Central Oregon has no shortage of outdoor activities but with our clear blue alpine lakes stand up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking is popular. There are many locations to choose from but at the Lara House Bed & Breakfast these are our favorite recommendations to guests. We often end up sharing adventure ideas like these with our guests during our multi-course breakfast.
Sparks Lake is one of the more popular lakes in the area so it fills up fairly quickly. If you want to experience this lake getting there early (in the day and in the season) is key. Later in the season, the water does get low enough that it could be too shallow for a kayak. The views from this lake are fantastic and memorable – South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor Butte are all visible.
In Bend, you can SUP and kayak on the Deschutes River that flows right through town. There are two main places to drop in if you want to follow the river though town – Farewell Bend Park and Riverbend Park. The river goes through the Old Mill shopping area and to Drake Park (another kayak or SUP spot to start).
If you felt like a hike instead of getting into the water, there is also The River Trail – it’s an easy 3 mile loop. This trail is the closest hike to the Lara House Bed & Breakfast, it’s right in town but you’ll feel like you are miles away.
ELK LAKE RESORT
Elk Lake Resort is about a 45-minute drive from Bend, on the Cascade Lakes Highway. Elk lake has several day-use beaches and a restaurant with a fantastic patio to enjoy food and drink before or after some time on the lake. Elk Lake is set on the northern end of Oregon’s Cascade Lakes region, a 40-mile stretch of dramatically scenic subalpine lakes located between the Diamond Peak to the south and Three Sisters Wilderness to the north.
CULTUS LAKE RESORT
Cultus lake is great if you have kids, as the lake is fairly shallow, and you can walk a fair way out in the water. There is also a general store, as well as a BBQ restaurant with a view of the lake. Another great thing about Cultus Lake Resort, is that you can rent kayaks or SUPs if you don’t have your own, or you’re curious and want to give it a try before you commit.
Hosmer Lake is a great spot if you want to be around a lot of wildlife and birds with breathtaking views of Mt. Bachelor, South Sister and Broken Top. This green blue lake is also a very popular fishing destination, so be aware of that. No motorized boats are allowed on the lake, so you can enjoy the sense of stillness and calm.
This deep basin, alpine lake near the crest of the Cascade Range in Sisters, Oregon is a popular summer destination. The 253-acre deep clear lake within the Deschutes National Forest is surrounded by pines and attracts kayaks, SUPs, boats and anglers. If you don’t have your own kayak or SUP you can rent it at the lodge. When you work up a thirst, or appetite, head to the Boat House and order a bloody mary with the fish and chips as a sandwich.
Whichever spot you choose you’re guaranteed to have a memorable adventure. If you happen to be in town during a full moon, kayaking under the stars is delightful. If you aren’t comfortable heading into the dark on your own Wanderlust Tours has a full moon canoe tour.
The best places to rent kayaks and SUPs in Bend:
Stand Up Paddleboard Bend
1320 SE Reed Market Rd #180 Bend, OR 97702
Tumalo Creek Kayak
805 SW Industrial Way Bend, OR 97702
Bend Kayak School and Rentals
691 NW Drake Rd Bend, OR 97701
The best kayak and SUP tour companies in Bend:
Tumalo Creek Kayak (Lara House Bed & Breakfast guests get discounts on certain tours)
805 SW Industrial Way Bend, OR 97702
61535 S Hwy 97 #13 Bend, OR 97702
The Bend Tour Company
350 SW Industrial Way Bend, OR 97702
Sun Country Tours
531 SW 13th St Bend, OR 97702