If you are visiting Bend for the first time, we have a secret to tell you: We envy you! Not because you haven’t been here before, but because you will be experiencing our hometown’s wonder for the first time. We picture you driving slowly into town with mouths wide open as you try to stare in all directions at the same time. We try to imagine what it must be like, seeing, for the very first time, the mountains standing majestically in the background, their snowy white peaks reflected in the crystal-clear waters of the lakes below them. We remember that first time we stepped foot on one of our Oregon trails and the feelings that accompanied those glorious moments. Yes, we envy you the many firsts you will have during your stay, especially your first hike on Sparks Lake Trail.
Easy to Find, Impossible to Forget
Located about 26 miles west of Bend via the Cascade Lakes Highway, you’re going to head south for a few hundred feet on F.S. Road 4600 400 to find the beginning of the Sparks Lake Trail. Trust us, this hike is going to be one you will never forget. The trail leads the way through nearly 20 miles of exquisite beauty, over hills, along the lake and through beds of wildflowers waving sweetly in the mountain breezes.
Due to its length, families with younger children might want to stick to some of the shorter trails in the valley, but teenagers will actually thank you for inviting them along! Best hiked from April until September, there is an elevation gain of approximately 1600 feet, ensuring that your views will be even better the higher up you walk. Pet friendly for leashed dogs and offering a variety of wildlife to observe and photograph as you hike, runners and mountain bikers may also zip past you as they explore what’s ahead. You’re on vacation, so we won’t judge you for taking your time. This hike isn’t a race; it’s a slow exploration of the beauty of Oregon’s natural landscape.
When snow falls, the locals like to strap on their snowshoes and show Mother Nature that she’s not the boss of them, but we understand the appeal of staying in your Bend Vacation Rentals cabin with a fire roaring in the fireplace as you watch the snow drift slowly to the ground!