Sparks Lake

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Sparks Lake
Sparks Lake (Deschutes County, Oregon scenic images) (desDB3295).jpg
Sparks Lake and South Sister
Location Deschutes County, Oregon
Coordinates 44°00′56″N 121°44′43″W / 44.015670°N 121.745311°W / 44.015670; -121.745311Coordinates: 44°00′56″N 121°44′43″W / 44.015670°N 121.745311°W / 44.015670; -121.745311
Type Natural, oligotrophic, with dam
Primary inflows Goose, Fall, and Soda creeks
Catchment area 37 square miles (96 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 779 acres (315 ha)
Average depth 1 foot (0.3 m)
Max. depth 7 feet (2 m)
Water volume 1,000 acre feet (1,200,000 m3)
Shore length1 10 miles (16 km)
Surface elevation 5,433 feet (1,656 m)
Settlements Bend
References [1][2][3]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Sparks Lake is a natural body of water near the crest of the central Cascade Range in Deschutes County in the U.S. state of Oregon. The lake is about 26 miles (42 km) west-southwest of Bend along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway in Deschutes National Forest.[2] Named for a 19th-century rancher, "Lige" Sparks,[4] the water body is a remnant of a bigger lake that has partly filled with sediment and vegetation.[2]

Many of the region's mountain peaks, such as Mount Bachelor, Three Sisters, and Broken Top, are visible from the lake. Other lakes in the vicinity include Todd, Elk, Hosmer, Blow, and Doris.[5]


Like many lakes in the region, Sparks Lake does not have any visible outflow. However, the surface level of the lake is below the regional water table; as such, the lake does not technically form an endorheic basin, and thus feeds springs in the surrounding area. The lake and its basin is generally believed to be part of the Deschutes River drainage area, part of the greater Columbia River basin.


The United States Forest Service maintains a boat launch at Sparks Lake. The site has a parking area, a lake trail, and dispersed camping at locations accessible by boat.[6] A more formal campground run by the Forest Service is nearby along Soda Creek.[7]

Sparks Lake supports populations of brook trout and stocked cutthroat trout. Fly fishing is the only kind of angling allowed on the lake. Motorboats may be used for transportation, but fishing is allowed from them only when their motors are turned off.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, Daniel M.; Petersen, Richard R.; Lycan, D. Richard; Sweet, James W.; Neuhaus, Mark E., and Schaedel, Andrew L. (1985). Atlas of Oregon Lakes. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 265. ISBN 0-87071-343-4. 
  2. ^ a b c "Atlas of Oregon Lakes: Sparks Lake (Deschutes County)". Portland State University. 1985–2012. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Sparks Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hopper, Ila Grant (Oct 1, 1982). "Sparks Lake named for stockman". The Bulletin. p. 7. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  5. ^ United States Geological Survey (USGS). "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map". TopoQuest. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sparks Lake Boating Site". United States Forest Service. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Soda Creek Campground". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Sheehan, Madelynne Diness (2005). Fishing in Oregon: The Complete Oregon Fishing Guide (10th ed.). Scappoose, Oregon: Flying Pencil Publications. p. 246. ISBN 0-916473-15-5. 

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