Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
Cascade Lakes Must See Tour
|Departure:||Drake Park, Oregon|
|Destination:||Osprey Observation Point, Oregon|
|Time to allow:||1 day|
As you drive along the Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway, note the beautiful lakes, eleven in all that gives the road its name. There are lush meadows and historic sites to visit, as well as some short hiking trails.
Start: Drake Park (OR)
Make sure to spend some time exploring the charming downtown Bend which includes beautiful Drake Park.
Stop 2: Swampy Lakes (OR)
From previous stop: 25 minutes / 17.12 mi (27.4 km) Directions:
Drive southwest on NW Congress St toward NW Riverside Blvd, turn left onto NW Kansas Ave, right onto NW Wall St, then right onto NW Colorado Ave. After .4 miles, enter the next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto SW Colorado Ave and then take the next roundabout and the 3rd exit onto SW Century Dr. Pass through 1 roundabout and drive for 13.8 miles. Turn left and drive for 1.5 miles before ending at Swampy Lakes.
Suggested time at this stop: 1 hour
Fifteen miles west of Bend on the Cascade Lakes Highway are hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing opportunities. From the trailhead at the north end of the parking lot, skiers or hikers can enjoy a variety of marked trails from 2 to 10 miles in length. The area provides five shelters that are usually stocked with wood in the winter.
Stop 3: Mt. Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort (OR)
From previous stop: 11 minutes / 7.41 mi (11.9 km) Directions:
Drive southeast and drive for 1.5 miles before turning right and then right again onto Cascade Lakes Hwy. After 5.7 miles, end at Mt. Bachelor Ski Area.
Suggested time at this stop: 2 hours
Enormous Mt. Bachelor dominates the horizon of smaller peaks, and is one of the nation's best and most popular ski resorts. Great snow typically lasts through June. During summer, the Summit Express lift takes sightseers to the 9,065-foot peak. The dramatic 360-degree view overlooks a volcanic skyline stretching from California to Washington.
Stop 4: Dutchman Flat (OR)
From previous stop: 2 minutes / 0.97 mi (1.6 km) Directions:
Drive southeast on Cascade Lakes Hwy then turn left and drive for .8 miles before ending at Dutchman Flat.
Suggested time at this stop: 30 minutes
Just west of the entrance to Mt. Bachelor, a whole new scenic landscape beckons to be enjoyed and appreciated. By some quirk of nature, the small pumic desert, called Dutchman Flat, has not accumulated enough soil nutrients to sustain the growth of many plants. Pusspaws with pink blooms and sulfur flowers with yellow blooms are a few of the hardy plants that grow in this unique area. Take note of it as you pass by as this was where the movie, 'How the West was Won,' was filmed.
Stop 5: Todd Lake (OR)
From previous stop: 4 minutes / 1.7 mi (2.7 km) Directions:
Drive northwest and then make a slight right. After 1.3 miles, end at Todd Lake.
Suggested time at this stop: 2 hours
A short walk from the parking area, this picturesque, small lake is just the place for the visitor looking for a secluded tent camping area without the noise of traffic and motors.
Stop 6: Green Lakes Trailhead (OR)
From previous stop: 17 minutes / 5.76 mi (9.2 km) Directions:
Drive northwest and then turn right onto NF-370 and continue for 3.9 miles. Turn left onto NF-380. After 1.8 miles, end at Green Lakes Trailhead.
Suggested time at this stop: 20 minutes
This trail is one of several access points into the Three Sisters Wilderness area. On this trail and other trails in Three Sisters, wildlife is running everywhere and can be seen in abundance along the trails. Most common on these trails are deer, the Golden-Mantled ground squirrel, and the noisy Clark's Nutcracker.
End: Osprey Observation Point (OR)
From previous stop: 1 hour 12 minutes / 50.08 mi (80.1 km) Directions:
Drive east on NF-380, after 1.8 miles, turn right onto NF-370. Continue driving for 3.9 miles and then turn left. After 1.4 miles, make another left, then three times more before making a right onto Cascades Lakes Hwy. Continue on the road for 3.1 miles before turning right onto NF-45. After 11.5 miles, turn left onto NF-40 and drive for 4 miles before turning right onto S. Century Drive. Drive for 3 miles before turning right onto CR-42 and drive for another 19.4 miles before making another right then a left to end at Osprey Observation Point.
Suggested time at this stop: 15 minutes
Constructed in 1929, it has become an outstanding fishing area and a breeding ground for the Osprey, identified as a potentially endangered species in 1969. From the parking lot, a short walk takes you to an observation area on the west side of the reservoir. Here you can view snags and artificial nesting poles inhabited by the birds. Many visitors are entertained as Osprey dive for fish from more than a hundred feet above the water.
Totals for Day 1
|Total Distance Traveled:||83.04 miles / 132.9 km|
|Total Travel Time:||2 hours 11 minutes|
|Total Stopping Time:||6 hours 5 minutes|