• Crescent Lake is a scenic lake on the eastern side of the Cascade Range
• This is a perfect boating and fishing place with 5 areas having boat ramps
Crescent Lake, named as such thanks to its shape, is a scenic lake on the eastern side of the Cascade Range in Deschutes National Forest, about an hour away from Bend. This is one of the several lakes in the area, including nearby Odell Lake, Davis Lake, and a chain of scenic Cascade Lakes.
You can enjoy wooded shorelines, sandy beaches, beautiful blue-green water, and various recreational activities in scenic surroundings at this natural lake. There are fishing, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, camping, picnicking, and many other outdoor adventures.
Crescent Lake Resort provides accommodations and amenities, including boat, kayak, and bike rentals.
Swimming and Water Activities
Crescent Lake is a great place for various water activities, including swimming. Sandy beaches like North and South Simax are great to swim at and launch kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.
Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding
The surrounding area has a lot of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Most major routes start at a different point than the lake, but it can be an excellent place to explore the area.
The lake is open to both motorized and non-motorized boats. With 12.4 miles of shore and 4,500 acres of surface, there is plenty of space for everyone. You can launch your boat from the multiple areas at the lake.
You can pick from Crescent Lake Campground, Crescent Lake Lodge, Simax Group Campground, Tranquil Cove Day-Use area, and Spring Campground.
Crescent Lake is a fishing paradise with various species you can catch off the boat or at the bank. Lakeshore is heavily forested, and bank access is limited to mostly campgrounds and other places clear of trees and vegetation.
Most fishing occurs at the lake's north end near the resort and along the southwest and southeast shores. The lake is deepest in the center, reaching approximately 265 feet. Even the shorelines drop off quickly to 40 feet or more.
Here, you can find rainbow trout, lake trout (mackinaw), kokanee salmon, mountain whitefish, brown trout, and bull trout.
Mackinaw is the primary fish here, averaging between 5-10 pounds, with some reaching up to 30 pounds. Tropthy mackinaw reaches 20 pounds or more.
During the spring, these predatory fish can be found in shallow water, around 5-10 feet deep, at the north end of the lake. In summer, lake trout live at depths between 80 and 130 feet. You can also catch some mackinaw near the southern shore between Rainbow Point and Contorta Flat Campground.
Kokanee lives in deep, cool water and averages between 12 and 14 inches. Some species can reach up to 20 inches. You can typically find that fish at 30 to 60 feet depth.
The best areas for kokanee fishing are near the north end of the lake, in front of the summer homes southwest of the resort, and on the southeast shore near the Simax Beach Campground.
Rainbow and brown trout are plentiful here too. The early season is an excellent time to catch them off the shore or float tubes.
Keep in mind that bull trout is a threatened specie.
There are 7 campgrounds around the lake, including primitive and RV spots. If you want more comfortable accommodation, rent a yurt at Crescent Lake Campground or stay at Hoodoo's Crescent Lake Lodge & Resort.
Accomodations and Day-use Areas
Hoodoo's Crescent Lake Lodge & Resort is often just called Crescent Lake Resort. It has multiple cabins to stay at, equipment rentals, a restaurant, and more.
Crescent Lake Campground has 47 campsites with firepits and tables, a boat ramp, drinking water, and restrooms. You can also rent a yurt for a more comfortable stay.
Whitefish Horse Camp is a campground with corrals for horses. There are vault toilets and potable water.
Tranquil Cove is a day-use area with a basic boat ramp.
Windy Group Campground is a group campsite with picnic tables and a vault toilet, but no drinking water.
Spring Campground has 68 campsites (no RV hook-up), a vault toilet, potable water, and a boat ramp.
Contorta Point Group Campground is a popular site with a vault toilet and no drinking water.
Contorta Flat Campground is a small campground with 18 campsites, vault toilets, and no drinking water.
North and South Simax are two sandy day-use beaches. Enjoy a picnic, swim, or launch your kayak from here.
Simax Group Campground is a group campsite with picnic tables, potable water, and a vault toilet.
Reservations can be done online through Recreation.gov or by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777
Crescent Lake | Facts
Managed by: US Forest Service
Amenities: Restrooms, picnic sites, drinking water, boat ramps
Activities: Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, camping, horseback riding, hiking, and nature viewing
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes at some areas or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Elevation: 4,800 ft (1,463 m)
Crescent Lake is located:
- 66 miles southwest of Bend
- 80 miles southeast of Eugene
- 141 miles southeast of Portland.
Directions to Crescent Lake
From Bend to Crescent Lake Resort,
- Take US-97 South for 47 miles
- Turn right onto Crescent Road/Crescent Cutoff Road for 12 miles
- Turn right onto OR-58 West and follow it for 3.5 miles
- Turn left onto OR-429 South for 2.4 miles
- Turn right onto Lava Odell Road and follow it for 0.2 miles
- Turn left to stay on Lava Odell Road and continue for 0.2 miles
- Turn right and continue for 0.2 miles until you reach your destination.