Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival

Race Dates: July 31 thru August 2, 2020

On-Line Registration NOT yet Open for 2020

Event Information

500, 1000, 1500, 3000, & 5000-meter swims
5 Swims in 3 Days! 

Hosted by Central Oregon Masters Aquatics and Bend Metro Park & Recreation District


Elk Lake, a beautiful, clear mountain lake nestled in the sunny Oregon Cascades 32 miles from Bend. Water temperature has varied from 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit and will be posted on race days.


The Cascade Lakes Swim Series features five open water swims over three days! Adult participants may enter any or all of the five swims. Friday swim is a 3000-meter swim on a triangular course. Saturday swims are an individual 500-meter time trial on an out-and-back continuous floating line course and a 1500-meter swim around a triangular course. Sunday swims will include a 5000-meter swim consisting of three loops of a diamond & triangular course and a 1000-meter swim on an irregular course following the shoreline.

SWIM SCHEDULE - (subject to change due to conditions)

Friday, July 31


Registration/Check-In for 3000-meter race


Start of 3000-meter race

Saturday, Aug 1


Registration/Check-In for 500 & 1500-meter races


Start of 500-meter race


Check-in for the 1500-meter


Start of the 1500-meter race (NW Zone Championships)

Sunday, Aug 2

7:15 am-8:15am

Check-In for 5000 & 1000-meter races

8:45 am 

Start of the 5000-meter Championship race


Check-In for the 1000-meter race

11:45 am

Start of 1000-meter race


Pre-race instructions 15 minutes before each start time. A picnic lunch and awards ceremony will follow the finish of races each day.


The Cascade Lakes Swim Series includes a Short Series (500, 1000, & 1500-meter swims) and a Long Series (1500, 3000,& 5000-meter swims). Each swimmer may enter one distance series only and must complete all three series swims to be eligible for Series awards. There is no additional cost to enter the series! For series awards, points will be based on finish order in each race, with a Category II suit (includes wetsuits) deduction (10% time penalty) when applicable. Swimmers who complete all FIVE swims will be eligible for special Survivor awards (no entry required).


Elk Lake is a great place to bring your family for an outdoors experience and extravaganza. We plan fun events for children on Saturday morning between the two swims.


Open ONLY to 2020 USMS registered swimmers or foreign equivalents, who will must be 18+ on Friday, July 31, 2020.  USMS One-Event registration - covering all races - is available for adults 18 and over for only for $21. USMS Rules will govern the event including: 

  • Age will be determined by the age of the swimmer on December 31, 2020, except 18-year-olds, who must be 18 on the first day of the event.
  • Category II suits - including wetsuits- are welcomed in all swims, but scored in a separate category. Click here for USMS swimwear rule.
  • Swimmers in either swimwear category MAY wear a personal buoy (tow float) for identification and safety. These are defined as inflatable, tethered to the waist, and towed no farther behind than the top of the ankle. 
  • Swmmers may NOT make deliberate contact with craft and/or physical features on or near the course.


In the 1500-meter swim only, we have added a new category called "Just for Fun" for swimmers who would like a more-relaxed, non-competitive participation swim experience. Swimmers in this category may use otherwise-prohibited devices like snorkels, pull buoys, paddles, fins, etc. They'll idetify themselves at the pre-swim meeting and swim with the rest of us, but for safety and fairness they'll start at the back of the pack and avoid contact and drafting with those who are racing. We won't report places or score them in any swimwear categoy, but we will report times as a courtesy. It will not count toward any Series or Survivor award tabluations.


The 3000 & 5000-meter swims will use a mass start. The 1500 swim will have two waves (Women and Men). The 500-meter swim will use an individual start and the 1000-meter swim will use small heats; both these swims will be seeded fastest-to-slowest based on 500 yard seed time. Day-of-Race entries or those not submitting a seed time will not be seeded in advance and will swim last. No changes allowed in seeding times at the race, so enter accurately.


Safety boats will monitor the entire course and medical personnel will be on-site. Swimmers must wear a brightly colored swim cap, have their race number on their arms or hands, and follow all announced safety rules without exception.


Entries completed by July 17 will pay the normal fees.  Entries completed July 18-25 must pay a $10 late fee.  The online entry system will close on Sunday July 26th at midnight PDST.  Note: NO DAY-OF-RACE Entries!  Save some cash and submit your entries on time! T-Shirt and spectator meal ordering is cut-off at the July 17th deadline.


A few things to keep in mind when registering. We have five individual races - you MUST pick which races you want to swim during the registration process (even if you pick a Series - you still need to mark the boxes of each swim you want to enter). We also have several Series awards. The Long and Short Series we give out custom made coasters for 1st - 3rd places in each age group for both series. The Long Series involves the 3000, 1500 and 5000 meter races.  The Short Series involves the 500, 1500 and 1000 meter races. There is no additional charge to enter a series, but you MUST indicate which Series you want to enter during registration (even if you are entering all five races). Finally, we also have a Survivor Series award (a mug or pint glass), given to everyone who completes all 5 races. You do not need to register for the Survivor Series, you are automatically entered if you select all five swims.


Your first race is $40, and each additional race is $5 more. Entry fee includes a swim cap and the post race meal on your race days.


Will be posted at Elk Lake promptly after each race and, and on our results website page at the conclusion of the weekend.


Masters age groups are 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, and so on in five-year increments as high as necessary for both women and men.

Awards to individual Masters swimmers by age group:

  • Medals to eight places in each age group in the USMS 5000-meter championships. Championship patches to the USMS winners (who are full USMS members).
  • Ribbons to the top three finishers in each age group in each race in both wetsuit and non-wetsuit categories.
  • Ceramic coasters to the top 3 Series finishers in each age group. Awards to individual Masters swimmers regardless of age group

Awards to individual swimmers regardless of age group:

  • Custom ceramic mug to the top male & female in each Series.
  • Special Survivor glass mug or silicon pint to everyone completing all five swims.


All swims count towards the cumulative season series.  The 1500 & 5000 are featured swims, while the 500, 1000, & 3000-meter swims are qualifying swims.


With their entry, swimmers may pre-order & purchase high-quality commemorative t-shirts for $18 sizes S-XXL.  If you are interested in a commemorative t-shirt, please order during the registration process. We will cut off t-shirt orders as of the first entry deadline and will not order extras. 


We provide meals to all competitors on the days they are entered in a race as it is part of your entry fee. You must specify a meal with meat or a vegetarian meal on your entry form.  You may also pre-order meals for all your friends and family (Spectator Meals for $12). If you want to have a meal on a day you aren't swimming, you must purchase one as a spectator for that day. But please don't purchase a meal for yourself on the days you are swimming!


We will have hot coffee and hot water for other drinks to help keep you warm before and after swims. We will also offer modest snacks for our volunteers, many of whom are on duty long before swimmers arrive. Swimmers may snack too, but these snacks are limited and NOT intended to serve as your breakfast or lunch.


COMA has reseved a group campsite at the Little Cultus campground for the 2010 event. See the Lodging and Camping page for further information.


Parking is limited to two large pullouts off the Cascades Lakes Highway and the Six-Lakes Trailhead. A shuttle bus will run Saturday & Sunday (only) between the trailhead, and the race site before & during registration and after races are completed. There will be no general parking at the race site until after event activities have concluded. Your car must display a current NW Forest Pass to park anywhere other than the highway pullouts or the campground.


NO DOGS at Elk Lake (USFS Rule), but they may be in the campground on a leash. Never leave your dog unattended in a car!

Directions & Parking

From Century Drive in Bend, take the Cascade Lakes Highway approximately 33 miles to Elk Lake. The start and finish for all swims is the South Beach Picnic Area (Day Use Area), the last Elk Lake exit if coming from Bend. 

PARKING IS LIMITED to two large pullouts off the Cascades Lakes Highway and the Six-Lakes Trailhead. A shuttle bus will run Saturday and Sunday between the Six-Lakes Trailhead, Little Fawn Lake Campground and the race site before, during registration and after races are completed. There will be no general parking at the race site until after all event activities have concluded. Your car must display a current NW Forest Pass to park anywhere other than the highway pullouts or the campground.

Camping & Lodging

Group Camp Site for 2020

We have secured camping at  Little Fawn Group Camp Site for Thursday through Sunday nights.  You  must sign up for camping during the on-line registration process. Sign up for Sunday, even if you plan to leave after the swims on Sunday, this will allow you to keep your tent up and car at the group campsite while you swim!

Other Camping Ideas

There is lots of camping near Elk Lake. Many are first-come, first-serve. Others can be reserved in advance (WELL in advance). To research, go to and put in Elk Lake, Oregon to see what is closest and available. The closest campgrounds to the race site (South Beach Day Use area of Elk Lake) are Point Campground, Little Fawn Campground and Elk Lake Campground (noisy as next to resort). Some other campgrounds nearby that accept reservations are Crane Prarie Campground, Little Lava Lake Campground and farther south Gull Point Campground (Wikiup Res.). Be aware: The Deschutes National Forest is a large area - you might find yourself far away from Elk Lake race site! 

Hotels and Motels

There are some cabins available at Elk Lake Resort - and you can swim over to the race start area as your warm up! But be warned, if you want a quiet night, this is not the place for you as there is normally a band playing on Saturday nights!

There are lots of hotels and motels in Bend and the surronding area. HOWEVER, please note there are ALWAYS several other large events scheduled in addition to our lake swim during that same weekend. RESERVE your lodging NOW! Allow at least an hour to get from Bend to Elk Lake.

Please carpool to the lake whenever possible - parking is extremely tight every year. READ the guidelines with the entry form - we don't want anyone getting a ticket or being late and missing their events!

Cascade Lakes Swim Results

Below are the completed results of the Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival: 

2019 Results
2018 Results
2017 Results
2016 Results
2015 Results
2104 Results
2013 Results
2012 Results
2011 Results