In 1987 the Oregon Legislature and Governor Victor Atiyeh partnered with private stakeholders to create a preserve that would protect the lower 18 miles of the Deschutes River and maintain the land for public access and recreation on the river. The area is great for steelhead and trout fishing, rafting, hiking, horseback riding (March through June only) and mountain biking.
The well-shaded campground features 34 full hook-up sites, four group camping sites, and 25 car-camping/tent sites. The tent sites are “primitive” and hence only $9 per night, whereas the full hook-up sites are $16 per night. However, don’t let the “primitive” moniker fool you - the tent sites are by far the best options, particularly the ones adjacent to the river and on the far southern edge. From the “primitive” sites it’s only a few hundred yards to the showers and potable water, and they also don’t fill up as quickly during peak season.
While visiting the Recreation Area, be sure to take advantage of the Deschutes’ warm waters and jump into one of the region’s best swimming holes. To get to the best swimming hole, head south of the “T” loop on the southern edge of the campground. From there you can also access the spectacular Deschutes River Ferry Springs Trail. Enjoy!
Note: Due to lack of precipitation in the summer, campfires are prohibited from July 1st through September 30th.