Cascade Lakes Highway, Oregon

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Cascade Lakes Highway

The Cascade Lakes Highway begins right in Bend and boasts spectacular scenery as it takes you past lava flows, lush meadows, majestic Cascade peaks, and over 150 sparkling alpine lakes.

  • Access the highway from the west side of Bend.
  • Allow for at least 3 to 5 hours to enjoy the sights along this 66-mile highway.
  • Enjoy outdoor recreation year round at Mt. Bachelor.
  • Volcanic peaks, alpine lakes, forests, and lush meadows make this one of the nation’s most beautiful scenic highways.

Overview

Named one of America’s most important byways, the Cascade Lakes Highway starts at the west side of Bend. This scenic road takes you past snow-capped Mt. Bachelor, then begins to wind its way south along the eastern edge of Three Sisters Wilderness Area. Sparkling alpine lakes line the highway including Elk Lake, Cultus Lake, Crane Prairie Reservoir, and Davis Lake. Allow several hours, as there are so many incredibly beautiful places to stop along the Cascade Lakes Highway Oregon.

Driving Directions

On the west side of Bend, take SW Century Drive west towards Mt. Bachelor. It becomes Cascade Lakes Highway (Highway 46).

Time/Distance

The Cascade Lakes Highway is 66 miles of two-lane paved road. Allow at least 3 to 5 hours for the drive to take in all the sights along the way. Plan to take your trip between June and October, as the road is closed in the winter beyond Mt. Bachelor.

Highlights 

  • Mt. Bachelor – This volcanic peak offers outdoor recreation all year round. Hundreds of inches of pristine powder in the winter allow for excellent downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. During the summer, ride the chairlifts for spectacular vistas, hike to the summit, or even enjoy a summer dog sled ride.
  • Crane Prairie Reservoir – One of many beautiful lakes along the way, this one is famous for its “crane bows” – rainbow trout produced at the reservoir’s fishery. It’s an excellent place to fish for salmon, bass, and black crappie as well.
  • Three Sisters Wilderness – This 242,000-acre scenic wilderness attracts hikers and backpackers seeking solitude amidst the beauty of nature. The famous Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail passes through the wilderness.
  • History – The Apollo astronauts prepared for their trip to the moon along the Cascade Lakes Hwy back in the 1960s.

Questions & Answers