Typically by this time of year, the water at Sparks Lake has almost entirely drained. It makes its way through the porous lava rock and travels through the earth before popping up again at a stream. But this year, because of the significant winter snow, and some recent snow and rain, the lake has retained its water late into the season.
While there are hundreds of Cascade Lakes, Sparks Lake remains one of our favorites. Wildlife like bald eagles, beavers, and tree frogs are often visible as well as some of the most stunning views of the Cascade Range. Its windy fingers make you feel like you are discovering a place for the first time, and the frigid waters remind you that you're paddling on (or swimming in) snowmelt.
Photos by Danny Walden