Scenic beauty, camping and water recreation at its finest in the High Desert. Mountain waters flowing out of the Ochoco Mountain Range join to form the Crooked River. The river, confined by its canyon and the Bowman Dam, forms the 15-mile long, 3,000-acre Prineville Reservoir. With two developed campgrounds and numerous primitive camps along its 43-mile shoreline, recreational opportunities are plentiful.
The fishing is excellent anytime at Prineville Reservoir. The lake supports rainbow trout, small and largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and crayfish. The trout fishing experience is year-round, with the biggest fish being caught during the winter months either by boat or from the shore. The bass, catfish and crappie fishing is best between May and October. For information, see the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishing report.
Other recreational activities include waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, star gazing and wildlife viewing.
There are numerous year round camping opportunities within the state park on the reservoir. In the developed areas there are deluxe cabins with full amenities, full hook up RV sites and tent sites. Camping with full amenities is also available nearby at Jasper Point. For those who like a primitive camping experience, there are many drive-in and boat-in campsites around the reservoir.
Yes. The main park campsites and deluxe cabins are open year round for reservations or walk in use. Jasper Point campground closes Oct. through April.
Yes and No. The main park boat ramp is the only ramp long enough to use year round. In the winter the lake can ice up prohibiting boat launching.
There are six official boat ramps on the reservoir. Locations include, Prineville Resort, Jasper Point, Prineville main park, County boat ramp, Powder House Cove, Robert's Bay West. Depending on water levels, most of these ramps are useable between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
No. There are no fees to use any of the day use recreation sites on the reservoir.
House Boats are not allowed on Prineville Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation restricts their use on this reservoir. Other power boats, personal water craft, sail boats, kayaks and other forms of paddling are allowed. Boating laws are enforced by the Crook County Marine Patrol.
The lakes and rivers found within Oregon State Parks are open to unsupervised swimming. You are responsible for your own safety. Before you enter the water, you should judge your swimming skills against possible strong currents, cold water, underwater objects and steep drop-offs. Remember, that many of our natural bodies of water and man-made reservoirs are filled by snow runoff and remain cold year round. Please bring and wear a personal flotation device and swim with a buddy.
As part of the Crooked River Federal Reclamation Project, the Department of the Interior authorized the construction of Bowman Dam between 1958 and 1961. The project's purpose was to furnish water for irrigation, flood control and fish and wildlife management. Through the Crook County Court, and a lease from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the land for the park was obtained in 1961. A lease agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department allows the State to manage and maintain the natural resources and recreational uses on the reservoir.