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Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway
July, 2008

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Mt. Bachelor from Elk Lake
Click MOST photos to enlarge the view!
We are trying something we haven't done in a while. We left our fifth wheel at Howard Prairie and decided to go tenting on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. It is a 66 mile road to the southwest of Bend, Oregon with many lakes and lodges along the way.
Tent camping requires much more effort that we both remembered. We haven't tent camped in several years and had to buy new sleeping bags for this trip. Also, our tent is twenty-five years old and slowly dissolving. We are saving it for the grand kids next visit then discard it. Morgan loved the camping experience. Camping in a tent is not what it use to be
Rental kayaks at Elk Lake Elk Lake Resort is only eleven miles from Mt. Bachelor, a popular ski mountain. Elk lodge stays open during the winter months for snow mobile, skiers and winter tourists brought to the lodge by snow track vehicles. The summer activities are kayaking, fishing, sailing, and hiking. Elk Lake lodge is one of the three restaurants in the area.
Elk Lake Lodge Resort

The Elk Lake Lodge is above. We did not want to cook on our camping trip so made use of the three restaurants in the area. Elk Lake Lodge is one of those we tried for breakfast. We were greatly disappointed in our meal ... it was over priced (we can understand since these locations must make an annual income in only a short season, how does $33 sound for two to you?) and, the food was very poorly prepared.

The photo to the right is Lava Lake Lodge. Lava Lake is where we camped with our tent. They also had a nice RV park with full hook ups, one of the few in the area. Their laundromat and shower facility was in a new building.

Lava Lake Lodge
The view from Lava Lake Lodge Lava Lake with Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top in the distance. The lake is relatively small but is known for it's good fishing and lots of camping on or near the lake. Many of these small lakes are popular with campers who enjoy paddle sports such as canoe, kayak or paddle boats. These can be rented from the lodge.
Crane Prairie Resort is on the south side of Crane Prairie Reservoir. This was a campground Gwen and I used several years ago when camping with our Aerolite travel trailer and kayaks. It is a nice size lake for kayaking with campgrounds located on several sides of the lake. Crane Prairie Resort also has a full-hook-up RV park but we used the adjoining Forest Service campground. Crane Prairie Lake Resort
Crane Prairie Lake with Mt. Bachelor
Cultus Lake Resort

Mt. Bachelor looms above Crane Prairie Lake above.

Cultus Lake Resort was another of the resorts with a restaurant. Gwen and I ate a dinner meal and breakfast here and can highly recommend their food and service.

Cultus Lake Resort was a very comfortable resort to lounge, hike and eat. We were able to talk often with Dan and Sandi, the owners of the resort and learned much about the area. Cultus Lake is one of the larger lakes, about 2 x 4 miles. Water skiing is allowed as well as many other water sports. You can rent jet skis as well as fishing boats and canoes from the resort. The resort also rents cabins. Tent camping is located adjacent to the resort. There are also three forest service campgrounds accessible by boat or hiking only. The view from the lodge of Cultus Lake
Little Lava Lake view from Camp sites 1 through 5 The Cascade Lakes area is a nice area to return so we searched for campgrounds we would like to return to with a tent sometime in the future. We prefer a quiet area where we would not be disturbed by those nasty RV's with their generators (I'm making a joke since we own one of those). The photo to the left is a view of campsites 1 through 5 at the "Little Lava Lake" campground.
This is another of those campgrounds we would return with a tent. This is on the edge of Hosmer Lake where only paddle sports or electric motors are allowed. This is also a lake where only fly fishing is allowed so you find specialty campers here. We camped a Hosmer Lake a few years ago with our Aerolite trailer and kayaks. Hosmer Lake Campground
Twin Lakes Resort Twin Lakes Resort is the third resort with a restaurant. We had a pork rib dinner here which we found to be very good. The resort is on the South Twin. Both Twin Lakes are very small, good for paddle sports and fishing. This resort was the busiest of all the resorts we visited during our trip. The view below is of the lake from the restaurant while we enjoyed our dinner.
Twin Lakes view from inside the restaurant
This area shows the evidence of volcanic activity including many miles of lava flows. The photo to the right is Lava Flow Campground on the edge of Davis Lake. The lava is 100 feet deep and many miles long. The dark black rock to the left of the tents is lava. Lava Flo Campground
Driving the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
Results of a wild fire around Davis Lake and beyond

On June 29, 2003 a wildfire started near the south shore of Davis Lake. It burned several thousand acres. We could see the damaged forest for miles. This is Diamond Peak in the distance taken through the damaged forest. I did see many new trees about 2 feet tall among the dead trees. Apparently they were planted in a reforestation effort.

The photo below is of the Crater Lake rim. The peak to the right is Scott Peak, I don't know the name of the left peak but Mt. Mazama was between these two peaks 7,700 years ago when it blew up creating Crater Lake. See an aerial view of Crater Lake, look for the two peaks in the photo. Click the photo below to see what Mt. Mazama must have looked like. Mt. Mazama would have dwarfed any of the surrounding peaks today.

The rim of Crater Lake

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