You can find some of the best Lower Deschutes River campgrounds north of Maupin. The Deschutes River State Recreation Area also has a great campground and is located up where the Deschutes enters into the Columbia River as shown below.
All campgrounds are located right next to the river and usually in steep canyons. The Deschutes offers a fairly good water flow due to the many springs that feed the river. Visitors can enjoy boating, rafting, kayaking, fishing, hiking and picnicking. Wildlife viewing is also great in the area! And if you need some comfort equipment for all those activities click here and check it out!
The Deschutes River starts high in the Cascade Mountains and flows 252 miles north to the Columbia River. The last 100 miles are known as the Lower Deschutes River and is famous for its world-class fly fishing. It also has some fun sections for whitewater rafting.
Boater passes are required year-round for anyone using a watercraft on the 5 Lower Dechutes River segments. Types of watercraft include rafts, kayaking, drift boats and jetboats.
The Deschutes River State Recreation Area campground has 78 campsites and is located right on the banks of the Deschutes River just before it enters into the Columbia River. Sites are reservable mid-April through October, and first come/first service during the off season. There are 33 campsites with electrical hookups, as well as several tent only sites and group campsites. The campground has water, flush toilets, showers and a day use area. Firewood and ice area also available for sale from the camp host. The nearest boat ramp is about 9 miles away.
Day Use Area – Deschutes River SRA
Site A17 (electric hookup) – Deschutes River SRA
Tent Site 76 – Deschutes River SRA
There are about 16 BLM campgrounds located next to the Lower Deschutes River in a high-desert canyon. All are small (first-come, first-serve) primitive campgrounds with vault toilets. A few have potable water. Those with boat launches include Warm Springs, Trout Creek, Longbend, Harpham Flatt, Buckhollow, Pine Tree, Twin Springs, Beavertail and Macks Canyon.
Beavertail campground is located about 21 miles north of Maupin and has 15 campsites and 2 group sites. There are several sites on the waterfront and all have great views of the surrounding cliffs. It also has potable water and vault toilets. A few of the campsites also have decent shade from trees. There’s also a boat launch at the campground.
Lower Deschutes River View from Beavertail Campground
Beavertail Campsite #3
You’ll find 10 campsites, potable water and a vault toilet at Jones Canyon campground. A few campsites are waterfront, most have river views and only two have limited tree shade.
Jones Canyon – Campsite #10
Jones Canyon Campground – River View
There are 9 campsites and at least 3 resident rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Canyon campground. It is located about 22 miles north of Maupin. There are a few sites with tree shade, a vault toilet and potable water (via a water pump). A boat launch is also located about 1.5 miles down the road at Beavertail campground.
Rattlesnake Canyon Campground View
Site 4 – Rattlesnake Canyon Campground
Twin Springs was the last campground we visited in the area. It has 7 primitive campsites and also a delightful vault toilet. None of the campsites have any shade, so you’ll have unencumbered views of the soaring cliffs, river and amazing stars at night. A boat launch is also located next to the campground.
Twin Springs Campsite #5
Deschutes River View from Twin Springs Campground
That’s all to report from the Lower Deschutes River area for now. We hope to photograph some more campgrounds in the area soon. If you fancy fishing, rafting, drift-boating or stargazing – then head on up there!