Posts Tagged With: What to see in the Cascades

Green Lakes Trail Near Bend, Oregon

Five minutes into the trail to Green Lakes we were challenged by a surprise crossing of Fall Creek.

Grateful for the railing, Reg and I managed to keep our feet on the log masquerading as a bridge above Fall Creek. As I stepped down Reg jokingly asked, “Could you do that without the railing?” Little did we know…

The trailhead to Green Lakes is located about 25 miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The path is an 8-9 mile round trip with 1,150 feet of climbing. It’s a beautiful trek through trees alongside a cascading creek.

One of the many waterfalls that tumble down the aptly named Fall Creek.

We followed the gentle incline along the wide dirt trail, enjoying the shade the forest provided. The creek crashed and tumbled alongside And then suddenly leveled out. That was when the trail crossed the creek again…twice!

With the creek rushing below and no railing to assist us, we had no room for a misstep. I was sure grateful for those balance beam lessons way back when in junior high gymnastics class. Reg made me go first. I think he was hoping I’d suggest we turn back. Eventually we two balance-challenged trekkers shuffled across the first log, and several hundred yards later we made it across the second. It was well worth the effort!

Lunch spot with a lake view.

We found a shady spot for lunch, enjoying the view until it was time to pack up and head back down the trail…and back across those two logs.

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Up Around the Bend…Oregon

Mount Thielsen (elevation 9,183) pointed our way as we drove to Bend, Oregon for five days of camping with friends
Chris and Judy.

Our first day together we tackled the Sparks Lake Loop Trail which took us through forests and around ancient lava flows. While the remains of the lava flows were fascinating, the views from the shoreline were the high point.

Across Sparks Lake was a stunning view of Broken Top Crater.
This is a favorite photo spot to capture South Sister, the southernmost of the Three Sisters of the Cascade Range.


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Colossal Newberry volcano begs for exploration

We stopped for a picnic near Little Crater Campground, about halfway around the trail from our starting point. The Forest Service camp offers water, pit toilets and roomy campsites with views like this. The jagged rock is Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake's elevation is 6,340 feet.

Oh, what a difference a day makes!

We packed our hiking shoes and a picnic and headed for a second day in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

After a 34-mile drive south and then east from Bend, we were greeted by brilliant sunshine and twin lakes that filled an area bigger than Crater Lake.

The lakes are in two calderas left after hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions.

Our main event was a 7.5-mile trek around Paulina Lake, passing warm springs, a massive obsidian glass lava flow and a beautiful, rustic campground. The trail was fairly flat, with a couple of relatively brief inclines and declines.

Then we drove a few miles to East Lake, where we found what we were hoping for: a tasty dessert.

The national monument is huge and offers many days of activities and sites.

We will be back!

Four cabins built along Paulina Lake in the 1930s are in dire need of repairs. The Forest Service and Deschutes Historical Society are leading an effort to save them.

The East Lake Resort offers boat rentals.

With just a week left in the summer season, the East Lake Resort had two berry cobblers to sweeten our lakeside view.

Tumalo State Park near Bend is a great location for exploring a wealth of outdoor attractions in the area.

 

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Lake of the Woods: Relaxation in the Cascades

All is quiet the day after Labor Day at a Lake of the Woods beach.

Mount McLoughlin dominates the Cascade Range during our kayak cruise. A bald eagle watched us at one end of the lake.

Lake of the Woods is the crown jewel of lakes in the southern Cascade Mountain Range within an hour or so drive of Ashland, Oregon.

At 4,949 feet elevation, the natural lake offers relief from summer heat with swimming, boating, fishing and other fun managed by the Lake of the Woods Resort.

We hitched up the trailer on Labor Day and headed for Aspen camp, one of two National Forest Campgrounds on the lake.

The resort was a short walk away from our quiet, deserted campground. We resisted the restaurant but found firewood at the camp store.

The lake's level fluctuates just two feet during a normal year and water temperatures warm to the 70s at the surface. Brook and rainbow trout as well as Kokanee salmon swim in its waters.

Fish Lake was our destination on a nearly seven-mile stroll from North Fork Campground, just a short drive away. We found a greasy spoon cafe that fit the bill perfectly.

Brown Mountain is a backdrop for Reg's stroll.

Fall was in the air as nighttime temperatures dropped into the 30s.

The trail from North Fork campground to Fish Lake follows the North Fork Little Butte Creek.

A boardwalk keeps Trekkers dry during the wet spring months.

 

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Northern Cascades unveil a magic act

Diablo Lake is one of several reservoirs in the Cascades used to produce power for Seattle.

 

A Valley Like This

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,

and suddenly the air is filled with snow.

That is the way the whole world happened –

there was nothing, and then. . .

But maybe some time you will look out and even

the mountains are gone, the world becomes nothing

again. What can a person do to help

bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.

Together we hold it close and carefully

save it, like a bubble that can disappear

if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world.

Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings

roll along, watch how they open and close, how they

invite you to the long party that your life is.

– William Stafford

(Written on plaque at Cascades lookout)




Highway 20 from the Seattle area climbs into the northern Cascades and is part of the Cascades Loop, a 400-mile scenic drive.

Liberty Bell is the peak as seen from Washington Lookout, the highest point on the drive.

The Skagit River, below, is dammed several times.

The suspension bridge leads to a rain forest-like walk along the river.









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