fact, I would like to start planning our next trip.
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