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Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail

EASY 95 reviews
#24 of 152 trails in

Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail is a 2.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bend, Oregon that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 101 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

walking

running

beach

forest

lake

views

snow

AS OF 5/6/2019 the road leading to the trail may be closed due to severe weather conditions. Check the USDA site before visiting: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/home/?cid=STELPRDB5347630 Please note that leash requirements for dogs vary in this park during different seasons of the year. Please look at signs at the trailhead or check in with the park via phone, web, in person for the most up-to-date information.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail with nice views of the lake. There are some nice wooden benches along the lake to have lunch after you hike. Easy trails and uncrowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful! Definitely do it clockwise. Very easy. Northwest Pass or America the Beautiful annual pass required. The lake volume is super low at the moment. Beautiful views of South Sister and Broken Top. Cute and bold chipmunks.

The first half of the trail is a bit boring but that quickly changes when you reached the lava rocks and the lakes. The final stretch is absolutely beautiful; I easily added another 30-45 minutes to my time for photos.

hiking
3 months ago

So much fun! Went with my sister and grandpa. Great for all ages. Make sure to bring lots of water and bug spray

nice views along the lake and interesting lava flows. take the shortcut if your mainly there for the lake or if you're already hot. the non shortcut part is very dry and hot through more lava flows

hiking
4 months ago

Scenic hike and easy to get to. Hiked with kids (ages 9, 11, 14) and they loved it. Even has a shortcut if you needed to cut out a mile of it if needed, but we did the whole thing. Some mosquitoes, but only if you're standing around in the cooler shadier areas.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for kids! I recommend going early to beet the paddle board/ kayaking crowd in order to get a parking spot. Also remember some bug spray!

hiking
5 months ago

Did the loop clockwise. So we started off with great views of the lava rock fields. Finished the hike with amazing views of the lake and the mountains behind it.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful scenery pretty moderate to easy hike there's only a few slight hills but well worth the effort.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

This trail was a bit difficult to follow with the leftover snow and so many fallen trees, but beautiful views :-)

hiking
closed
snow
7 months ago

We went on May 4th and the highway that leads to the trail was barricaded off with snow. Super bummed...

Wed Sep 19 2018

The lake is suuuuuuuuuper low right now but still very pretty. Perfect hike for my family (which includes a moody 4 year old). Excited to go back when there’s more water. Trail is empty. Only ran into one other person.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Nice family walk with the dog. Great views of the lake and Mt Bachelor.

Sat Aug 18 2018

Nice easy trail, good views of sparks lake and interesting rock formations

Fri Aug 10 2018

Quick trail, spectacular views.

hiking
Tue Aug 07 2018

Lovely hike!

walking
Mon Jun 18 2018

Lovely, easy and well marked trail... if you begin to the Left, it will take you through peekaboo views of several Cascade Mountains as you walk through volcanic rock - such a contrast and a visual delight. The second half of the trail runs side by side with Sparks Lake - I had to pause to not only breath in the breathtaking views but to take photo after photo around every corner. I look forward to returning as everyday in Central Oregon has different weather patterns (blue skies, high/low clouds, rain, snow and more) and each brings its own magic.

hiking
rocky
Fri Feb 09 2018

PUT SOME “SPARKS” IN YOUR LIFE! Words and pics by Ian Smith Eventually we choose the Pine Tavern at Bend (Oregon) for food and what a choice. Right in the middle of the restaurant are two mature pine trees growing out of the floor and straight through the roof. While I ponder how the roof might be sealed, Lorraine checks out the wine list until my gaze is taken by the lovely garden that tilts toward the Deschutes River. The birds are loving it; a robin hops around the plants in a vigilant search for insects while a flock of waxwings are having a wonderful time at the bird bath as mallards paddle back and forth in the river. It feels like you’re part of nature without even leaving your table. The tasty food gets us thinking about what else to do and we decide to have a crack at Sparks Lake. Sparks is renowned among photographers as being a place to get a good shot but, as is always the case, you have to get the weather right......that’s where Lorraine, the weather goddess, comes in. It’s not that far from Bend up the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Highway and, as we pass Mount Bachelor, the local ski field, it’s so hard to imagine people skiing over a rugged lava flow; just doesn’t seem right. We’ve a bit of time on board so we slip into Todd Lake first. It’s a 4 km stroll around a placid lake and, while it’s nice and there’s some interesting bird life, we’re hoping for better at Sparks. To get into Sparks it’s a twisting road with, at times, corrugations and bumps, the like of which we’ve never seen in America where just about everything is sealed road it seems. In fact, you have a less than 1% chance of driving on one, according to statistics. Still, our hopes of a reward at the end aren’t dashed though the weather goddess has let me down a little because of a breeze coming across the lake. Its potential is easy to discern however, South Sister and Broken Top stand stark in the background, ready to cast their images on a millpond should it transpire and, since it’s a while before the earth spins around and delivers darkness, we first amuse ourselves watching a chipmunk letting some birds know just who’s in charge of discarded apple. The frenetic energy they forever display never ceases to warm us to their ways; oh that we should be able to scurry as fast. We then look in other directions and start to wander down past the lava fields. Where once the flow from Mount Bachelor cooled it formed a barrier to the heated rock still flowing beneath and, in places, it rose up to 70 feet like a giant loaf of leavened bread. The level of the lake is low, the snow season wasn’t great and, it hasn’t rained much since, so you can walk some places where you’d normally get your feet wet and thus we follow a narrow band of sand beside the lava wall. You can see how good this place could be but the ripple, however small, frustrates us so we have to be content with the leg exercise and the occasional snap. Still, it’s a pleasant afternoon beneath a virtually cloudless sky and we reach a point where the realization dawns that it’s pointless to walk any farther around this strange body of water with no known exit. Somehow, somewhere, it just drains slowly. We’d returned nary 50 metres before we were rounded up by a young couple, she of boundless energy demonstrated by practising rock climbing techniques up and down the lava flow with mind blowing dexterity. In leaps and bounds reminiscent of a mountain goat did she ascend with a confidence borne of youth. As we waited expectantly for a slip she continued to confound us with her suppleness. The entertainment over, as quickly as it eventuated, we idled back to the carpark and stepped back to our original viewpoint. The breeze was faltering and two other photographers were waiting in anticipation so we deigned to join them and everyone’s optimism turned out to be justified. Though we didn’t get an atmospheric ruddy glow we got a crystal clear sky with classic mirror reflection. South Sister and Broken Top were haze free and it’s easy to see why there are so many shots on the internet of this spot. In the stillness we were mesmerized by the natural beauty of the setting. Oregon just keeps on delivering. We drove home satisfied, we’d seen and digested much without travelling too far today.

hiking
Thu Sep 28 2017

Beautiful trail. Very nice walk and views. Easy hike.

hiking
Mon Aug 28 2017

Great hike for the kids

Thu Apr 20 2017

Great hiking with the kiddo and grandparents.

walking
Mon Aug 01 2016

The Ray Atkeson Memorial trail is named after a photographer. The first 1/4 mile is paved and wheelchair accessible. This paved trail follows the Sparks Lake edge. Early in the morning the view is particularly outstanding, glassy lake with the South Sister mountain in the lake reflection. If you like the ruggedness of rock formations in your photos the dirt trail beyond is unbelievable, especially when you can have the mountains as the backdrop. At the southeast side of the south loop there is a log bench viewpoint overlooking the trees below, the Three Sisters to the north, Broken Top to the northeast and Mt Bachelor to the east. There are several crevices along the trail. One interesting challenge is to find where the water is draining out of the lake, hear the flow and see the swirling water. I consider this one of the better relaxing outing locations to go to, that is why i adopted the maintenance of this trail. Hope to see you there, Chuck.

hiking
Mon Jul 08 2013

Pretty much a second Sparks Lake trail, but more for the avid hiker. Not paved, goes around the lake. Pretty short and easy though, however you're less likely to run into as many people on this trail as opposed to the Sparks Lake trail. Still fairly popular though.

hiking
Sun Oct 16 2011

Very beautiful area along Sparks Lake. So much to see and do all around the area...a week goes by quickly! All at the foot of South Sister, Broken top and Bachelor. Hike, kayak, fish...got it all!

hiking
23 days ago

recorded Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

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