“Three Sisters Sunrise”, Scott Lake
Willamette National Forest
Oregon’s Scott Lake, located on McKenzie Pass, west of the city of Sisters, has been a favorite Oregon camping location for decades. Oregon’s Three Sisters are stunning and North, Middle, and South Sisters loom large from the Lake. Scott Lake is accessible in late spring to early summer once McKenzie Pass has been cleared of its heavy winter snowfall. The journey to the lake is often most stunning, immediately after the road(Highway 242) has been cleared as snow forms a tunnel, leading to
McKenzie Pass and the Dee Wright Observatory. The observatory was completed in 1935 by a civilian conservation corp along an old wagon route. It is composed of native lava rock, found on site and it has rock portals that help identify specific mountains that are visible from McKenzie Pass, such as the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Washington. The observatory is a worthy stop on the route west from Sisters towards Scott Lake.
Scott Lake is located 14 miles west of McKenzie Pass on forest service road 260. Many primitive campsites are located along the shore of the lake. It is a fantastic place offering epic views of the Three Sisters.
Scott Lake, the fine art photograph
Scott Lake is easily accessed during summer months and it is always photogenic. I prefer the view from the lake after fresh snow has fallen. This often occurs in spring and autumn. I’ve traveled to the lake countless times for sunrise and sunset and this is by far my favorite photograph of this gorgeous location because of the fresh snowfall and magical morning light. On the morning I captured this fine art photograph, travel was difficult due to snow covered roads. The Sisters were not visible from my hometown of Bend because of cloud cover. I made the trip, nonetheless. The conditions were stellar because clouds were holding warm morning light. A glass like surface, decorated with spiraling mist made for a magical reflection of the Three Sisters.