Detroit Lake

Quick Facts

Detroit Lake


(541) 937-2131

Map Directions

Things To Do


Located in the rugged mountain forests below Mt. Jefferson, Detroit Lake is stored water from the Santiam River. Detroit Dam rises 463 feet above its foundation in the narrow, steep and rocky slopes of the North Santiam Canyon. The 400-foot-deep lake was created in 1953 when the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers completed the Detroit Dam project. The lake is over nine miles long with more than 32 miles of shore line. The dam provides controlled runoff, flood control, irrigation, downstream navigation improvement, recreation opportunities and power generation, while preserving the quality of the Valley's environment.

While the Army Corps of Engineers does not maintain any public use facilities around Detroit Lake, several state parks have been developed along its shore. The nearby Detroit Lake State Park offers camping with electric campsites, a swimming beach, and various types of hiking trails. North Santiam State Park is also located on the shores of Detroit Lake. The Mongold day use area also offers a boat ramp for visitors to the lake.

Visitors should note that the nearby Big Cliff Lake is currently closed to all recreation access due to safety concerns. The closure will continue until all repairs to the Big Cliff Dam are completed.

Map of Detroit Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 44.723320, -122.185822



  • Boating

    A boat ramp at the Mongold day use area offers visitors with access to Detroit Lake.

  • Camping

    Hoover Campground, Piety Island Campground, and South Shore Campground are all maintained by the Forest Service and offer camping near Detroit Lake.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is a popular activity for visitors to Detroit Lake.

  • Hiking

    Hiking trails are available at the nearby Detroit Lake State Park.

  • Water Sports

    Swim beaches are available in the Forest Service and State Park lands surrounding the lake.

Park Partners



From Salem, the lake is located 45 miles east on OR 22.

Phone Numbers


(541) 937-2131