Under the Stars near Portland

Central Oregon Cascades: Hosmer Lake
  |  Gorp.com
Directions : Roughly 35 miles west of Bend on the Cascade Lakes Highway.
Travel time : Approximately 4 hours.
Information : (541) 388-5664.
Reservations : No.
Fee : $10.
Open : Memorial Day weekend through first snow.

Whether you're a paddler or a fly angler, you'll find a Northwest nirvana at Hosmer Lake. Located about midway around the Cascade Lakes Highway, this spring-fed lake is actually two small lakes connected by a short channel.

In the crystal clear waters, you can easily see the trout and stocked Atlantic salmon that are the quarry of catch-and-release anglers here. No motors are allowed on the lake, which guarantees a very tranquil stay. South Campground is the choice spot, but if you can't find a site there a second campground, Mallard Marsh, is usually open.

Campsites at the medium-size South Campground are generally quite large and are mostly set back a bit from the marshy banks of the lake. However, there is a trail close to the water that provides glimpses of the lake. To fully appreciate this campground, though, you really need some sort of boat or fishing float. With a canoe or kayak, you can explore little coves, search out the lava dam that created the lake, bird and fish watch in the shallow channel between the two sections of the lake, and paddle upstream to where you can access a hiking trail that leads from Hosmer Lake north to Sparks Lake and south to Lava Lake. This trail is especially popular with mountain bikers and is best accessed either from the north end of Sparks Lake or from Lava Lake.


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