Oregon has many natural wonders and there is so much to explore. Central Oregon has a plethora of things to do, see, explore and discover. My personal favorite is the lakes. I love to camp next to a lake in the summer and be able to cool off in the beautiful water. I have a small list of lakes that I want to share.
Todd Lake is a small alpine lake within a protected forest setting with a beautiful view of the mountain slopes. Wildflowers line the short path from the parking lot to the lake from Spring to Fall. There is a walk-in campground with no drinking water available. It also offers hiking, picnicking, fishing and canoeing, but no motors are allowed.
Sparks Lake has lava formations surrounded by water and wildflowers. This lake is popular for canoeing and kayaking. The views are spectacular with lots of geological discoveries to be made on the Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail. There are camp sites available but no drinking water. It also offers hiking, swimming, biking, canoeing, fishing and motor boats (under 10 MPH) and it is handicap accessible.
Devils Lake is a beautiful turquoise green from a glacial source and it is well known for it cooler temperatures and amazing beauty. This lake is shallow and protected. Camp sites are available but have no drinking water. It is ideal for paddling and picnicking and an ideal spot for starting a hike on the South Sister. It also offers hiking, canoeing and fishing.
Elk Lake is an awesome gathering place for people who love to be in or around the water. There are amazing views of both Mt Bachelor and South Sisters. Elk Lake Resort is open year round for summer and winter activities. The resort offers cabins, restaurant, grocery store, boat rentals, gas and a trailhead. You can rent canoes and fishing boats with motors. The lake offers hiking, swimming, picnicking, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and boating (motors under 10 MPH).
Homer Lake is also known as Mud Lake. It is a sportsmen paradise with barbless hook catch and release fly fishing. The shallow marshes surrounded by the beautiful forest is serene and ideal for bird watchers. There are osprey, bald eagle, beaver and otter that live in and around these waters. It also offers fishing, canoeing, and boats with no motors.
Lava Lake and Little Lava Lake has a resort that provides lots of supplies for summer camping and fishing expeditions. Little Lava lake is the source of the Wild & Scenic Deschutes River. There are RV sites, a lodge, grocery store and gas available. There are rentals available at Lava Lake that include canoes and fishing boats with motors. You can fish, bikes and motor boats (under 10 MPH).
Cultus Lake is a high altitude lake with white sandy beaches with dense forests full of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, spruce, white pine, white fir and sugar pine. The lake has a resort with an amazing view of the lake from both the restaurant and cabins. The resort offers cabins, a lodge, a restaurant, grocery store, gas and a trailhead. You can rent canoes and motorized fishing boats. There is also hiking, swimming, picnicking, wind surfing, water skiing, fishing and boating.
Little Cultus Lake is laid back outdoor experience located in the shadow of Cultus Mountain. It is a great place to escape to and enjoy nature. Camp sites are available but do not have drinking water. Also available is hiking, swimming, fishing and motor boats (under 10 MPH).
Crane Prairie was first created in 1912 for irrigation purposes. This reservoir is popular for boating and fishing destination. In the spring time, there is a large concentration of waterfowl. The Crane Prairie Resort offers RV sites, lodging, a grocery store and gas. There is hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing and motor boating (under 10 MPH). There are also fishing boats available for rentals.
North & South Twin Lakes are about 60 feet deep and symmetrical in shape. They have very unique geological formations known as volcanic maars. The North Twin Lake is more primitive camping with tent sites available. The South Twin Lake offers the Twin Lake Resorts which have cabins. One of the cabins is named for President Herbert Hoover, who once stayed there. Amenities at the South Twin Lake include cabins, lodging, restaurant, grocery store, showers and laundry facilities which are open to the public. You can also rent fishing boats at the South Twin Lake. Also available is hiking, biking, swimming, picnicking, fishing and boats with no motors.
Wickiup Reservoir is a destination for camping, fishing, boating and water sports. Indians use to camp here while fishing and hunting with shelters made of poles and covered in brush and/or tree limbs. These shelters were called “wickiup” shelters. On and around the lake you can swim, wind surf, picnic, fish, water ski and boating is available.
Davis Lake is a large shallow lake formed some 6,000 years ago when a lava flow cut off Odell Creek. This lake offers large rainbow trout and large mouth bass with no limit and is a popular destination for fly fishing. The lake offers boating, fishing and canoeing.