mdi-tent Reserve

Deschutes River State Recreation Area

Near The Dalles, Oregon, United States

mdi-tent Reserve

COVID-19 UPDATE

Day Use

  • The park is open to daytime use with reduced services.
  • Includes Heritage Landing, Moody Islands and all boat access to the Deschutes and Columbia rivers.
  • Boater pass system is open for both rivers.
  • Life jacket loaner station CLOSED.
  • Vault restrooms are open, however some flush restrooms may be closed.
  • Do not travel far to visit. Be prepared to turn around if crowded.
  • Garbage service may be reduced; please pack out trash.
  • Facilities may close without notice.

 

Camping

Campground is open with reduced services. Now accepting reservations up to 30 days in advance at oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com

Campfires are typically prohibited during the summer months. Check for notices at the top of this page. 

 

A Loop (open year-round)

  • 34 electrical sites with water for RV or tent camping (water shut off in the winter)
  • Flush toilets
  • SHOWERS OPEN 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Paved parking pads 

 

B Loop (closed in winter)

  • 14 primitive RV/tent sites
  • Vault toilets & potable water nearby

 

G Loop (closed in winter)

  • 4 reservable primitive RV/tent camping areas
  • Group areas accommodate up to five RVs or tents for up to 25 people CLOSED through at least Sept. 7
  • Vault toilets & potable water nearby

 

T Loop (closed in winter)

  • 11 primitive sites for tents & small RVs (maximum combined length of 24 feet)
  • Vault toilets & potable water nearby

 

The information below applies to pre-COVID-19 operations.

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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, & there's no better place for family outing activities like hiking, mountain biking, camping, rafting, world-class steelhead & trout fishing. Equestrian trail riding permitted March- June with a reservation (closed July-February).

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 & 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 (& 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, & 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, & 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 2 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.

Effective Sep 18, 2020
Campfires are banned in all state parks, including campgrounds, day-use areas, and beaches. The ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have an immediate shutoff valve are allowed for cooking only. Locally, park managers have discretion to allow fires in designated campfire rings only if conditions have improved enough to do so. 
Effective Sep 21, 2020
Showers are closed due to septic issues.

Flush restrooms remain open. 


mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-tent Open for camping Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-cellphone Call for reservations: 800-452-5687
Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-739-2322
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Do I need a Boater Pass to access the Deschutes or Columbia River?

Yes, a boater pass is required for anyone using a watercraft/floating device to access the Deschutes River or the Columbia River. All passes are per person.

Currently, 3 boater passes exist:

1. Deschutes River Boater Pass: valid above Moody Rapid (from the Pelton Dam down to the I-84 bridge at Heritage Landing). Available for purchase online at: www.recreation.gov. If accessing the Deschutes River below Moody Rapid only, just a Moody Island Boater Pass is required.

2. Moody Island Boater Pass: valid downstream from Moody Rapid (between the campground & Heritage Landing) and available for purchase at the self-pay kiosks ($2/per person/per day).

3. Heritage to Columbia Boater Pass: valid only from the Heritage Landing boat ramp out to the Columbia River and available for purchase at the self-pay kiosk at Heritage Landing boat ramp. ($1/per person/per day)  Also, a $15 annual pass can be purchased at the park office.

Is the park noisy?

Situated between two major rail lines, the sound of passing trains and their horns is common at Deschutes. For light sleepers, we recommend bringing a set of ear plugs.

mdi-help-circle-outline About Camping

If I am coming into the campground with a motorcycle group, (and no cars) how many motorcycles are allowed per site?

2 motorcycles are included with with the cost of your site. A maximum of 4 motorcycles are allowed in each site. There is an extra vehicle charge for any motorcycles over 2 in your site.

What do I need to know about back-country camping in the Lower Deschutes River Corridor?

Visit: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/LD%20Rules_ver2.pdf for a complete list of rules.

 

 

When does the burn ban start? And what is allowed after that?

The county burn ban will begin on May 24th.

Charcoal briquettes and gas fire rings will be allowed, but only in designated fire rings.

No back-country fires will be allowed after May 24th.

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I just show up and ride my horse on the trail?

No. The horse trail use is by reservation only from March 1 until June 30. Horse Permits are available through the Oregon State Parks online store: https://store.oregonstateparks.org/ under "Tours/Events" and there is a reservation fee of $8 per horse. The trail is 22 miles round trip and open for use during daylight hours only. Overnight camping with horses is not permitted along the trail or at Deschutes State Park.

Is it okay to play loud music?

Due to the fact that people have different taste in music, we allow music to be so loud as to be heard in your campsite, and not your neighbor's site.

Between 10pm and 7am (Quiet Hours) no music is allowed.

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

Do I need a permit for a wedding, picnic, baptism, family reunion, etc.?

Yes- If you have over 50 people, want to use a public address system, selling of goods or services, event requiring structures, will limit public access, commercial filming, and anything that requires park staff to be present.The above list does not cover all the activities that would require a permit. The permit is called a special use permit and should be completed 30 days before arrival.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

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.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Deschutes River brochure and map

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.