Detroit Lake

Blowout Creek - Detroit Lake

Detroit Lake

Detroit Lake

Detroit Lake

• A beautiful reservoir with warm water in the summer months
• The snow-capped Mt Jefferson backdrop
• Plenty of water activities including swimming, fishing, paddling, and boating

Located 50 miles east of Salem in the Cascade Mountains, Detroit Lake is 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, provides a unique peaceful setting with campgrounds, boat ramps, moorages, and fishing docks.

The water sports available on this stunning lake including sailing, wake boarding, water skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding 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 bottom are sand mixed with sharp rocks, this is smart to use water shoes. When lake draw downs in the fall or during dry summer, old stumps as a reminder of Old Detroit are exposed.

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, fishing deck, a playground, basketball and volleyball courts.

An additional spot for swimming and other water activities is available within the town 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

A great place for water activities is located at the picturesque canyon filled with bright emerald water at the southwest arm of the Blowout Creek entering Detroit Lake.

This place is popular among owners of small and big boats, swimmers as well as adrenaline-addicted cliff jumping and rope swinging enthusiasts.

Blowout Creek SwimmingLearn More...

Breitenbush River

A few beautiful swimming spots can be found along the Breitenbush River.

A fee day-use area, Upper Arm is located on a quiet cove near the spot where the Breitenbush River joins Detroit Lake. The river at Upper Arm is more calm, wide and deep. The park has picnic tables, grills, fishing pier, and toilets. There is a fee associated with its use. You can reach the park if you follow 0.8 miles north from the intersection of OR-22 and OR-46.

Detroit Lake | General Description

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

Services: Flush toilets, drinking water, garbage service, fishing docks, boat ramps, picnic sites, playgrounds, visitor center
Activities: Swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, scenic viewpoint
Accommodations: Lodging in Detroit, campgrounds

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

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

Points of Interest Nearby

Directions to Detroit Lake

From I-5,

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

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