The A-to-Zs of Central Oregon: C is for CASCADE LAKES

Did you know that just west of Mount Bachelor are a series of beautiful lakes? These are the Cascade Lakes, and we love to explore them on our canoes and kayaks in the summer. Many of them are accessible by the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which is closed during the winter months. If you're interested in exploring the lakes, we have amazing canoe and kayaking tours in the warmer months, and our Naturalist Guides can offer up even more fascinating information about these spaces. 



some of our favorite Cascade Lakes: 

Sparks Lake


This is one of our favorite lakes in the area, with amazing views and plenty of opportunities to learn about the local landscape and wildlife-- there are about 370 acres of lake wetland, surrounded by another 360 acres of meadow, marsh, and stream wetlands! Needless to say, we have a lot to share about this area's biodiversity. 

Todd Lake


Originally called Lost Lake because it was difficult to find, this lake sits at 6,150 feet, making it the highest of the Cascade Lakes. Todd Lake is right at the foot of Broken Top, and you can see some pretty stunning views from this area. We love this lake for its natural beauty and for its policy of no motorized boats, which protects this ecosystem so that plants and animals can thrive. 

Elk Lake

Photo by Danny Walden

Photo by Danny Walden

Elk Lake is a popular destination year-round, but particularly in the hot summer months. The most trafficked of the Cascade Lakes, Elk Lake is a great spot for paddling the crystal clear waters and taking in some amazing views. The lake is also home to trout and kokanee, or land-locked lake populations of sockeye salmon. 

Hosmer Lake

Photo by Danny Walden

Photo by Danny Walden

Hosmer was originally called Mud Lake, but the name was changed to honor local naturalist Paul Hosmer, whom we plan to profile on this blog at some point. This is another well-protected lake, with lots of opportunities to see local wildlife. Only fly-fishing is allowed at Hosmer, and the bulrushes provide a great habitat for the salmon and brook trout that occupy its clear waters.

Davis Lake


Davis is one of the shallower lakes but offers up some beautiful scenery. The lake was formed by a lava flow, blocking Odell Creek to form a resting body of water. This lake can cover over 3,000 acres in the winter months but becomes quite a bit smaller in the summer, when the water can easily escape through the surrounding volcanic rock. This is one of the most popular fly-fishing lakes in the Pacific Northwest. 


Photos by Danny Walden

Photos by Danny Walden


There are many more lakes to cover, but these are just a few of our favorites. We lead daily canoe trips on these amazing lakes in the warmer months.

If you're interested in seeing amazing views while sampling some amazing beers from the local breweries we outlined in last week's post, check out our super fun Brews and Views canoe tour!