The Lucky Lake Hike is a short, nearly level Central Oregon hike to a beautiful little Cascade lake with great views of nearby peaks. While the trailhead is little farther from Bend than some nearby hikes, the beauty and solitude of this hike make it worth every extra mile.
Just beyond Elk Lake Resort on the west side of the Cascade Lakes Highway at milepost 38.8 you'll see a small parking area at the Senoj Lake Trailhead. Park here, grab your towel and some lunch, and get ready for an afternoon of lakeside lounging. The hike in is merely 1 mile, not too steep, and you can find wildflowers and mushrooms hiding in a lot of nooks and crannies of the downed timber.
While most lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness and Deschutes National Forest are fed by snow melt or cold springs, this lake is surprisingly warm and inviting. There is beach access from several points along the lakeshore. Relatively few people use the area, giving you a wide choice as to where to settle, swim, and enjoy the clear water and damsel flies. You'll spot Middle and South Sister easily, and Broken Top becomes visible as you walk around the lake.
Hiking around the lake adds 1.3 miles, but be aware that the trail on the west side of the lake is vague and hard to follow. It sometimes skirts the shore and sometimes heads up into the downed timber. Be ready to log hop, but the treefall isn't too dense and makes for some fun terrain.
Pack a tent if you want to stay because there are two to four unmarked camp spots. Note that the only facilities are located at the trailhead.
Lucky Lake makes for a great hiking destination in Oregon's Central Cascades. Gorgeous views, clear water, minimal crowds, and a short, accessible hike make this an ideal summer escape.