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Central Oregon is the perfect place for a scenic drive getaway. The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway starts in Sunriver, Oregon, and is undoubtedly the perfect drive to take in the beautiful variety of the Central Oregon landscape, especially during the fall months.

Driving the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, you’ll journey through wide swaths of pine forests sprinkled with shimmering alpine lakes, with several volcanic cones dominating the horizon. A vacation home from Village Properties at Sunriver is an ideal starting point for your drive through the Cascade Lakes. The Byway is not only one of the prettiest scenic drives in the US but also one of the richest drives for recreational activity. Here’s what you can expect to see and do on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

Facts about Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway

Here are some quick facts about this standout attraction miles away from Village Properties at Sunriver. 

  • It runs for 66 miles.
  • The byway starts out as Century Drive in Bend, journeys through the Cascade Mountains, and ends near Crescent Lake
  • The entire drive lasts 3-5 hours
  • There are 14 crystal clear alpine lakes along Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
  • Places that are connected to the byway include Bend, Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top Trailhead, Sparks Lake, Elk Lake, Little Lava Lake, and Crane Prairie Reservoir.
  • Just off the road are the hiking trailheads to Benham Falls, Dillon Falls, and Lava Island

Sparks Lake

Sparks Lake is the first high alpine lake highlight on your trip along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, with 370 acres of lake wetland surrounded by another 360 acres of wildflower meadows and marsh. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and the 10,358-foot South Sister, Sparks lake, with its wildflowers and volcanic views, is like a picturesque Central Oregon postcard.

Sparks Lake is a popular paddle boarding location, but for those looking for a dryer activity – the Green Lakes Trailhead parking area is across from Sparks Lake on the Byway road.

Elk Lake

Another great lake for paddling, kayaking, or swimming, Elk Lake is so translucently clear you can see to the bottom of the lake from any location on the surface. Feel like fishing? The kokanee fish are abundant where the lake is deepest at the south end near the lava flow. Sandy beaches, perfect for lounging, encircle Elk Lake. Pro-tip, this famous lake is very popular, so you’ll want to get to the Elk Lake Campground early if you plan on spending quality time at this cascade lake.

Cultus Lake

At the foot of Cultus Mountain is Cultus Lake, the best stop on your journey if you’re interested in mountain biking. If you are someone that wants to get out on mountain bike trails. You’ll want to check out the Cultus Lake loop. It is an 11-mile loop it takes you past Cultus, Little Cultus, and Deer Lake. Cultus Lake is also known for producing trophy-sized Lake Trout (Mackinaw) and is stocked with rainbows, including larger holdovers. To learn more about fishing in Central Oregon, read our blogs for more information.

Enjoy Some Of The Best Views In Central Oregon

You’ll want to bring your camera to snap photos while marveling at the aqua water of the alpine lakes and the towering ponderosa pines along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Renting a vacation home with Village Properties at Sunriver is a superb home base to launch your Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway day adventure.  Come to Village Properties at Sunriver, a cozy place to catch your breath, recharge, and enjoy the impressive beauty of Central Oregon. To hear more about our accommodations, reach out to us at 1-844-261-7612. Or book with us online.

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