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
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.
Perfect Snowmobile Adventure
Wanted to take my son snowmobiling, and found Pat and Wendy at Elk Lake. We had an absolutely wonderful time! First, we took a 45 minute snowcat from Dutchman Flat Sno-Park (don’t forget to buy a parking permit at any ski shop) to the Elk Lake Resort with Michael. Super nice guy. You can’t drive your car to Elk Lake during the winter so you have to go round trip on their snowcat. It’s $50 per guest (min 3 guests), but the ride was definitely a fun part of the experience. This also made Elk Lake particularly nice because there weren’t a lot of people out there. Then Mike (also super friendly) set us up on a beautiful 2021 Polaris 650 VR1 snowmobile. I think they had 8 of them, four single seaters and four tandems. They all looked brand new. They were definitely in perfect condition, not even a scratch on them. Then he sent us on our way. We drove around Elk Lake and a bunch of the local trails. We came back to the lodge, drank some hot chocolate in their cafe and enjoyed another snowcat ride back to our car. All in all, it was a perfect first experience ever for my son on a snowmobile. He loved it! Wendy, Pat, Mike and Mike were the best. We will definitely be back!
Fun to see Elk Lake Resort in the winter
We snowmobiled out to Elk Lake Resort to visit it for the first time. They had boarded up the porch due to covid so the resort is small and older and it most likely doesn't have as much charm because the porch looks like a boarded up addition. It's understandable that it doesn't have as much ambiance. We give them credit for finding a method to provide food in the circumstances. Our wait person was helpful and very nice, the food came quickly. We didn't think the food was very good. One had the burger and he didn't think it was good at all and the turkey sandwich was kind of odd. It has cranberries, cheese but then a sesame dressing - kind of like a cross between a holiday sandwich and an asian dish? The turkey is a few pieces of turkey. The Rueben was fine. Our wait person asked if we wanted to substitute but we weren't aware there were upcharges so our bill was $105 for a sandwich and a soda drink for 5 people before tip. I understand that they might need to charge a little more, I think we just wish the food was better for the price. They had restrooms available. It was fun to see, we might go again. I would definitely plan if you go out there to bring lots of food so that you limit eating in the restaurant to a few meals since they have limited menu and the food is average. It's a cute smaller older resort, it reminds me of the cultus lake resort. I found the woman who answers the phone to be very helpful and friendly. They have the suburban "cats" to give you a ride back and forth which is interesting if you haven't done that before. It must be a bumpy ride since the trails weren't groomed for the snowmobilers. I like the fact that they are very committed to donations for the local community.