• Davis Lake was created by lava flows that formed a natural dam and blocked Odell Creek
• The lake the most well-known for excellent fly fishing
A high-altitude Cascade Lakes, Davis Lake is located southwest of Bend in the Deschutes National Forest along the National Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.
Davis Lake takes its name from “Button” Davis, the Prineville area stockman who ran his cattle near the lake back in the 19th century.
The lake was created approximately 6,000 years ago due to the volcanic activity in the area. Three lava flows from the nearby eruption formed a natural dam and blocked Odell Creek.
Lake’s size varies by the season and can be anywhere from 1,000 to 3,906 acres, being the largest during winter months. Two main sources of water for the lake are Odell and Ranger Creek and during summer the water flow is not big enough to keep up with the water drainage through the volcanic formations. Davis Lake is relatively shallow with an average depth of 9 feet and a maximum depth of 22 feet.
Because of the massive vegetation along the shoreline and muddy lake bottom, this lake is't recommended for swimming. The best option to take a refreshing dip on a hot summer day is one of Twins Lakes, Elk Lake, Cultus Lake, Wickiup or Crane Prairie Reservoirs.
Davis Lake is the most well-known for fly fishing. This lake produces trophy-sized rainbow trout.
Also, this lake is often called one of the best Oregon bass lakes. The largemouth bass was illegally introduced in 1995 and now its numbers exceed the trout population. Piscivorous trout also inhabits the lake and is native to it. Whitefish can be found in those waters as well. Only fly fishing with artificial flies is allowed on the lake. Always check the current ODFW regulations before fishing.
Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed, but speed is limited to 10 mph. West Davis Campground offers primitive boat lunch while Lava Flow Campground offers a proper boat ramp.
A fire in 2003 destroyed West Davis Campground.
East Davis Lake Campground is located on the Odell Creek near the spot where it enters Davis Lake. Advance reservation through recreation.gov is required.
Lava Flow Campground can occasionally be closed due to the preservation of eagles nesting nearby. located on the northwest side of the lake.
All campgrounds feature toilets, fire pits, and picnic tables.
Davis Lake | General Description
Open: Year-round; Due to snow in winters, the roads are closed
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Cascade Lakes Highway, Deschutes National Forest
Services: Restrooms, picnic sites, boat ramps
Activities: Boating, fishing, hiking, and nature-viewing
Accommodations: East Davis Lake Campground, Lava Flow Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Popularity: Low to moderate
Elevation: 4,200 ft (1,280 m)
Davis Lake is located:
- 55 miles west of Bend
- 93 miles east of Eugene
- 155 miles southeast of Salem
- 197 miles southeast of Portland.
Directions to Lava Flow Campground
- Take Highway 97 and travel 17 miles south to Vandevert Road
- Turn right onto Vandevert Road and drive 1 mile to S Century Drive
- Turn left onto S Century Drive and continue 1.1 miles
- Turn right to stay on S Century Drive and follow 22.8 miles to Cascade Lakes Highway 46
- Turn left onto Cascade Lakes Highway and go 2.1 miles
- Turn right, then again right onto NF-855 and continue 1 miles
- Turn left to stay on NF-855 and continue 0.9 miles to the destination.