‘Gem of the Cascades’ Delivers Lots of Fun in the Snow: Gerry Frank’s Picks


There is a reason that Lac Diamant Resort (350 Resort Drive, Diamond Lake; 541-793-3333; diamondlake.net) prides itself on being the ‘Jewel of the Cascades of Oregon’, and while the area’s natural beauty, including Crater Lake National Park just five miles away, plays a big part in that regard, it is also because there is always a full list of seasons activities to enjoy.

The brand new lakeside retreat cabin is beautifully built and offers stunning views of Diamond Lake and Mount Bailey, especially this time of year. Being a seven bedroom cabin, with a steep price, it is ideal for large groups (no pets). The other accommodation choices, which include motel rooms, studio units, cabins (modern or rustic), and a Jacuzzi suite, are a bit dated, but get the job done especially if your goal is to get out on the slopes. and enjoy the winter snow.

Beginners and those looking for a low-speed winter adventure will enjoy snowmobiling and snowshoeing, while more advanced skiers and snowboarders will likely appreciate the vast and varied terrain on a snowmobile ski adventure at Cat Ski Mt Bailey (catskimtbailey.com); discounts available for those staying overnight at the resort. Cross-country skiing is also popular at Diamond Lake with 40 miles of trails with options included for all ability levels. If all else fails, it doesn’t take much to enjoy the tubing and tobogganing, and the resort is able to provide everything you would need for a day of fun at a low price; cosmic tubes in the dark with fireplaces and music are also available on certain dates.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and a limited number of tickets, I recommend purchasing tickets online for snowtubing as well as accommodation reservations in advance.

With accommodation and winter activities taken care of, the only thing to consider is catering and visitors don’t have to worry about that either. The lodge offers breakfast, lunch and dinner (currently take out only) as well as take out from the South Shore Pizzeria. Accommodation rates vary by season, type of accommodation and features.

One winter activity that isn’t widely encouraged in Oregon is ice fishing, and for good reason as it requires extreme caution, but it is possible in some areas – Diamond Lake being one of the best. Another resort that offers great ice fishing, as well as all of the winter activities mentioned above, is Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge & Resort (950 Harriman Route, Klamath Falls; 541-949-8300, 866-201-4194; Lakeofthewoodsresort.com). Similar to Diamond Lake, the rainbow trout is one of the species you are likely to catch here. However, Lake of the Woods is home to several other species (call the resort for ice thickness and other info).

For overnight stays I have recommended this resort for a nice winter getaway before and still do. They too have a restaurant and pizzeria on site. Prices vary.

The fourth edition of the guide “Gerry Frank’s Oregon” is available via oregonguidebook.com; 503-585-8411; [email protected]; amazon.com; Macy’s; and PO Box 2225, Salem, OR 97308.

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