The Water Log: Summer on Sparks, river and lake kiosks, and a Rogue reconnaissance | Outside Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

The Water Log: Summer on Sparks, river and lake kiosks, and a Rogue reconnaissance 

Suggested Flatwater Adventure: Sparks Lake

Even at the height of summer, this lake feels tranquil and pristine on a Sunday afternoon. Sparks is one of the more popular kayak and canoe destinations off the Cascade Lakes Highway partly because it is so close to town and partly because there is so much to explore on a relatively small body of water. Many claim it is the most scenic of the Cascade Lakes, and late Oregon photographer Ray Atkeson made a good living proving that with his stunning collection of postcards/posters/calendar shots of the area. From the rugged basalt shoreline to the hundreds of wildflowers, Sparks is a photographer's dream.


One of the more enjoyable aspects of kayaking is being able to go places only a very small boat can go - few people will bother to bushwhack through the woods to a hidden beach or narrow inlet - and there is a ton of magical spots like this far from the highway to explore on Sparks. It is also a great place to take the kids or friends who are new to boating, as the lake is shallow in most areas.

Plan a little time to walk along the paved path named in honor of Atkeson. It takes only a few minutes and offers another perspective of the lake and is also handicap accessible.

Because Sparks is just a half-hour from Bend, boaters can spend a short afternoon, or a whole weekend if they are lucky enough to score one of the campsites along the shore of the lake. Consult a Deschutes Paddle Trail Cascade Lakes Guide for more specific info about the size of the lake and the boat ramp. Copies are available at Visit Bend, Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, Sun Country Tours and other visitor hubs.

Bend Paddle Trail Alliance Kiosk
Project Update

Thirty informational kiosks are currently being installed on the nine largest of the Cascade Lakes including Sparks, Elk, Hosmer, Cultus, Lava, Little Lava, Paulina and East, as well as Crane Prairie and Wickiup reservoirs. The signs provide information about lake access points and paddling safety. The signs also remind visitors about outdoor ethics and the equipment they should plan to bring on their paddling adventures.

River kiosks along the Deschutes River are soon to follow with pertinent information about water flow, portage locations and the difficulty of the rapids.

The installation of the kiosks is the third phase of projects started by the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance. The first project was producing and printing map guides of the Cascade Lakes and the Deschutes River to direct paddlers on their adventures. The fourth phase is the conversion of the Colorado Dam so that floaters can coast through instead of portaging around to McKay Park. The redesign also includes whitewater features for surfers and kayakers.


Paddling the Rogue River Is a Mid-summer Dream

The Wild and Scenic section of Rogue River in Southern Oregon is world-renowned for its unparelled beauty and wildlife. Our group of five including Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe owner, Geoff Frank left from Bend at 2 a.m. last Tuesday night and made it to the Smullin Visitor Center in Galice in just enough time to secure some released permits at 7 a.m. With two kayaks, a stand-up paddleboard and a cataraft we set out on a three-day trip down the Wild & Scenic section of Rogue River, which was one of the eight original areas protected by the Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968.

With the cfs (cubic feet per second) at 1700, many rapids had mellowed and most days were an easy paddle, even for a beginner whitewater kayaker like myself. The highlights included watching Bo Miller and Geoff navigate most of the rapids on a stand-up paddleboard, and the black bear sightings, including one of a momma with two adorable cubs in tow.

Permits for the Rogue are released during the first six weeks of every year, but if you have a flexible schedule and are traveling with a small party, unclaimed permits are announced everyday on the BLM website and can be claimed by phone or by arriving at the Smullin Visitor Center in Galice at 3 p.m. the day before your put-in, or at 7 a.m. the day you plan to depart.

About The Author

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Community Dance Break!....just 10 minutes

Community Dance Break!....just 10 minutes

Wed., Feb. 24, 12:30-12:40 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

The 2021 Central Oregon Pet Palooza is here!

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Outside Features

  • A Midwinter Retreat to Anthony Lakes

    • Feb 17, 2021
    Ski, snowshoe, and soak in the tranquil beauty of Eastern Oregon More »
  • Exploring Crater Lake's Winter Wonderland

    • Feb 10, 2021
    From Bend, a visit to Crater Lake can be done in a long day or as an easy overnighter with a stay in Chiloquin or Klamath Falls. The BIG challenge isn't necessarily planning ahead, it's how the current conditions will dictate your visit. More »
  • Fine Tuning My Love

    • Feb 5, 2021
    A Shred Betty fairy tale, in honor of the upcoming V-Day More »
  • More »

More by Laurel Brauns

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation