About Loon Lake and its History
About 1,400 years ago a major landslide in the coast range of western Oregon sent a mountainside of debris and house-size boulders down into and across a deep and narrow river canyon. The resulting dam combined with the annual rainfall formed Loon Lake. At its outlet, Mill Creek drops over 120 feet in less than 1/4 mile of spectacular waterfalls and pools.
Several hundred years ago, the first inhabitants were Indians who traveled on foot from the coast and from inland valleys. They came mostly to Ash Valley to camp, gather huckleberries and hunt elk. In the year 1850, when Scottsburg was becoming an important commercial trade center, two men were following Indian trails when they discovered the lake and named it after the common Loon duck which they had seen nesting. Early settlers lived in Ash Valley where they farmed, trapped, hunted and traded for a living. Not until the 1930’s did Loon Lake receive significant attention when it was used for storing logs for transporting them by truck to the mill in Gardiner on the coast of Oregon. The logging road into the north end of the lake provided the first access by automobile. By the early 1960’s the site where logs had been loaded onto trucks became a popular recreation area for the whole family.
Protected from coastal winds, fog and milder temperatures than the coast and inland areas, Loon Lake is ideal for camping, picnicking, hunting, fishing, water-skiing, sunbathing, swimming and hiking. The natural setting among the large Douglas-Fir, Western Hemlock and Red Cedar trees, along with a sand beach, boating access and developed recreational facilities have made Loon Lake Lodge a popular scenic recreation area during the spring, summer and fall months. The fishing is the best in the coastal parts of Oregon with Largemouth Bass, Trout and many other varieties.
Services including lodging, camping, deli, store, gas, boat launch and rental, ice, firewood is available at Loon Lake Lodge. The lodge and its facilities are open for the whole family. Spend your vacation, weekend or enjoy a one-day visit to the lodge. The drive and areas around the lake are very beautiful, offering opportunities to see wildlife, nature and a hidden valley that looks a little bit like Switzerland or Austria. The lake setting at the lodge is breathtaking, summer, fall, winter and spring.