What’s Under the Lake?


We have seen many different faces of Lake Cascade over the years.

fullsizeoutput_4b8aIt is generally placid in the morning.

fullsizeoutput_4a26 There is usually some wave action in the afternoon and then it calms again in the evening.

fullsizeoutput_4a25We’ve seen overcast mornings and stormy nights.

fullsizeoutput_49bbWhen full, Lake Cascade has 23,307 surface acres of water, 86 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 26.5 feet.   

But what is under Lake Cascade?    Three towns and an old highway!

P1010951Van Wyck, established in 1882, was a bustling town.   When the Idaho Northern Railroad Depot was placed in Cascade, much of Van Wyck moved there.

Center, established in 1895, was so named because it was at the center of Long Valley.  It was small but had a store and post office.    Arling, two miles from Center, was established in 1914.   

Congress approved building the dam on the North Payette River and the remaining residents of Van Wyck, Arling and Center received eviction notices.  The Cascade Dam was built between 1946 and 1948.   The remains of Van Wyck, Center and Arling were completely submerged by 1957.


There is now a Van Wyck Campground and the former Arling school was moved to Donnelly.  It is now the Chalet RV Park Office.

fullsizeoutput_4b84And the highway?  An old section of Idaho Highway 55 goes under the lake and reappears a few hundred yards away. 

fullsizeoutput_4b88 It disappears near Kent and Pam’s cabin in Donnelly.   When the lake is low, they can walk the entire submerged route to the other side.  That sounds like something we should do!

fullsizeoutput_4b87For now,  Pam and Elko waded in just a bit!

Some osprey guard their nest at the end of the road.


fullsizeoutput_4b93We went up to Tamarack with Kent and Pam for a free summer concert.


P1020078We heard the Boise band, Voice of Reason, playing reggae.  It was quite pleasant.

fullsizeoutput_4b92Can you do more critter sightings?   This deer and I shared the road on our morning walk.

fullsizeoutput_4b91A blue heron seemed to like the morning solitude.

fullsizeoutput_4b7dNot critters – Friends!   Mike and Nancy came in for a visit.    Mike is responsible for the Life is Good sand writing in the header.  Life is good!   Thanks for coming out!



About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s Under the Lake?

  1. Mark says:

    I wonder how many submerged ghost towns are under lakes in this country? I did a backpacking trip through what is now the bottom of Lake Georgetown north of Austin just before they started flooding it. There were all kinds of farm houses and other buildings sitting there abandoned. It was very strange.

    Very cool that you have the underwater roadway that you can walk. Hope you get the chance!

    • Serene says:

      I always wonder about abandoned houses wherever they are and think about the people who used to live there and what happened that it is now empty. I guess if they are flooding your town or farm at least that part of the question is answered!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s