Cascade Lakes Highway

Quick Facts

Cascade Lakes Highway

Oregon

(541) 383-4786

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

High desert, high lakes, high mountains, high meadows -- this is a memorable drive through the heart of the southern Cascade mountains. Most of the landscape here is volcanic, formed by eruptions and lava flows that built mountains like Mount Bachelor and created the many lakes you pass during the drive. It's warm and sunny in the summer here, cold and snowy in winter.

Mixed in with all the scenery is history, from the old paths of early northwest explorers to the remnants of human settlements 8000 years old. In fact, archaeologists are fairly sure that some of today's campgrounds are located where there were hunting camps thousands of years ago.

The scenic byway, along with other roads it connects with, goes by other names sometimes: the Cascade Lakes Highway, the old Century Drive, and part of the Highway of the Cascades. This region of Oregon has been a favorite for scenic drives for more than fifty years.

All of the byway is in the rainshadow on the east slope of the Cascades. The drier climate causes the unique communities of plants that you'll see, as well as the dry, powdery snow that helps give Mount Bachelor its reputation for the best skiing in the Pacific Northwest.

Map of Cascade Lakes Highway

Latitude, Longitude: 44.056258, -121.331635

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The scenic byway, along with other roads it connects with, goes by other names sometimes: the Cascade Lakes Highway, the old Century Drive, and part of the Highway of the Cascades. This region of Oregon has been a favorite for scenic drives for more than fifty years.

  • Camping

    There are 25 national forest campgrounds on the byway, most with drinking water. There are also private campgrounds not far from the byway.

  • Historic Sites

    Mixed in with all the scenery is history, from the old paths of early northwest explorers to the remnants of human settlements 8000 years old. In fact, archaeologists are fairly sure that some of today's campgrounds are located where there were hunting camps thousands of years ago.

Seasonality/Weather

Best time to visit is June - October.

Directions

Driving

You can get to the byway from U.S. Hwy. 97 or Oregon Hwy. 58, which runs east from Eugene and Interstate 5.

Start in Bend and head west toward Mt. Bachelor on national forest road 46. Follow 46 all the way as it takes you into the mountains and then south to a junction with forest road 61. Here you can turn right to Oregon Hwy. 58 and a return route to Interstate 5, or head left to U.S. Hwy. 97 to make a loop back to Bend.

For a shorter loop back to Bend, turn off just south of Crane Prairie Reservoir and head east toward Sunriver.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(541) 383-4786

Links