It is a short hike to get to Steelhead Falls on the Deschutes River. Near the Crooked River Ranch, the half-mile hike leads to the falls where jumping off the 25-foot cliff into the deep green water is a popular activity. The water may be a little chilly, still, so be cautions. But it should serve as a refreshing dip in late July and August in Central Oregon.
Only nonmotorized water activities are allowed on Scout Lake, which makes the lake a fine choice for swimming. Located 40 miles north west of Bend on U.S. Highway 20 past Black Butte Ranch, Scout Lake is a smaller lake, which makes for warmer water temperatures.
Cultus Lake is located off Cascade Lakes Highway; it’s the furthest of the Cascade Lakes from Bend. There are multiple beach spots with access to swimming, so you will not interfere with the other motorized water sports.
Other Lakes to Consider: Todd Lake, Elk Lake, Little Cultus, Crane Prairie Reservoir; South Twin Lake, Lake Billy Chinook, Crescent Lake, Paulina Lake