Cascade Lakes scenic drive
The Cascade Lakes scenic drive is on a highway that wraps around Mount Bachelor just west of Bend Oregon. Mount Bachelor is a young stratovolcano in the cascades mountain range. In it's youth of being younger than 15,000 years, water and ice hasn't had time enough to erode it down, thus it has sufficient prominence to make a nice skiing surface. Mount Bachelor is alway a very scenic mountain, hence the Cascade lakes scenic drive arount this mountain.
On the day when we drove along this highway, it was in the high 70's with a light wind, but was partly cloudy. We stopped on the west side of the mountain several times and took pictures of lakes and streams. We could see Mount Bachelor, the sisters, ragged top, and a few other mountain peaks in the area.
We saw a deer grazing in one of the nature preserve areas along the highway.
We stopped at a small town named sun river on the south side of the loop around the mountain and had lunch at a one-off burger place that did a nice job of it.
After lunch we drove back up to Bend and got a cup of coffee along the way... there are lots of good coffee places in Bend.
We took this scenic drive on May 23rd, and there was still skiing on the mountain. They have a long season here. Unfortunately that screwed up my hiking plans on the PCT, because it was snow and ice covered, by more than 20 feet of snow in some places.
Fortunately there were some places north of highway 20 that had enough solar exposure to where the snow was all melted off, or mostly so on our stay in Bend. So I hiked on those sections of trail.
It's a beautiful drive on this scenic highway. There are also trailheads connecting to the PCT, and other trails in the area.
One other scenic drive opportunity near Bend is the McKenzie highway (Oregon route 242), which is just south of
US highway 20, and comes west from near Sisters, Oregon. Unfortunately they close that highway until either late
June or sometime in July, depending on the year and the whim of the highway department in Oregon, as to when
they think it's a safe drive, at least for a few months until they close it again. I hope and plan to take this
drive in 2017 when we are again in Bend.
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Last Update: Oct 26, 2016
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