Located near the confluence of three meandering rivers (the Deschutes River, Little Deschutes River, and Fall River), LaPine State Park captures some of the best of what Central Oregon has to offer.
The park is perhaps best epitomized by the viewpoint at the McGregor Memorial, where the Deschutes River lazily snakes northward toward Sunriver. With ponderosa needles mixed with the lush willow and grasses along the shore, Newberry Volcano's Paulina Peak comes into view. This merging of dry, high desert landscape and cool mountain rivers is certainly what makes LaPine State Park so special.
In total, the park has four distinct and unique areas:
Day Use Area: Here the Deschutes River creates a peninsula where trails lead to a well-shaded picnic area that offers potable water and restrooms. Best of all, the river moves slowly, and on those hot mid-summer days you won't find too many other places to dip into the water and completely refresh. From here, one can mountain bike or hike to get on any one of the park's 10 miles of single track trail.
LaPine State Park Campground: With hook-ups at all of the sites, the campground is certainly popular for RVs and those looking to camp for several days. In contrast to the rest of the park, the campground is surprisingly manicured, making it ideal for heavy use but a little conspicuous in such a scenic and natural environment.
Fall River Area: Past the heavily used campground and day use area lies one of the most charming and quiet rivers in Oregon, Fall River. This slow-moving and deep river has been cherished by anglers for decades, but is almost completely overlooked by all other visitors. Hike the 4.5-mile Fall River Loop Trail to the 10-foot Fall River Falls to enjoy this more serene section of the park.
'Big Tree': Not to be missed, visit this impressive ponderosa pine, known simply as the 'Big Tree,' to see what kind of environment yields the largest tree of its species in the world.