Elk Lake Resort in Bend makes for a cozy retreat year-round, but especially as a basecamp to snow sports. Resort visitors can hop on the Mt. Bachelor shuttle at Dutchman Flat Snowpark and be on the slopesminutes later.
- Restaurant / Lounge
- Family Friendly
- Pet Friendly
- Mountain or Water View
The experience at Elk Lake in the winter, is really wonderful as it’s beautiful up there. However, our overpriced, rustic cabin was exceptionally dirty - mouse droppings under the table and on windowsills, dust, grime, other guests articles of clothing, etc. It was really disappointing. I can handle all levels of rustic, but cleanliness is key to comfort. The owners also seem to have given up on basic maintenance. There were no smoke alarms, or carbon monoxide detectors. If you want to come up on a snowmobile for the day, that might be a better option as the food is pretty good at the lodge and it’s a fun experience.
The worst (overpriced) cabin in a gorgoeus spot.
I can do rustic, I'm a country girl at heart, grew up in the woods....but this cabin at elk lake...it was AWFUL! We came for two nights my birthday and I spent a lot of the time cleaning, throwing out food that mice had eaten, finding spiders in my clothes bag, sanitizing the bathroom, putting towels under the door because there was no threshold and a 1/2 foot gap in the door (that lets in critters and bugs)...sigh. There was a terrible smell upon entering...like a dead animal. I noticed they had those awful plug in scent things...probably to cover up the stank. The bed was the creakiest, loudest, most uncomfortable thing I have EVER slept on. The coffee was literally $4 for the worst cup of coffee I've ever had in my life. Canoeing on the lake with our young daughter was the highlight of the trip...but you can do that without staying in the awful cabin! Oh, we could smell the porta potty that they have for weddings from our cabin, too, and they hadn't serviced it adequately ick. The overcharge for everything: firewood, coffee, food (ugh)...you can bring everything yourself...but then why call it a resort?
Don't plan on showering
We rented two "glamping tents" for two nights - ~$500. The lake is beautiful and the restaurant (closed on Tuesdays) is wonderful though somewhat pricey. The tents include towels, linens, two futons, and a fire pit. A comforter is provided, but even in August it's not enough. Bring blankets. The campsite has no water source, but there are porta potties and a sink a short distance away. My biggest issue is with the advertised free showers in the lodge. In actuality, you must wait until 9:00 am to get access to a shower with minimal water flow, maintenance, and sanitation. There is one other shower which is well-maintained, but we were told it was for the boaters(?) only. When we discussed the shower situation with the person in charge we were dismissed with the comment "that's unfortunate". Camping, especially with children, is messy, and showers are necessary. Knowing what we know now, we will not be staying at Elk Lake Resort again.
Stunning Scenery, Horrible Cabins
My family stayed at Elk Lake Resort last month for a wedding. We had one of the smaller "rustic cabins" (with the full kitchen and living area), and it was not a good experience. These are strictly my opinions based on our family's experience at Elk Lake...I realize that others who've stayed there may not feel the same way because of course everyone has different standards of what is acceptable: (1) SMELL: our cabin was definitely NOT clean, and it smelled old...not sure how to explain it better than that but the cabin had a funny, musty, dusty, old smell that never went away. (2) FURNITURE: the furniture in our cabin looked worn down and was probably very old. I didn't feel like I could sit on the sofa because the fabric looked greasy, if that's even possible...definitely didn't sit on it after we discovered an old sock tucked into one of the cushions. The beds were all right...comfortable enough but could never get truly comfortable in bed because of the strangely offensive smell lingering in the room. (3) WOODLAND CRITTERS: my husband looked behind the dresser and found mouse droppings shortly after we arrived. He hid this fact from me because he knew I'd freak out...but a tiny, furry mouse ruined his plan to deceive me when it scurried across the kitchen floor and disappeared under the kitchen stove. At this point, all I could do was scream and jump onto a chair....no energy left to try to catch the little fella. To be fair, there are notices in the cabins warning you about all the woodland critters that you may encounter, in and outside your cabin. (4) BATHROOM: the bathroom was disgustingly filthy...brown colored substance covered the grey tiles (won't even try to guess what that brown layer was) and the sink was clogged...couldn't brush our teeth or wash our faces without the sink filling up almost to the top. Also, the water pressure in the shower was so low that I never felt like I could wash the sweat and dirt off. (5) TEMPERATURE: I knew this resort was in the middle of the mountains and that it'd be rustic...and I didn't expect A/C....but there wasn't even a fan in our cabin. It was over 90 degrees while we were there....we couldn't even open all the windows at night to cool off because most of them had tears in them. So, my advice is that you consider bringing your own fan if you're planning on a summer trip. (6) BUGS: so, where do I begin with the bugs...yes, again I realize we were in the middle of the mountains, so I should've prepared myself for all the bugs, mosquitos, and critters we would encounter while there. But, there were probably more bugs in our cabin than outside of it. There were spider webs in all corners of the cabin, spiders hanging from the ceiling/doorways, moths and various flying insects all over the place. And for your bug-viewing pleasure, a million gnats permanently stuck to the ceiling in the bathroom and shower stall. I guess if you're ok with bugs...then this isn't a big deal. If you like your accommodations bug-free, this is probably not going to make you very happy. (7) OVERALL: some positive points about this resort...the microwave was working and there were cute chipmunks living right outside our door! We left Elk Lake with lots of bug bites and an experience we'll never forget! I must confess that I am not a very good camper/mountain person....so please read this review with a grain of salt.
Beautiful Setting, Needs A Little Help
The setting of this place is why you come! We loved being able to walk right to the lake everyday, several times a day! The girl who checked us in was really helpful. We rented cabin #20, which has two bedrooms. The cabins are rustic and old, but clean. One room had a great bed, while the other rooms bed was super saggy. And literally every curtain we would open to let in fresh air, feel off the rod. The front porch was nice, but when the other cabin was full, everyone would park and block our lake view. Would be great if they made better designated parking spots. Food- here is where they need more help. We brought a little food with us, as their website said a restaurant on site and general store. First, the general store is literally two small shelves of items. So don’t think you will be getting anything there. Second, we never had a good experience at the restaurant. First night we tried to get seating, and granted it was busy, but we stood there ten minutes without anyone even acknowledging us. When they finally did and told us it would be probably 30 minutes, we asked if we could order food to go. They said yes, but we needed to go around to the back side to do that. So we traipse around there, and again, no joke, wait 10 minutes before anyone acknowledges us. They take our order and then we ask if we can get drinks while we wait. Lady says to hold on. We are waiting, waiting, and then I decide to just walk to our cabin and get us beers and bring them back down to wait. While waiting, with our beers, we are told we can’t have outside beer in that area. Which I understand their laws, but we didn’t want outside beer, we wanted to buy there beer. Let’s move on to next food experience, go early to try and eat dinner so it won’t be so busy. We again wait a while before anyone sees us. We are seated and then the waiting starts. It was 15 minutes before a waitress came over, and by this time my husband got up and left and said he would find something to eat at the cabin. Took our order and I also ordered one item to go and take back for my son. When that came at the end, wasn’t what I ordered. But there was no way I was waiting around for someone to fix it. They need either more people or better trained people. We had planned on eating one meal a day there, but quickly deserted that idea. Rental marina - guy was really nice, but he needed help. We had a reservation for 10 for a kayak and paddle board. There were four people in front of us. We got our gear at 10:30. So, great views and neat area. But restaurant had horrible service, marina needed more help. A cabin is pricey, but to be honest any place on a lake is expensive. They need to do some updates and hire more people.