My wife and I brought our canoe along on a recent day trip, and though it would have been easy to simply walk the edge of the lake to find a private spot to swim and lounge about, it was fun to paddle to our shady hideaway and float our canoe around the lake.
The high walls surrounding the small lake make it something like a cathedral. And the cool, clear water is very inviting – shockingly cold at first, then a balm in the summer heat.
The fishing is good, or just swim, lounge and watch the day go by.
Lake Cleveland was so named for late president Grover Cleveland when he lost the 1888 presidential election to Benjamin Harrison whose name, in triumph, went to the towering Mount Harrison nearby (Cleveland would go on to regain the presidency after Harrison’s one term – the only president with non-consecutive terms in US history).
Mt. Harrison, at 9,285 ft, is in fact just a short drive up the slope from Lake Cleveland and well worth a visit. There’s a fire tower at the peak and gated platforms great for taking in the vista of wide-open Idaho below. The peak is famed for the 1945 air disaster when a B-24 crash claimed the lives of nine servicemen.
For more information about Lake Cleveland and the City of Rocks Scenic Byway, lodging, or planning a trip, go to visitsouthidaho.com
Lake Cleveland and Mount Harrison are one of many stops on the City of Rocks Scenic Byway – a lovely drive through farm, ranch and mountain terrain in a loop around the Albion Mountains. To get to Lake Cleveland, travel south from the Declo/Albion exit of I-84 (#216) through the town of Albion, and follow signs to Pomerelle Ski Resort. Turn right at the entrance to Pomerelle and follow signs to Lake Cleveland.
Read what my wife, Times-News Editor Autumn Agar, wrote about our trip in her recent blog: Climb to Escape Idaho Enemy #1
Or watch a Scenic Video of Lake Cleveland