This falls into the category, “Things that are too strange to be true, but are.”
Nature, and all of its odd features and phenomenon, is what compels us to do the work that we do. We protect the world we play in by planting 10 trees for each item purchased in our store. When we heard about this strange lake in Oregon, we had to know more.
Lost Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest might possibly be the strangest lake in the United States. It fills up every Winter, during Oregon’s rainy season, and then slowly dries up during the drier months of Summer. The reason for its yearly demise is quite simple. There’s a hole in the lake. But, how did it get there and how does the lake ever fill up if there’s a hole at the bottom?
The answer to that question is more simple than you might think. In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Dave Kretzing, a retired hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service, explained:
“This hole is around 7 to 8 feet in diameter. It’s about 6 feet deep. It’s got rubble in the bottom. The water is passing through the hole and its passing underneath lava into a buried channel of a tributary of the McKenzie River. Whether it’s a lava tube or whether it just is a sink hole into a buried channel, we don’t know unless we did (sic) some kind of seismic investigation.” Kretzing said.
In the winter, this underground channel fills. So, the “drain hole” empties the lake more slowly. When the water flow in the channel slows during the summer, the lake water flows more quickly down the drain, causing the lake to empty.
Over the years, unauthorized people have attempted to fill the hole. Kretzing said, “I know that it was reported to us in 2003 in fact at that time we went up and found a gentleman and his two grandchildren frantically shoveling material, rocks in to block the hole to save the fish. We didn’t really want them to do that but their hearts were in the right place,”
Experts aren’t sure that the hole could ever be filled. But, should anyone actually be successful in doing so, it would be devastating to the area around that lake. The road around the lake, as well as some structures, were planned with the disappearing lake in mind. If the hole were plugged, flooding would cause quite a bit of damage in the area.
Despite the fact that the lake drains in the summer, there is a campground and resort on the lake that is a popular destination for travelers. This is, in no small part, due to the gorgeous scenery in the area and the absolutely breathtaking view of Mt. Hood and its glaciers. There are also over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails and numerous family activities for nature lovers to do.