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Tumala Lakes

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

One of the lakes in the Tumala Lakes Basin (bobcat)


Tumala Lakes lie in a marshy glacial basin south of the ridge that forms the southern boundary of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. There are about six small, shallow lakes that decrease in extent as the summer progresses. Copses of hemlock, cedar, silver fir, and noble fir have colonized the hummocks in the valley. Much of the valley was a private inholding acquired from a cattle company by the Nature Conservancy in the 1980s, and has since been restored from the heavy grazing that once occurred here. Tumala Lakes are the source of Tumala Creek, which feeds the Roaring River.

The lakes can be reached from FR 4610 (Abbott Road) or via an off-trail detour from the ridge above. A use trail descends steeply from a saddle, traverses, and makes a total of eleven switchbacks to an open meadow on the valley floor. Old roads lead up both the east and west sides of the valley, but they are severely overgrown with Sitka alder and willow, especially in the middle sections.

Note that Tumala Lakes were formerly known as Squaw Lakes and appear in many guidebooks and on maps as such. In 2007, the lakes were officially renamed by the Board on Geographic Names during a campaign to eradicate the offensive word "squaw" from maps. Tumala is Chinook Jargon for "the afterlife" or "tomorrow."

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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