Traveling along a scenic byway is one of our favorite pastimes. When we read about the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway we knew we needed to experience it. This road is closed during the winter months beyond the Mt. Bachelor ski area to south of Davis Lake. The entire byway is an 89-mile drive, but we only had plans to drive a portion of this amazing byway.
We drove north on Hwy. 97 to connect with County Road 45 near Sunriver and then on to the byway. We hadn't driven too many miles when Mt. Bachelor was front and center in our line of vision. The elevation of Mt. Bachelor is 9,065 and it is the winter training grounds for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. (click photo for larger view)
During the summer months you can take a trip up the ski lift on Mt. Bachelor for a panoramic vista that is probably amazing.....we aren't that daring to ride up a ski lift, besides it was cold!
You will see that the volcanic landscape has been transformed into meadows and mixed conifer forests. Well, we couldn't see too many meadows since snow covered everything on this Eastern portion of the byway. Forests we could see at this point...meadows? Not so much. We did get a great view of Broken Top Mountain in this area. The peak of this mountain reminded me of what I think the Alps could look like.
Most of the trails and the campgrounds were still closed for the winter. Hey, it's almost summer! I think you could do a snowshoe hike on the trails as we did see some cars parked along the turnouts. When we continued past Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor the snow began to disappear. Soon the snow was all behind us. We stopped then for our picnic lunch in a closed up little place with a historic guardhouse. Nobody in sight except us enjoying the total peacfulness of the forest. The byway goes around Mt. Bachelor and you can come back to Hwy. 97 by taking County Road 42 toward La Pine.
We're leaving La Pine this morning and making our way to Eugene and then the Oregon coast. Although the daytime temperatures have been OK in La Pine, the early morning temps haven't been above 32F since we arrived. I'm really ready for a warmer morning than that. Hopefully, we'll find it soon.
Until next time.....so long for now!