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Create Your Own Bat Walk at Capitol Lake

Bats use Capitol Lake only part of the year.  You can only make this walk late June to mid-August.  The month of July is best.  Before you start, you might want to read through A Night at Capitol Lake to learn about the bats that come to the lake in the summer months.

  • Bring a pair of binoculars with good light-gathering capacity.
  • Arrive ten minutes before sunset (for the guided tour people come earlier in order to hear an interpretive talk)—note that you will have to look up the time of sunset as this keeps changing
  • Position yourself at lamppost 39 along the Deschutes Parkway, near the bus stop shelter halfway between the 4th and 5th Avenue Bridges and Marathon Park. Look west up at the ridge to see Big Brown Bats arriving.
  • As the light fades, walk north along the lake, noticing any bats that zoom past the lampposts as they approach the lake.
  • Cross Fifth and Fourth Avenues to arrive at the walkway by Bayview Thriftway that terminates at the Fourth Avenue Bridge, and look for bats flying low along the boulders and then under the bridge.
  • Return to the Deschutes Parkway, going to lamppost 43. To see bats hunting insects, train your binoculars on the large rectangle of light cast by the hotel.

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