Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival

30th Annual Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival at Elk Lake, August 2-4, 2024

Featuring the Oregon LMSC 1500 Meter Open Water Champtionships

Registration opens April 12, 2024 - Registration Link Here
Early Registration closes July 22, 2024
Final Registration deadline (Inclues $10 late fee) July 29, 2024

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.

SWIMS (in order):  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’s swim is a 3000-meter swim on a triangular course.  Saturday’s swims are an individual 500-meter time trial on an out-and-back floating line course and a 1500-meter swim around a triangular course.  Sunday’s 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 west shoreline. Swimmers who complete all FIVE swims will win special Survivor awards.

Only adult swimmers who can swim 1650 yards/1500 meters in 40 minutes or less my enter any swim. It's for safety. 

SWIM SCHEDULE (subject to change due to conditions):

Friday, Aug 2
4:30-5:30pm Check-In for 3000-meter swim
6:00pm Start of 3000-meter swim
Saturday, Aug 3
7:45-8:45am Check-In for 500 & 1500-meter swims
9:15am Start of 500-meter swim
10:15-11:00am Check-in for the 1500-meter
—also the Oregon LMSC Championships!
11:30am Start of 1500-meter swim
Sunday, Aug 4
7:15 am-8:15am Check-In for 5000 & 1000-meter swims
8:45 am Start of 5000-meter swim
10:00-11:00am Check-In for the 1000-meter swim
11:45 am Start of 1000-meter race

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

RULES & SWIMWEAR:  Current USMS rules will govern this event.  

  • Age will be determined by the age of the swimmer on December 31, 2024, except for 18-year-olds, who must be 18 on the first day of the event.  
  • Under penalty of disqualification, swimmers may not make deliberate contact with craft, craft operators, and/or any physical features on or near the course during a swim.
  • Category II suits—including wetsuits—are welcomed in all swims, but tabulated in a separate category.  See Event Website (below) for swimwear classification details.
  • Swimmers in either swimwear category MAY wear a Safety Tow Buoy for identification and safety.  These are defined as inflatable, tethered to the waist, and towed no farther behind than the top of the ankle.  Swimmers wearing Safety Tow Buoys will be tabulated in Category II as USMS rules require.
  • Open ONLY to adults (18 years or older on the day of the event) who are current USMS members or foreign equivalents. For swimmers who are not USMS members, USMS "One-Event" membership - good for all swims - is available with event registration for $20.


The 5000-meter and 3,000 meter swims will use a mass start (unless the size of the entry dictates otherwise for safety).
​​​​​The 500-meter swim will be started in a time trial format, 20 to 30 seconds between swimmers.
​​​​​​The 1000-meter swim will be started in small waves.
The 1500-meter swim 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.


The basic entry fee is $50, plus $8 for each swim selected.  Entry fee includes a commemorative swim cap and a post-swim lunch/dinner. Swimmers who aren't current USMS members will be charged $20 for a one-events Membership (good for all 3 days).

Staggered entry fee: Entries completed before July 22 receive a bonus for timeliness. Entries completed between July 23-29 pay an extra $10 fee.  The online entry system will close on Monday July 29th 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 22nd 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.

Survivor Series: All swimmers completing all 5 swims will receive a Survivor award (there is no long or short series).


  • Swimmers will represent the Oregon LMSC local team listed on their USMS registration.
  • Only swimmers wearing Category I suits shall score.  Swimmers wearing other swimwear or wetsuits may swim, but they shall not score.
  • Team scoring shall be point value by age group: 8-6-4-3-2-1.
  • Cumulative team scoring will be compiled and banner awards given to the team champions in both Large & Small Team categories.


We provide a 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: 

2023 Event Canceled 
2020 Event Cancelled