Cultus Lake Oregon Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Cultus Lake

Southwest of Bend is a sparkling alpine lake known as Cultus Lake, a popular recreation area for visitors and locals alike.

  • Large rainbow trout and mackinaw reside in this alpine lake.
  • Only 48 miles southwest of Bend in the Deschutes National Forest.
  • Three campgrounds located near the lake provide scenic overnight stays.
  • High speed motor craft are allowed on this Cascade Lake.


Known for trophy size lake trout and beautiful alpine scenery, Cultus Lake can be found about 48 miles southwest of Bend. Situated in the Deschutes National Forest at the foot of Cultus Mountain, Cultus Lake Oregon offers a variety of recreational opportunities. These include sailing, windsurfing, camping, mountain biking, jet skiing, and water skiing. This natural lake with sandy shores was formed by a glacier long ago. It is surrounded by a variety of trees including Douglas fir, old growth Ponderosa pine, spruce, sugar pine, white pine, and white fir.

Location & Information

Cultus Lake, OR is about 48 miles from Bend. Take Forest Service Road 46 to the turn off for Cultus Lake and follow the signs.

Contact information

Deschutes National Forest, 1001 SW Emkay Drive, Bend, OR 97702 Phone: 541-383-5300 or 541-388-5664.
Visit the website here.


Fishing – Cultus Lake fishing is popular due to the large rainbow trout and mackinaw (lake trout) that are frequently caught here. Mackinaw from Cultus Lake typically range from 12 to 24 inches in length. Mountain whitefish and brook trout also reside in the lake.

Watersports – Cultus Lake is one of a small number of high Cascade Lakes that permit high speed motor boats and other water craft on the lake, which makes it popular for water skiing and jet skiing. Sailing and windsurfing are also popular water sport activities.

Camping – At Cultus Lake, camping is a popular summer time activity. There are three campgrounds near the lake that accommodate both tents and RVs - Cultus Lake Campground, West Cultus Campground, and Cultus North Shore Campground.

Mountain Biking – There are several nice trails for mountain biking, including the 12 mile Cultus Lake Loop that is primarily single track with a 780 foot elevation gain.

Fun Facts

  • May, June, September, and October are the best months to fish for lake trout at Cultus Lake. Many of these trout are in the 10 pound range.
  • Cultus Lake is about two miles in length and has a maximum depth of 211 feet.
  • The lake’s elevation is 4,688 feet and has a surface are of 792 square acres.