At the foot of the Cascades and at the shores of the Deschutes sits a beautiful Central Oregon town named Bend. For those that enjoy the outdoors, Bend is the place to be. Whether it’s mountain-biking, black diamond skiing, river rafting or anything else relating to the outdoors, Bend’s got the adventure of a lifetime. But it’s about 45 minutes outside of Bend where the real adventure lies.
During summer, Elk Lake hosts campers, boaters, hikers, and more. The scenic lake is great for day trips or week trips. With Mt. Bachelor in the background, visitors feel like they’re in the middle of the forest, because they are. In fact, the Pacific Crest Trail is only a mile away from the lake.
Elk Lake is beautiful and warm during the summer. In winter, it’s equally as beautiful, just not as warm.
On the shores of Elk Lake sits the Elk Lake Resort Lodge, which serves up frosty beers and delicious grub. In fact, the lodge even occasionally serves its own beer brewed especially for lodge visitors. During the summer months, it’s easily accessible by car. But during the winter months, those in a sedan or even a four wheel drive truck are out of luck.
Elk Lake is only accessible by snowmobile during winter. The highways leading to the lake are covered in snow, and Elk Lake visitors must make the day long snowmobile trek from the nearest place to rent snowmobiles. Snowmobiling through the backcountry to eventually reach a warm lodge is unlike any other experience, and the first sip of a beer in the beautiful and scenic lodge makes you forget how cold and tired you are from the snowmobiling expedition.
Sometimes, snowmobiling to Elk Lake isn’t an option for people. Fortunately, there’s still a way to get out to the beautiful lake without renting a snowmobile. The resort offers adventurers roundtrip transportation in a “Snow-Burban”, which is a modified truck or SUV that’s had its tires replaced with tracks similar to that of a snowmobile. It’s a wild concept, and one that most people have likely never seen before.
Nearby, Mt. Bachelor offers world class skiing during the winter months and beautiful day trips during the summer months. With a peak of 9,052 feet above sea level, Mt. Bachelor truly is a gem of the Cascades.
For those returning from Elk Lake, the town of Bend offers even more awesome things to do. There are loads of different camping opportunities, whether it’s summer, winter, or RV camping.
Bend is also famous for its incredible beer scene. Bend boasts to have one brewery for every 9,111 residents, which is more than neighboring Portland. It seems that new craft breweries are popping up every day, and visitors can take a beer tour to experience tastes at a number of different breweries around Bend. Perhaps the most famous brewery is Deschutes Brewery, which has both a large tasting room and a brewpub in Bend. For those in the area, stop by for a free tour and enjoy some free tastings.
Central Oregon is a fantastic place to visit because of its wide variety of activities. There’s something for everybody, and it’s a place that visitors return to every year because of it’s incredible offerings.