Search
Username
Pin It
Favorite

Winter Paradise 

Cabins, cocktails and winter fun await at Elk Lake Resort in the Cascades

Plenty of locals have only been to Elk Lake in the summer. The views and the abundant trails and camping make this area fun—but crowded. But if you love snow sports—and snow in general—winter at Elk Lake can be a paradise.

COURTESY ELK LAKE RESORT
  • Courtesy Elk Lake Resort

The route to Elk Lake from the Dutchman Flat Snopark, along Century Drive near Mt. Bachelor, is a bit over 11 miles. To get there, you can catch a $50 round trip ride on Elk Lake Resort's snow cat, or cross-country ski, or, in my case, ride a snowmobile. Having never been on a snowmachine before, I was hesitant—not only because I'd heard stories about novice riders falling off or getting stuck, but also because I was afraid to like riding a snowmobile. But let's just say I liked it—a lot.

The rustic cabins at the historic resort sleep between six and 10 people. The largest cabin has a fully equipped kitchen and two large covered decks overlooking the lake, with a barbecue. It has three upstairs bedrooms and downstairs has a full-size futon. Other cabins, meanwhile, have one bathroom and a kitchenette. My group's cabin had two bedrooms and a loft. Perfect for the six guests—and Otto the wiener dog—that rode out on snowmobiles and the shuttle.

You can bring food with you, but packing coolers and food on the back of a snowmobile isn't much fun. The shuttle has a one-bag per person limit, along with one cooler and one "food tote" per group. A member of our group made his own sled—and towed his girlfriend, dog and coolers behind his snowmachine.

click to enlarge CHRIS MILLER
  • Chris Miller

The breakfasts at the resort are hearty and filling. The sandwiches are also large, and so are the sides. The bar has many local beers on tap and a full compliment of spirits, which leads me to the best part: the Spanish coffee. The staff at the lodge also makes an excellent Bloody Mary and other specialty cocktails.

The meals are just what you need to hit the ski trails, to snowshoe or to blast off on your own snowmobile—or a rented one from the resort. For cycling enthusiasts, Elk Lake also rents fat tire bikes. According to Wendy Prieve, who along with her husband Pat, have owned the resort for the last five and a half years—the resort stocks sleds free of charge for kids to ride the hills.

Prieve said the resort tries to groom the 7-mile loop around the lake as often as possible in the winter for the cross-country skiers and snowshoers—and the little loop down by the north shore of the lake—to keep the skiers from having to glide on the same trails as snowmobilers.

COURTESY ELK LAKE RESORT
  • Courtesy Elk Lake Resort

For the winter season, the resort usually opens the week of Thanksgiving and closes after spring break, when they get the lodge and cabins ready for the summer season. If you're looking to visit, plan ahead: Prieve said the cabins were booked solid every weekend this past winter.

Elk Lake Resort and Marina
60000 Century Dr., Bend
541-480-7378
elklakeresort.net

COURTESY ELK LAKE RESORT
  • Courtesy Elk Lake Resort

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletter Signup

Cascades Reader Logo Cascades Reader

Get your daily dose of news for Central Oregon and beyond, delivered to your inbox five days a week. Powered by the Source Weekly.

Latest in Play

  • Beyond the Big Stuff

    • May 14, 2019
    Central Oregon has lots of well-known outdoor destinations and many other equally stunning spots, too. Here's where to go to stay away from the pack More »
  • Go with the Float

    • May 14, 2019
    Everything you need to know before floating the Deschutes River More »
  • Pole Pedal Paddle

    • May 14, 2019
    A scenic race showcasing Bend's inclusive outdoor culture, from Mt. Bachelor to the Deschutes River More »
  • More »

More by Chris Miller

© 2019 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation