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Sparks Lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Looking across Sparks Lake to Broken Top (bobcat)


Sparks Lake was created by a lava flow that issued from Mount Bachelor and dammed Soda Creek. The south shore offers famous views towards South Sister and Broken Top, with Devils Hill and its lava flow between the lake and South Sister. The shallow lake varies considerably in volume and its outflow channel has a low dam. It is high with meltwater in early summer, and levels gradually diminish as the water percolates through underground passages in the lava. Green meadows appear appear around the mountain hemlock islands as the water recedes, turning to a golden yellow in the fall. The Forest Service and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife have sealed some of the natural leaks in the lava, so water levels have been a little more constant in recent years.

The lake is stocked with trout. There is a campground at the north end of the lake and a picnic area and boat launch near the Ray Atkeson Trailhead.

The lake is named after Lige Sparks, a cattleman who pastured his livestock in the area.

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