Lemolo Lake is a hidden gem just 30 miles north of Crater Lake and only 10 miles north of Diamond Lake. It is at just over 4000 feet elevation and in Umpqua National Forest in southwestern Oregon. It is located on the North Umpqua River and is created by a hydroelectric power dam at the north end of the lake.The dam was constructed between 1947 and 1956 as part of a series of dams to control the flow of the powerful wild Umpqua River. The River flows through steep canyon walls heavily influenced by the volcanic formations in the area. There are steep drops and very impressive falls along the route as the river flows northwest to the pacific. Particulary impressive is Lemolo Falls not far below the Lemolo Lake Dam. It plunges 165 feet over a contorted cliff of Basaltic Rock. The falls have been described as a raucous monster. Lemolo is a Chinook word meaning "wild". We launched at a campground near the entrance of the Umpqua River and paddled upriver as far as we could before it became too shallow and fast. It was most scenic and the water was so clear one could see the bottom 20 feet below with clarity. High bluffs and firs surrounded the area. We immediately spotted a pair of River Otter. We then turned downstream and entered the lake. We passed many a campsite with fisherman. The morning was ripe with mosquitoes and swarms of insects above the water-great feeding for the fish. We doused ourselves with deet spray! We followed the border of the lake past the large dam and stopped at the Lemolo Lkae Resort where we beached and had ourselves a fine picnic after purchasing Starbuck's Frapacinos at the resort store-where they even had a modern flushing toilet and wash basin. Bill's trips are turning more upscale to appeal to his demanding clientele. He often mutters things under his breathe. The mountains provided a dramatic backdrop as we paddled back to our launch site. Mt. Thielsen is the tall sharp spire. Mt. Bailey is the snow covered more mound-like mountain. Other numerous volcanic mounds fill in the rest of the scene. What a glorious day and the temperature was in the mid 70's.

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