Elk Lake, Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
Elk Lake, South Sister and alpine wildflowers
Elk Lake is a beautiful 400 acre mountain lake locate 25 miles southwest of Bend, Oregon, on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Located at 4,900 feet of elevation, Elk Lake is one of the gems of the Cascade Lakes Region, along with nearby Hosmer Lake and Sparks Lake.
Elk Lake is one of the more popular cascade lakes and its shore include the Elk Lake Resort as well as the Elk Lake Guard Station.
The Elk Lake Resort’s extensive amenities include a marina, restaurant, bar, rental cabins, campsites,a lodge, rental equipment and more. Boating is popular activity at Elk Lake, including frequent sailboat races in summer. Sailboats in the Elk Lake Marina can be seen in the photo to the left.
The lodge offers an enchanting rustic feel and offers a wide variety of Central Oregon craft beers. There are frequent musical concert in summer. In winter, the Resort remains open, regardless of snow levels. Winter guests at the lodge and cabins can arrange for snow cat transport to Elk Lake from Mt. Bachelor. Winter typically brings heavy snows to Elk Lake making for a winter wonderland on this cascade lake.
Elk Lake,Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, has a healthy population of brook trout(up to 14 inches) and and Kokanee Salmon( 8-9 inches)
The Elk Lake Guard Station was constructed in 1929 by the the Forest Service to better service the growing number of visitors to the Cascade Lakes region southwest of Bend, Oregon. The guard station was consistently staffed with forest service personnel from the 1930’s through the 1990’s. In 1997, the Guard Station was thoroughly renovated and re-dedicated as a visitor center for travelers of the Cascade Lakes Highway.
The Guard Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
Elk Lake, Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, the Fine Art Photograph
Elk Lake is a wonderful recreational resource for visitors and residents of Central Oregon. It is popular amongst fishermen, paddle boarders and sailing enthusiasts. The lake offers several campgrounds and day use areas. My person favorite is the “Beach” picnic area, known to locals as “South Beach”. South Beach offers stunning view of South Sister and a sandy beach which is popular amongst visitors. In my fine art photograph of Elk Lake, you can see the mast of sailboats on the opposite side of the lake. My biggest struggle in capturing this wildflower filled photo of Elk Lake was dodging the dozens of hummingbirds that were zipping in and out of the scene! Please visit my Oregon Lakes Gallery to view more fine art photographs captured along the Cascade Lakes Highway.