Sparks Lake is located just outside of Bend, Oregon and is surrounded by Mt Bachelor, South Sister, and Broken Top. You can drive there from the end of May until as late as mid-November. The key to getting amazing wedding photos at Sparks Lake is planning them at the right time and place. Below is info on when and where to get the best portraits.
Time of Day
The best time of day for photos (on a clear day) is just before sunset and just after sunset. This particular wedding started right as the sunset. It ended about 45 minutes after the sun had gone down over the mountains. This allowed for some soft and amazing light that can’t be beaten. If you know you are going to have a cloudy day, the light can be good any time.
Time of Year
Sparks Lake can be beautiful year round, but some months can be better than others. June is the first month that you can most likely guarantee that Cascade Lakes Highway will be open. Also, in June you will probably still have snow on the mountains.
July and August can run a risk of being smoky, due to forest fires. A little bit of smoke can create some beautiful light. Too much smoke can be hazardous.
In my opinion, the best months are from September to November. October can be especially moody with the weather changing and you may see some snowflakes. In November you can almost guarantee to see some snow in the mountains.
There are two main Locations to park at Sparks Lake. The most common parking area is the Day Use Boat launch and the second being the Green Lakes Trailhead. Both locations will require a $ 5-day use parking permit, which you can pay for with cash only on site.
After parking, at Green Lakes Trailhead you will need to carefully walk south across the highway to an amazing meadow. This location has the best view of Mount Bachelor. You can also see South Sister and Broken Top.
If you decide to go to the Day Use Area you will find dozens of amazing places along the lakeshore. The lake is very shallow so you will see some breathtaking reflections on a calm evening.
If you’re considering getting married at Sparks Lake and have any questions, feel free to contact me with any questions.
Sami and Jordan
This amazing couple flew out to Oregon to elope in the mountains and decided that Sparks Lake was the location for them. Their ceremony was in August and the sky was filled with a hint of smoke, adding a bit of warmth to their photos.
Flowers: Woodland Floral
Videography: Mike Hiatt Media