In the southeastern corner of Oregon, a hidden wonder shimmers — Lake Abert.
Covering an area of 105 square miles, Lake Abert is the sixth largest lake in Oregon. It is as shallow as it is broad, just 5 feet deep on average. It is the only saline lake in Oregon, and one of just six saline lakes in the U.S.
Lake Abert provides a crucial pitstop for the migratory birds that traverse the Pacific Flyway and replenish their energy by feasting on alkali flies and brine shrimp that are adapted to live in this saline environment. With huge flocks of shorebirds, waterbirds and waterfowl all congregating here at once, it can be a pretty raucous place during the spring and fall migration.
Located midway between the present-day towns of Burns and Lakeview, the Lake Abert area also boasts of a long history of use by Indigenous people. Artifacts, settlements, and petroglyphs dating back thousands of years found near the lake challenge the current understanding of the culture of the Chewaucan people.