Cascade Lakes: Fall Favorites
I’ve driven by many times but only as of this year have I been to Spark’s lake, and what a shame! It has become my new “go to” for a picnic, sunset, or hammock sesh. It’s one of the first lakes off the highway, and is a short (yet bumpy) ride on a dirt road from there. The mountain landscape is a trifecta of Bachelor, South, and Broken Top- hard to beat. I’m looking forward to camping and taking my paddle board out for a float next Summer. It doesn’t seem to be much of a swimming spot, but what do I know. Either way, serenity awaits at Spark’s lake!
The Green lakes trail head is about a half mile past Sparks lake on your right. I am pretty sure it is unmarked, but the mass of cars lining the highway gives it away (sadly). This is by far my favorite hike in the area, the only downfall being the crowds. If you can brave the weather go on a not-so-glamorous day and you’ll likely be alone out there. I’ve hiked this trail in every season and it offers a new perspective each time. It is about 9 miles or so there and back, which is just about how long I want to hike for on any given day. Along the way there is a trail that cuts off to Moraine Lake, which I have written about here.
During this most recent trip in the fall I experienced rain, sun, wind, and a breathtaking rainbow, pictures do NOT do it justice. Once you reach the lake you have a great view of South and Broken top, and the lake is quite large. My favorite part of this hike is the varying wilderness along the way- if that even makes sense. In parts it is lush, green and secluded. You cross a few bridges over creeks, you see waterfalls, and open meadow. I think it’s really unique! It is mostly flat so I pick up the pace for some cardio.
You can kind of see the rainbow on the far right!