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Best Campgrounds Along The Lower Deschutes River

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.

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Deschutes River SRA View

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!

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds

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.

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds Deschutes River SRA Big Fish

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.

Deschutes River State Recreation Area

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

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Deschutes River SRA Day Use

Site A17 (electric hookup) – Deschutes River SRADeschutes River Campgrounds -

Tent Site 76 – Deschutes River SRA

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Tent Site 7

BLM Campgrounds – Lower Deschutes River

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.

We recently visited the area and photographed Beavertail, Jones Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon and Twin Springs.

Beavertail Campground

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

Best Lower Deschutes River Campground - Beavertail

Beavertail Campsite #3

Best Lower Deschutes River Campground - Beavertail Site 3

Jones Canyon Campground

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

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Jones Canyon Site 10

Jones Canyon Campground – River View

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Jones Canyon River View

Rattlesnake Canyon Campground

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

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Rattlesnake Canyon View

Site 4 – Rattlesnake Canyon Campground

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Rattlesnake Canyon Site 4

Twin Springs 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

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Twin Springs Site 5

Deschutes River View from Twin Springs Campground

Best Lower Deschutes River Campgrounds - Twin Springs River View

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!

Best Regards,

Camp Ranger

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