Detroit Lake Oregon

• A beautiful reservoir with warm water in the summer months
• Plenty of water activities including swimming, fishing, paddling, and boating

Detroit Lake Swimming

Detroit Lake Swimming

Detroit Lake Swimming

Blowout Creek-Detroit Lake

Located 50 miles east of Salem in the Cascade Mountains, Detroit Lake is an outdoor lover’s paradise! The Detroit Lake area does have something for everyone making this destination ideal for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, family picnics, or for a fun day out with friends.

The nine-mile-long Detroit Lake shoreline boasts exceptional scenic beauty with one of the sightseeing delights being the view of the snow-capped Mount Jefferson in the far distance. The area surrounding the lake consists of old lush forest, cliffs, rocks, and water, providing a uniquely peaceful setting with campgrounds, boat ramps, moorages, and fishing docks.

Water sports available on this stunning lake include sailing, wakeboarding, water skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding making Detroit Lake the perfect location for a fun summer day out.

Swimming Spots

North Shore of Detroit Lake

Since the beach and the lake's bottoms are sand and sharp rocks mix, this is smart to use water shoes. When the lake draws down in the fall or during dry summer, old stumps are exposed as a reminder of Old Detroit.

Located on the northwest shore of the lake, Mongold Day-Use Area has a swimming area, public boat ramp, picnic sites in shade trees, spots for fishing, drinking water source, and restrooms.  The park is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Entrance fees are charged per vehicle.

Situated 1.5 miles west of the Mongold Day-Use Area, the Detroit Lake State Park campground has two swimming areas, boat ramps, a fishing deck, a playground, basketball, and volleyball courts.

Another swimming spot is available within the city of Detroit. The eastern edge of the lake, Detroit Flats Day-Use Area is a free park with picnic sites, swimming and fishing spots.

Blowout Creek Arm

Blowout Creek SwimmingA great place for water activities, located in the picturesque canyon, is filled with bright emerald water at the southwest arm of the Blowout Creek that enters Detroit Lake.


Upper Arm Day-Use Area

Upper Arm Day-Use Area is situated along the Breitenbush River near the spot where it enters Detroit Lake. A stretch of the Breitenbush River at this spot is more calm, wide and deep.

The park is equipped with picnic tables including grills, a fishing pier, and toilets. Upper Arm is supervised by the US Forest Service and there is a fee associated with its use. To get to this area, follow 0.8 miles north from the intersection of OR-22 and OR-46.
Upper Arm Day Use - Breitenbush River
Open: May - October
Services: Toilets, picnic tables, garbage service, and barbecue grills

GPS: 44.747871, -122.142644

Detroit Lake | General Description

Open: Year-round from dawn until dusk (for day-use)
Managed by: Oregon State Park
Location: Detroit Lake State Recreation Area

Services: Flush toilets, drinking water, garbage service, fishing docks, boat ramps, picnic sites, playgrounds, and visitor center
Activities: Swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes for some locations
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high

Accommodations: Lodging in Detroit, campgrounds around the lake

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay at Salem

Elevation: 1,600 ft (480 m)

Detroit Lake is located:

  • 50 miles east of Salem
  • 81 miles west of Bend
  • 97 miles northeast of Eugene
  • 104 miles southeast of Portland.

Body of water: Reservoir
Surface area: 3,500 acres
Shoreline: 32 miles (51 km)
Maximum depth: 440 ft (130 m)

Swimming hole rating: 3 out of 5
Water quality: Transparent, algal blooms are possible
Current: None
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Sand and rocks
Water T° (summer): Warm

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Detroit Lake

From I-5,

  • Take exit 253 for OR-22 Santiam Highway East
  • Go 41 miles on Highway OR-22 to Detroit Lake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.