Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival

July 30, 2022 (5000 and 1500 Meter Races)

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

Register Here


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.


A 5000 meter race, swum counter clockwise once around a diamond and twice around a triangular course.  A 1500 meter race, swum clockwise once around a triangular course. Swimmers may participants one or both races.

Swimmers who cannot swim 1650 yards (1500 meters) in 40 minutes MUST NOT ENTER these events. It's for safety. Swimmers on the 5000 meter course longer than 2 hours 15 minutes, may be stopped and listed as DNF/DQ in the results.

SWIM SCHEDULE - (subject to change due to conditions)

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

7:15 am  Check-in begins
8:00 am  Check-in closes for 5000-meter swim
8:15 am  Warm-up ends and Manditory Pre-Race Meeting begins.
8:30 am  Start of the 5000-meter swim
11:00 am  Check-in closes for the 1500-meter swim
11:15 am  Warm-up ends and Manditory Pre-Race Metting begins.
11:30 am  Start of the 1500-meter swim 
12:15 pm  Lunch
12:45 pm  Awards


Open ONLY to adults (18 years of age or older on the day of the event) who are current USMS members or foreign equivalents. Eligibility will be automatically verified through the online entry system. For swimmers who are not current USMS members, a USMS "One-Event" membership is available with entry for $15. USMS Rules will govern the event including: 

  • Age will be determined by the age of the swimmer on December 31, 2022, 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 mid-calf. Swimmers wearing Safety Tow Buoys will be tabulated in Category II.
  • 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. 


The 5000-meter swim will use a mass start (unless the size of the entry dictates otherwise for safety).
The 1500-meter swimm will be divided into women's and men's waves, and subdivided by swimwear category. 



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.


One swim: $40, Two Swims: $55. OMS Sanction Fee: $5 per swimmer.  Entry fee includes a commemorative swim cap and a post-swim boxed lunch.

Staggered entry fee: Entries completed before July 19 receive a bonus for timeliness. Entries completed between July 19-24th pay an extra $10 fee.  The online entry system will close on Monday July 25th at midnight PDST.  Note: NO DAY-OF-RACE Entries!  Save some cash and submit your entries on time! Spectator meal ordering is cut-off at the July 19th deadline.


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:  Ribbons to the top three finishers in each age group for each race in both Category I and Category II suits.


We provide a boxes lunch to all competitors entered as a 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. 


No group campsite available for this year. See the lodging and camping below for more information.


Parking is limited to two large pullouts off the Cascades Lakes Highway and the Six-Lakes Trailhead. No shuttle bus this year. 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. 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 a campground.

Camping & Lodging

Group Camp Site for 2021

We do NOT have a group camp site for this year.

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: 

2022 Results
2021 Results
2020 Event Cancelled
2019 Results
2018 Results
2017 Results
2016 Results
2015 Results
2104 Results
2013 Results
2012 Results
2011 Results