Distance from Bend, Oregon: about 40 minutes:
Paddling Season: Memorial Day to first snowfall (Usually May to Sept.) Open for winter activities including snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Elk Lake, Oregon, in the Deschutes National Forest is a step back in time. During the early and mid 1900's, families from the nearby town of Bend, Oregon would travel to Elk Lake and stay for the summer in cabins they often built themselves on Forest Service leased land. Things have changed in one hundred years, but not too much has changed at Elk Lake
Clear, clean water, views of the Cascade Mountains, camping, cabins, sailboating and a charming rustic and historic lodge combine to make Elk Lake a fun day trip or overnight stay. Elk Lake is about a 35-40 minute drive from Bend, Oregon on the scenic Cascade Lakes Highway. Elk Lake covers an area of about 490 acres that's about 75' deep surrounded by a pine forest with views of Mt. Bachelor and the South Sister beyond the tree line.
Elk Lake is a gentle and nonintimidating place to try stand up paddling near Bend, Oregon. The clean lake water is renowned for swimming and doesn't seem to get any algae. Mostly sailboats, canoes and kayaks are on the lake, as well as the occasional distance swimmer getting in some mileage.
Elk Lake Resort rents canoes, stand up paddle boards and kayaks. They have a large dock and rent boat slips for sailboats. There are two swimming platforms by the lodge. Elk Lake Resort also has a restaurant, ice cream and a tiny mini-mart for campers and hikers. (Many Pacific Crest Trail hikers get packages there and stop in for a break).