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Elk Lake - Oregon | Your Complete Guide

Elk Lake in Oregon is a scenic mountain lake located within the Cascade Range in the Deschutes National Forest. Surrounded by forests and volcanic landscapes, this picturesque lake sits at an elevation of approximately 4,848 feet (1,478 meters).

It offers a range of recreational activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, and boating.

Elk Lake

Elk Lake: At a Glance

  • Location: Deschutes County, Oregon

  • Elevation: 4,848 feet

  • Average Depth: 30 feet

  • Max Depth: 80 feet

  • Surface Area: 472 acres

  • Nearest City: Bend, Oregon

  • Why Visit? Scenic beauty, fishing, boating, and water activities

  • Camping:

    • Elk Lake Campground

    • Point Campground

    • Little Fawn Campground

Elk Lake Location

Elk Lake is situated in the Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon, United States. Similar to Lava Lake and Cultus Lake, it is nestled within the Cascade Range, a vast mountain range extending from northern California through Oregon and Washington.

Elk Lake Resort Amenities
Some of the amenities you'd have access to are visible at Elk Lake.

More specifically, Elk Lake is located in Deschutes County, southeast of the city of Bend. It occupies a serene spot within the Deschutes National Forest, surrounded by the natural beauty of the region.

Getting to Elk Lake

Use the map below to get directions to Elk Lake:

Did You Know? Central Oregon is also home to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon's only National Park.

Elk Lake History

Elk Lake has a rich history rooted in the natural landscape of central Oregon. As with many lakes in the area, Elk Lake owes its existence to past geological processes. It was formed through glacial activity during the last Ice Age, which sculpted the land and created the basin that now holds the lake.

Elk Lake 1
An expansive view of Elk Lake.

Over time, Elk Lake has served as a significant resource for both indigenous communities and early settlers in the region. Native American tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, have a longstanding connection to the area, utilizing its resources for sustenance and cultural practices.

In the early days of European settlement, Elk Lake played a role in the burgeoning timber industry of the region. Logging operations and the transportation of logs via the lake were important activities during this period.

Elk Lake Floating Picnic Area

Activities at Elk Lake

Visitors to Elk Lake can partake in a variety of activities amidst its scenic surroundings. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy near Elk Lake:


Elk Lake offers excellent fishing opportunities, attracting anglers seeking to catch various fish species. The lake is known for its abundant fish, including trout and other native species, providing a rewarding experience for fishing enthusiasts.


With its calm waters and picturesque setting, Elk Lake is an inviting destination for boating. Visitors can bring their own boats or rent them locally to explore the lake's tranquil expanse. Whether it's leisurely cruises, paddling, or engaging in water sports like water skiing or wakeboarding, Elk Lake offers an enjoyable boating experience.

Elk Lake Resort
Elk Lake Resort Restaurant


During warm weather, Elk Lake presents a refreshing opportunity for swimming. It's clear waters and pristine environment create a serene ambiance, allowing visitors to take a dip and relax in the natural beauty of the lake.

The Elk Lake Shoreline
The Elk Lake shoreline


The area surrounding Elk Lake boasts a variety of hiking trails, providing opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural splendor.

Elk Lake Resort and Marina

Elk Lake Resort is a popular lodging and recreational facility situated on the shores of Elk Lake in Oregon. Offering a range of amenities and services, it provides visitors with a comfortable and convenient base to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor activities in the area.

Accommodations at Elk Lake Resort and Marina include rustic cabins, cozy lodge rooms, and camping options. The cabins feature modern amenities such as private bathrooms, kitchenettes, and stunning lake views. The lodge rooms offer comfortable lodging with shared bathrooms. For those seeking a more traditional camping experience, there are campsites available for tents and RVs.

The resort offers various amenities to enhance guests' stay. These amenities may include a general store where visitors can purchase supplies and groceries, a restaurant or café serving meals and snacks, and a rental shop providing equipment for water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Additional amenities may include picnic areas, a marina, and access to hiking trails.

Elk Lake Resort and Marina is known for its scenic location, nestled amidst the natural beauty of the Cascade Range. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains while engaging in activities like fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Elk Lake Camping

Here are a few great camping options near Elk Lake:

Elk Lake Campground

Located right by Elk Lake, this campground offers a convenient and picturesque camping experience. It provides various campsites for tents and RVs, with amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and vault toilets. The sites are $21 a night.

There are also cabins if you prefer a more luxurious stay:

Elk Lake Resort Cabins
Elk Lake Resort Cabins

Point Campground

Situated near the southern end of Elk Lake, Point Campground offers a serene camping experience amidst the natural beauty of the area. It provides campsites with lake views, picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.

Little Fawn Campground

Located on the eastern shore of Elk Lake, Little Fawn Campground offers a peaceful and secluded camping setting. It features tent-only campsites, picnic tables, fire pits, and vault toilets.

Other Lakes Nearby

Near Elk Lake, you might also like to explore:

Sparks Lake

Location: Deschutes County, Oregon

Sparks Lake is a serene alpine lake located in the Cascade Range. Surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and vibrant wildflowers, it offers breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere. The lake is known for its mirror-like reflections and is a popular spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and wildlife photography.

Hosmer Lake

Location: Deschutes County, Oregon

Hosmer Lake is a beautiful lake situated in the Cascade Range. With its crystal-clear waters, it provides excellent opportunities for fishing and paddling. The lake is known for its abundance of trout and its scenic surroundings, including water lilies and a backdrop of towering mountains.

Cultus Lake

Location: Deschutes County, Oregon

Cultus Lake
Cultus Lake Resort

Cultus Lake is a stunning alpine lake nestled in the Deschutes National Forest. Surrounded by lush forests, the lake offers opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing. Its emerald-green waters and picturesque landscapes make it a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

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