Discover Oregon on an RV vacation along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. You’ll find a large number of lakes as well as amazing lava flows and beautiful meadows. When you stay on this scenic route, it may take up to five hours to travel from one end to the other, but you should plan for a longer trip because you’ll want to stop and spend time at some of the special places.
Start your trip in Bend, Oregon but before embarking, be sure to stop at Drake Park. Relax and get in the mood for your excursion. Once you take off and move through Deschutes National Forest, you’ll begin to appreciate what this vacation trip is going to be like. Lovely forests hold nature’s wonders, and you’ll want to get out there and absorb the beauty.
Turn off to make your way to Dutchman Flat, an expanse of desert area right in the middle of the lush forests. Hiking trails will beckon, so ensure you are ready to pull on those hiking shoes and take off on a trek you are sure to enjoy. The Tumalo Mountain Trail is short enough for the novices. Further along the byway you’ll come to Swampy Lakes and the Swampy Lakes Trail. These marked trails vary in length for different levels of hikers.
You can ski even through June at Mt. Bachelor Ski Area. The snow-covered slopes accommodate beginning or experienced skiers. In the summer you shouldn’t miss the lift taking you to the summit with panoramic views all the way to California and Washington State.
This part of Oregon is a hiker’s paradise. Moving along your scenic route, you will come to Green Lakes Trailhead where you can access the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The wildlife is abundant. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some photos of the Clark’s Nutcracker making a racket overhead. You’ll also see deer and cute little ground squirrels. Within Three Sisters Wilderness there are about 260 miles of trails. You can even hike a portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Take a bike, hike or go horseback riding through the forests for a real Oregon experience.
There’s nothing like an adventure of rafting or kayaking on the Deschutes River or camping along Lava Lake. You’ll find convenient RV camping by the lake where you can catch some fish or go sailing. At Osprey Observation Point you can park in their parking lot and take a trail to the observation area to view the Osprey feeding and breeding. Watch the birds dive from huge heights to catch a meal.
When you finish your RV excursion through Central Oregon, you will feel the nostalgic sorrow that comes at the end of a wonderful time. But you’ll be happy to know that this scenic drive is always here to enjoy another time. Come back every year! Journey into the forests of Oregon once again to feel the thrill of the sights and sounds of our great U.S.A.
Picture credits: The picture of Mt. Bachelor is from the National Scenic Byways Program website. It is copyright © 1999 Roger Keiffer and used here in accordance with the Terms and Conditions outlined on the website.