Lake Owyhee State Park is a remote oasis on the eastern edge of Oregon that offers camping and boating on the shore of a scenic desert canyon reservoir. The park contains two campgrounds along Owyhee Reservoir, a 53-mile-long lake that fills a narrow, deep canyon brimming with colorful volcanic rock formations.
The Gordon Gulch Day-use Area is open year-round and includes picnic tables and a boat ramp. Many boaters return each year to explore the desert canyon and rugged mountains. Some of the reservoir's incredible geology is visible only by boat. Anglers are awarded excellent warm water catches, especially large mouth bass, white and black crappie. The reservoir also has catfish and is occasionally stocked with rainbow trout. Look for golden eagles, coyotes, ground squirrels, rabbits, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and wild horses (watch out for rattlesnakes, too). You might even see California bighorn sheep or a mountain lion.
Lake Owyhee State Park is a remote oasis catering to camping and boating on the shore of a scenic desert canyon reservoir.
The area was obtained by lease agreement from the Bureau of Reclamation in 1958. Owyhee Lake was formed by the construction of an irrigation dam on the Owyhee River in 1932. The Owyhee River derives its name from Hawaiian laborers who were fatally attacked by Snake Indians while in the service of a Hudson's Bay Company fur trapping expedition to the area in 1819. Owyhee was a variation of Hawaii commonly used in the early 19th Century.