Deschutes River State Recreation Area Campground

Deschutes River State Recreation Area Campground

The Deschutes River State Recreation Area is a tree-shaded, overnight oasis for campers. The sparkle-laden, swift, green rush of the Deschutes converges with the Columbia here, and there’s no better place for family outing activities like hiking, mountain biking, camping, rafting, world-class steelhead and trout fishing, and reservation only equestrian trail riding (March – June).

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. 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 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 ’round except alternating weekends from June – September; boaters passes are required for all flotation devices.

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.

Campground info

  • Open Year Round
  • Approimately 34 electrical sites with water (water shut off in winter)
  • Approximately 25 primitive sites with drinking water and restrooms nearby
  • Four group RV/tent camping areas
  • Reservable campsites
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Horse Trails
  • Accessible camping
  • Accessible Flush toilets and hot showers
Rates October 1 to April 30 May 1 to September 30
Electrical $16 $22
Extra vehicle $5 $7
Group Tent $51 $71
Primitive site $5 $10

Park History

Acquired between 1963 and 1983 by purchase from various owners, transfer by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and gifts of land from the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The original tract for the area was 30 acres purchased in 1963 from the Columbia-Deschutes Power Company. This tract, with some of the later acquisitions, forms the developed portion of a riverside recreation complex. Adjoining the State Recreation Area is the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway. The lower Deschutes River from Pelton Dam to the Columbia River, some 104 river miles, was designated an Oregon Scenic Waterway in 1970. The purpose is to protect and enhance scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife values along the river while allowing public use of the river for boating, fishing and riverside camping. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department manages the waterway in cooperation with Sherman and Wasco counties, U. S. Bureau of Land Management, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, State Marine Board and Oregon State Police.

Oregon State Parks Deschutes River State Recreation Area page
Deschutes River Scenic Recreation Area Campground Brochure
Deschutes River State Recreation Area trails brochure
Deschutes River State Recreation Area Horse Camps and Trails brochure
Oregon State Parks Pets in Parks brochure
Oregon State Parks website
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Camping page
Mount Hood National Forest Camping page