Macks Canyon Recreation Site

This listing is provided by Visit Central Oregon

The Macks Canyon archaeological site is a large, prehistoric village locale overlooking the Deschutes River in north-central Oregon. The site is characterized by shallow, circular, semi-subterranean house depressions, surface artifacts, and riverine shell deposits. Limited excavations conducted in the late 1960’s indicate that the site was the location of a winter village occupied by Sahaptin-speaking people of the Columbia Plateau. Although the main period of occupation appears to have occurred within the last 2,000 years, the site may have been occupied as early as 5,000 BC.

A campground and boat ramps are situated at the end of the Access Road along the east bank of the Lower Deschutes River. The area is popular with boaters and fishermen. The route to Macks Canyon is also a National Back Country Byway.

Know Before You Go:

  • Macks Canyon Recreation Site is open year-round and is with 18 individual campsites, two group-use campsites two vault toilets and garbage service. No drinking water or utility hookups are available.
  • No reservations are accepted; all campsites, are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
  • No cell phone service is available.
  • Campfires and smoking are allowed only from October 16 through May 31, annually, unless posted otherwise.
  • When recreating on Public Lands, please practice the sevenLeave-No-Trace Principles.

Point of Interest:

Macks Canyon Recreation Site marks the northern terminus of the Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway and the southern terminus of the non-motorized 23-mile Des Chutes Railbed Trail. This extremely rough, unmaintained trail follows a now-overgrown former railbed 11.6 miles to Harris Canyon. The northern 11.5 mile segment from Harris Canyon to Deschutes River State Recreation Area is maintained.