Explore the most popular lake trails near Sunriver with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

5/20/18: Amazing hike with great views. Still a lot of snow (~4-5 foot drifts). Might need to wait a little later in the season to get easier access to the trails.

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked in from the snow park hoping to do a little fishing. Still 95% iced over. Took our poles for a walk. Beautiful area in each of the seasons.

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.

horseback riding
4 months ago

My favorite time of year to hike the Green Lakes trail is in the late summer to see the wildflowers. I've also been in the late fall (snowfall permitting) though and it was just as beautiful!

backpacking
6 months ago

Awesome hike, haven’t done it in a year or so but looking forward to my next trip. Camped up here then went up the side of south sister

backpacking
6 months ago

Are there enough campsites around the lake for backpackers

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Not a lot of switchbacks or steep climbs. Beautiful views. I loved hiking along the water.

backpacking
7 months ago

Easy hike, with great views of Mount Bachelor and the Three Sisters. Road back to Bend was treacherous but fun if you have a high clearance vehicle. One of the best trips I’ve been on!

This is the most beautiful hike I've ever done! Sooo many different views of mountains, water, rock formations, and spectacular nature! We found a secret place to hang out - just ours!! We can't wait to return...

7 months ago

Hi, for those who recently hiked the trail Do I need to worry about snow on some trails? thanks

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing hike along Fall Creek to Green Lakes. Arrived at the trailhead around 9am and had no trouble parking. The views of South Sister and Broken Top were spectacular, not to mention the beautiful creek and lakes.

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

backpacking
8 months ago

Camped at Moraine Lake after the first snow. The trail was steep and well packed until first sight of South Sister. At that point, snowshoes would have helped as every other step broke through the 2+ feet of snow. Extraordinary sunrise view of South Sister. Trail coming down was difficult where packed snow had turned to ice.

hiking
8 months ago

Had a great time. Snow in September and view of Mt Bachelor was spectacular

hiking
8 months ago

Great rewards for this hike…. rapid flowing mountain stream with rapids, water falls and wild flowers. Ending at two lakes with outstanding view of South Sister and Broken Top mountains! It has it all. NFS guide list this as the most popular hike in Oregon. We could see why! Note to travelers (as of August 2017)… coming from Bend there is no sign on Cascades Parkway for trailhead parking! You enter on the right at the construction stop light and can miss if not paying attention (we did).

We had a wonderful time and watched the best sunset and sunrise we've ever seen.

backpacking
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike. Stopped at Green Lake and camped for the night. Do not be discouraged by the fact that this is 'highly trafficked.' We saw some trail runners and other day hike/backpackers, but nothing excessive, on a Saturday and Sunday. Everyone was kind and helpful. Bottom of the trail is more populated, by the time you get to Green lake there are less people. Planning a through hike to Green, then gold lake, then out via the Park Meadow trail, for next year.

The smaller green lake isn't that cold in August, I recommend going for a dip if your joints are hurting at all.

Great hike for the kids

hiking
9 months ago

Quite steep throughout the ascent. But worth the sweat when you crest to see the lake. Water was crystal clear and was too inviting to not take a dip. I'm out of shape and this was a fairly serious challenge for me. You young bucks won't have much problem however. Nice camping spots if you decide to pack in the overnight gear and some epic views to take in when you get settled.

Beautiful views, great for kids

Is the Todd lake gate open to drive up to the broken top trail head?

hiking
9 months ago

Did this hike on 8/10/2017. One of the most beautiful I have ever been on!! I was nervous since it was rated difficult, but after hiking it am assuming the difficult rating is because of its length? It was filled with beautiful wild flowers, fun little creeks to cross, gorgeous views everywhere you look. Hiking across some snow patches was slippery but fun and you are rewarded greatly when you turn the corner and see No name lake... WOW!! We sat and ate lunch enjoyed the view and continued on up the ridge and there was the 3 sisters in all its glory!! Highly recommend this to all who love to hike! And not 1 mosquito bite!

Easy beautiful hike. Today we escaped all the smoke of forest fires. So refreshing. Very alpine.

hiking
9 months ago

Would someone mind telling me what trail you take from the Todd lake trailhead to get to Broken Top?

hiking
9 months ago

This was a fantastic hike! The trail is well made and maintained and generally incredibly smooth. The wildflowers were incredible, and we didn't even notice any bugs! Great views and a fantastic treat at the end when you get to gorgeous No Name Lake. The hike was not technically difficult, we were pleasantly surprised. Had a blast!!

Beautiful hike, even in the snow. We went in lateJune-earlyJuly, I would certainly go back to see it in the summer.

Easy ascent to the lakes. Would be nice for trail running

Beautiful clear lake on a breezy sunny day. This was a great trail; a bit strenuous but well maintained. Bring water or fill up at the bottom.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike. Parking lot full by 10:30
Monday AM. Had to park in trailer spot, cost $5. A few steep hills but mostly slight incline to lake and slight decline to return. Go to second lake not first lake. Green lake is just past the first lake you come to. Waterfalls, butterflies, foot bridges. Had to carry the dog over 2 of them as she was not having any part of crossing the river on a log. AllTrails indicates hike is 9.1 miles, map my run indicates length is 11.4 miles. Long hike but well worth the views!

hiking
9 months ago

I never usually rate trails low but who ever cut the trail was smoking crack the trail takes you a total of 4 miles out of the way for no reason and this trail is not the summit trail unless you want to hike a total of 20 plus miles the true summit is on the north west side of broken top this trail takes you to no name lake and to the false Summit on the north eastern Ridge.

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