Best Northwest Lake Getaways: Suttle Lake

The Oregon lake and resort on its shores, dish up a camp experience for grown-ups.

By Danielle Centoni


June 15, 2017

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Check out the rest of our 26 Best Lakeside Getaways in the Northwest here.

Tucked away in Deschutes National Forest, on the eastern slope of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, is a deep, sparkling blue lake where you can relive your summer camp days—but on grown-up terms. That’s because Suttle Lake is not only home to abundant wildlife—such as spawning kokanee salmon and Pacific loons—it’s also home to The Suttle Lodge, sort of a rustic-hip hotel for nature lovers.

At this sweet little oasis, you can fish, swim, paddle a canoe, sunbathe on the dock, play lawn games and hike the circumference of the lake (253 acres) while breathing in the pine-scented air.

The best part? All this beauty comes with some serious creature comforts, such as craft beers and poached salmon sandwiches in the light and airy Boathouse restaurant, and craft cocktails and crispy pizzas in the woodsy-chic main lodge (both of which were renovated and reopened last summer). Everything is well curated here, from the food and drink menus designed by Portland chef Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s) and bartender Sean Hoard (Teardrop) to the ’70s-era singer-songwriters on the turntable and award-winning novels on the shelves.

If you like having your bed made, stay in one of the lodge rooms. Otherwise, go with one of the luxe lakeside cabins, complete with a kitchenette, gas barbecue and a superbly relaxing porch. Those who don’t mind roughing it can bring their own bedding and stay in the cute rustic cabins, or book a campsite at nearby Blue Bay campground on the south shore of the lake.

Insider Tip
If you crave a little shopping or nightlife (or didn’t make it to The Boathouse restaurant before it closes at sunset), the quaint town of Sisters is just 13 miles away.

GETTING THERE: Suttle Lake is in central Oregon, 13 miles northwest of Sisters, and about a six-hour drive from Seattle.

The Coordinates
The Suttle Lodge, 13300 U.S. Highway 20, Sisters, Oregon; 541.638.7001; $88–$300.
Blue Bay campground, Forest Road 2070, 13 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon; $20–$50.


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