Summer Lake is an unincorporated community in northern Lake County, Oregon, United States. It is located on Oregon Route 31 approximately Halfway between Bend and Lakeview. It is located at the base of the eastern slope of Winter Ridge adjacent to the Fremont-Winema National Forests. Summer Lake, for which the town is named, is one of the largest in Oregon at approximately 20 miles (32 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide. It was named by Captain John C. Frémont during his 1843 mapping expedition through Central Oregon.
Facilities in Summer Lake include a post office, gas station, store, motel, restaurants, and several bed and breakfast establishments.
Parks and Recreation
There is a wayside park located across the highway from the post office and store that has six interpretive markers highlighting the Frémont Expedition's travel through the Summer Lake basin, the geology of the Summer Lake region, and Oregon's Outback Scenic Byway.
Museums and Sites of Interest
Summer Lake is home to the well-preserved nineteenth-century Harris School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1890 by the Harris family, who were among the first pioneer families to settle in the Summer Lake area. The school closed in 1919, and then briefly reopened in 1926 for three more years. In 1929, Summer Lake students began attending school in Paisley twenty miles (32 km) south of Summer Lake.
The Summer Lake Basin supports more than 250 species of birds including bald eagles, Canada geese, white faced ibis, yellow-headed blackbirds, goshawks, hermit thrushes, red-tail hawks, great blue herons, and numerous species of ducks. This makes Summer Lake a favorite bird watching and hunting area.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains the Summer Lake Wildlife Area on the north side of the lake. The refuge consists of a large wetland marsh fed by the Ana River and associated high desert uplands with an 8.3-mile (13.4 km) tour route open to the public most of the year.