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Deschutes River State Recreation Area is an excellent place for family outing activities like hiking, biking, swimming, camping, rafting, world-class steelhead and trout fishing and equestrian trail riding.

Spring comes early in the Deschutes canyon, painting the walls of the canyon green for a few months each year before heat begins to build in June, turning the vegetation a golden shade of brown. The canyon is sheltered and warmer than you might think; the first wildflowers break from winter’s grip in late February. The early season brings a full fantasia of blooms on the canyon walls through June. What a great escape from the rainy weather!

The Atiyeh Deschutes River Trail at river level is a favorite jaunt for hikers on hot summer days. You just can’t beat the cool river and the shade of white alder and birch trees (and while you’re resting, look for the hanging basket-type nests built by the orioles).

The Deschutes, which is both a national and state scenic waterway, drops about a quarter of a mile in its final 100 miles as it twists through canyons 700 to 2,200 feet deep. Great for days of fun whitewater rafting, kayaking, and inner-tubing.

Heritage Landing is a popular jetboaters launch. It provides access to the Deschutes and Columbia Rivers. This is where river guides meet their clients, families gather to head out onto the Columbia River for salmon fishing or water skiing, and everyone collects to share the excitement of their big catch. Jetboating is allowed on the lower segment of the Deschutes River all year around except alternating weekends from June – September; boaters passes are required.

The lower two miles of the Deschutes River is a PASS THROUGH zone for boaters. This provides fishing access for the many hike-up anglers that depart from Heritage Landing and use the river trails.

Vital stats: The campground offers nine premium electric sites, 26 regular electric sites, 35 primitive sites (maximum site 30 feet) and group RV/tent areas (4 reservation areas). There is also a covered camper wagon that can be rented. One extra vehicle allowed per site (all others must be parked in overnight lot). Call 1-800-551-6949 for information. Campsites are reservable. To make reservations, call 1-800-452-5687.

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. Deschutes Steelhead

    written by Grant McOmie on September 8th, 2011

    When you travel east from Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley, be on the lookout for a “silver lining” in the high desert. You may find it when you step aboard board a jet boat to travel up the Deschutes River and cast lures for silver…

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