Description - The towering Cascade Mountains provide the backdrop for this scenic drive. These mountains also offer fabulous hiking and challenging rock climbing. The scenic byway climbs into the Deschutes National Forest where fishing, hiking, rafting, and other outdoor sports are plentiful. This area is also a winter playground. For example, Mt. Bachelor's ski resort is filled with snow through June. This byway also crosses paths with early explorers and trappers such as Kit Carson, John C. Fremont and Nathaniel J. Wyeth.
As you drive by many bodies of water along the route, it is easy to see why this route was named after the Cascade Lakes. Some of the lakes that you will encounter include Todd Lake, Sparks Lake, Cultus Lake, and Crane Prairie Reservoir. As you can imagine, this is an angler's paradise. All fishing types can spend hours at the banks of these lakes, fishing for Atlantic salmon and other freshwater fish. Waterfowl and many species of plants thrive here as well.
- The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is known for it's archeology, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic attractions.
Recreation - The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway offers a wide range of recreation opportunities. Activities that can be found on this route include; camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, kayaking as well as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or dog sledding.
Climate - Climate in central and eastern Oregon varies greatly depending on elevation. The high elevations receive much more precipitation and colder temperatures. These regions are much more arid and see greater temperature extremes than western Oregon. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April, mostly in the form of snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures can drop well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snow remains in the high mountains into early summer. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days, with warm to hot temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures at the higher elevations. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon.
Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway in located in the Deschutes National Forest in Central Oregon. Directions from Portland: Take I-5 south to Salem, get on OR-22 and go southeast to Bend, Take US-97 south to NW Colorado Ave., follow NW Colorado Ave. southwest to Century Dr., Continue on Century Dr. southwest out of the city limit where the byway begins.
Directions from : From Bend, take State Highway 372 (Century Drive) east for 4.5 miles to the boundary of the Deschutes National Forest where the byway begins. The byway comes to an end as U.S. 46 meets U.S. 58.