Follow the highway north to the shores of Elk Lake, a favorite of windsurfers and sailors. The year-round cabins at Elk Lake Resort (541/480-7228) are popular, as is picture-taking from the lake’s beach picnic grounds on the southernmost tip of shoreline. Here you have the full length of Elk Lake before you, with South Sister and Mount Bachelor in the background. During the snowbound months of winter, access to Elk Lake is by snowmobile, Sno-Cat van, or dogsled (really!) to a world of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails amidst spectacular alpine scenery.
Not far away, the red volcanic cinder highway contrasts with the black lava flows en route to aqua-tinted Devils Lake. From the northern end of this lake, on the other side of the highway, you’ll find Devil’s Pile, an agglomeration of lava flows and volcanic glass where Apollo 11 astronauts reportedly culled a rock to deposit on the lunar surface. The road winds around to the Mount Bachelor Summit ski lifts. From the deck in front of the sport shop–cafeteria complex, you can see the Three Sisters and Broken Top.
You might want to hike the short trail to Todd Lake, canoe Sparks Lake in the shadow of Broken Top and South Sister, or visit the Ray Atkeson Memorial, dedicated to Oregon’s photographer laureate. All are located between Devil’s Pile and the ski lifts. From Mount Bachelor it’s a 20-minute drive back to Sunriver.
Excerpted from the Ninth Edition of Moon Oregon.