Along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway you find a lovely string of alpine lakes on the east side of the Cascade Range in the Deschutes National Forest. This beautiful landscape was created by volcanos and carved by glaciers. Views of Mt Bachelor, the Sisters, and other snow-capped peaks can be seen along the byway and from each lake
Sparks Lake – Sparks Spring Bloom & Clouds Over Sparks
One viewpoint of Sparks Lake has a memorial devoted to Oregon’s Photographer Laureate. This is what he had to say about this location shortly before his death:
“It has a beauty all its own, standing out from any other place in the state of Oregon.”
- Ray Atkeson, May 10, 1990
(February 13, 1907 – May 25, 1990)
“Despite being considered ‘the dean of Northwest nature photography’ by the New York Times, Ray Atkeson’s vast oeuvre of winter sports photography and alpine landscapes has been curiously passed over by the history of photography. Atkeson was born in 1907 on a farm near Grafton, Illinois, and started using a Brownie box camera at the age of 15.”
– Source HuffPost
Sparks Lake is named for a 19th-century rancher, "Lige" Sparks from the Bend area. We have visited this location twice and plan to return.
Elk Lake – Elk Lake Sailing & Elk Beach Memories
Another magically beautiful lake as all the Cascades Lakes are. Elk Lake was a second choice for us and I am glad the campground we had planned to stay in was full. Once again with boats, lakes, mountains, and late evening sun we has a serene quiet and calming place to camp, hike, and photograph. I love places where we can park the truck and walk to where we want to photograph and then climb into the camper and go to sleep thinking of what we just saw.
Hosmer Lake – Ready to Fish
Hosmer Lake was originally named Mudd Lake; in 1962 the United States Board on Geographic Names changed it to Lake to Hosmer Lake in honor of Paul Hosmer, a naturalist from Bend, Oregon. We stopped by Hosmer on our way to Crater Lake National Park. All the lakes are great fishing locations and are active with anglers and paddlers. This boat was a father and son’s just about ready to embark on their fishing excursion in this beautiful location.
Lava Lake – Lava Lake Evening & Variation on a Theme at Lava Lake
We discovered Lava Lake when we discover the scenic byway by chance. The drive was amazing and we pulled off at many of the lakes along the way. I spotted Lava Lake Campground on the map and decided that would be where we set up camp. What a delightful place and great decision. The evening was magical with the late evening light. Both Photo Dog Jackson and I spent hours walking around the dock and shoreline.
The entire 66 mile length of road has a wonderful mosaic of landscapes folding out before you as you drive along. I hope you enjoy some of the scenes of this beautiful area.