Fishing · Lake · Swimming
McKee Lake is within the Sky Lakes Wilderness and the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics. Camp 100 feet from fragile areas; bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. The roads and trail leading to the lake are usually closed by snow between November and May.
Need to Know
McKee Lake is located just north of the Blue Lakes Group and various maps show no established trail accessing it. But Oregon Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake with brook trout so there is a reasonably well-used social trail to it. But pay attention as you run it as it's faint in places and makes twists and turns that you might miss. The unsigned trailhead is on Forest Road 3770, the access road for Blue Canyon Trail #982
. Two miles south of the junction of Forest Road 37 and Forest Road 3770, there is a not too obvious junction with a now long abandoned logging road (FR 3770-400). Park as close as you can to this junction, taking care not to block Forest Road 3770.
The 117 square mile Sky Lakes Wilderness extends north and south along the Cascades between Crater Lake National Park and Highway 140. Within this wilderness are over 200 lakes both scattered across the area and gathered in three major (Seven Lakes Basin, Sky Lakes Area, Blue Canyon Group) and two smaller (McKee, Dwarf Lakes) lake basins. Established trails provide access to the three main lake basins and human use can be heavy in those. Not so for delightful little McKee Lake. It's just far enough off the beaten path to afford you some solitude if you want to fish, swim, or camp.
From the junction of Forest Road 3770 and Forest Road 3770-400, run south on 3770-400 (which is now just a singletrack in places) for 0.56 mi to a junction with another old road coming in from the east. Turn east here and make your way up this much faded old road for 0.2 miles. You are now at the wilderness boundary. Look to the south here for signs of a use trail. That will take you due south for 0.1 mi and then drift southeast for 0.4 mi to a large, unimproved campsite on the north shore of McKee Lake.
Shared By: Bruce Hope