I-5 doesn’t have to be a long, boring drive… You’re a little ahead of schedule and you’ve got a few extra hours, so what’s your hurry? Why not take a side trip? Get off the Interstate and discover the real America… small towns, scenic coastlines, historic communities and some of the west coast’s most enjoyable roadtrips.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway – Oregon
Length: 66.0 mi / 106.2 km
Time: Take three to five hours to visit this byway.
Fees: There are fees associated with parking for more than a few hours near trailhead markers. Also, permits are required.

About Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway cuts a path through the mountains, lakes, and forests of central Oregon. Volcanism and glaciation formed more than 150 lakes for which the region is well known. See outstanding examples of lava flows, alpine lakes, and meadows. Cross paths taken by such historic figures as Kit Carson.

The Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway (Forest Route 46) is a National Scenic Byway in central Oregon in the United States. It runs for 66 miles (106 km) in the rugged country of Deschutes and Klamath counties on the east side of the Cascade Range. It offers particularly good views of Mount Bachelor and provides access to many recreational facilities in central Oregon. The route is so named because it weaves past a number of small natural lakes along the Cascades, as well as several reservoirs on the upper Deschutes River.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway | I-5 Exit Guide
Magnificent Mt. Bachelor rises behind Lava Lake on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Public domain. Photo by Brett Hansen

The northern terminus of the route is in Bend, at U.S. Route 97. It follows the two-lane Century Drive Highway west into the Deschutes National Forest and past the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area, then south along the Cascades into northern Klamath County, where it terminates on its southern end at its junction with Oregon Route 58, approximately 40 mi (64 km) southeast of Oakridge. Along the way, Century Drive (not the Century Drive Highway) turns east to Sunriver.

The Century Drive Highway begins at an interchange with US 97 (the Bend Parkway) in Bend. It heads west along Colorado Avenue and Century Drive, which it follows to the entrance to the Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, where Century Drive Highway ends.

The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway continues south along the west side of Mount Bachelor. Beyond Mount Bachelor Ski Area, the byway passes Todd Lake, Sparks Lake, Devils Lake, Elk Lake, Hosmer Lake, Lava Lake, Little Lava Lake, and Cultus Lake. South of Crane Prairie Reservoir, the two routes split, with the scenic byway continuing to head south towards its terminus at Oregon Route 58. Century Drive instead heads back to the east, north of the Wickiup Reservoir, and then heads northeast parallel to the western shore of the Deschutes River. It eventually crosses the river, runs north for several miles, and then terminates at an intersection with US 97 near the resort community of Sunriver.

Driving Directions: From Bend, take Cascade Lakes Highway, also known as Co Hwy 46 west. The byway travels through the Deschutes National Forest, turning south near Devil’s Lake and continuing on past several other lakes, some of which are Sparks Lake, the Lava Lakes, the Cultus Lakes, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Wickiup Reservoir, and Davis Lake. The byway ends at the junction of Co Hwy 46 and SR 58 (near Crescent and Odell Lakes.)

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I-5 Exit Guide
One of the most complete road travel resources of its kind on the Internet! The Interstate 5 Exit Information Guide features exit service listings for the entire length of I-5 from Washington to California! Food, gas, lodging, rest areas, attractions and more…