Deschutes River-Day Section
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The Deschutes River slices through the center of Oregon, flowing from humble beginnings at Little Lava Lake in the Cascade Mountains to its terminus at the Columbia River. The Lower Deschutes—the 100 miles from Pelton Dam to the Columbia—is a powerful, even imposing, river. The rugged, 2,000-foot tall basalt canyons and high desert environs that envelop the Deschutes augment its stark beauty; a river of such fecundity seems misplaced amidst such stark, sagebrush surroundings, a veritable oasis.
The Lower Deschutes is revered by anglers and whitewater enthusiasts alike. The river’s native rainbow trout and runs of native and hatchery-bred steelhead make it one of the west’s most popular angling venues; drift boaters set forth from a variety of launches from Warm Springs in the south to Mack’s Canyon in the north for single-day or multi-day floats. Jet boaters head upstream from the mouth to ply famed fishing holes like Steelie Flats. Rafters and kayakers celebrate the Deschutes for its many famed rapids with colorful names like Buckskin Mary, Box Car and White Horse.
Courtesy of “Boating in Oregon” by Oregon State Marine Board
When to Go: January-December
Best Features: Reliable water levels, fun rapids, intermediate kayaking, several good playspots
Rafting Difficulty Level: III
Fish: Trout, Steelhead
Good For: Fishing, Rafting, Kayaking. Families, Groups & Friends , a perfect trip for first timers and experienced alike
What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do
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A related Trip Idea
Late spring runoff is still with us, and that means rivers are flowing strong. For some early season boating, check out the rivers in sunny Central Oregon and Eastern Oregon, where warmer temperatures make it easier to take the plunge. The Deschutes…