When we can’t decide how we want to enjoy the water, we head over to Lake Billy Chinook. Launch your own boat or rent a boat or jet ski. There is also 30 miles of glassy, flat water to paddle a kayak along colorful rock canyons. You might find us enjoying one of the sandy beaches for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding.
Before you get to Lake Billy Chinook in Culver, there’s another local reservoir to launch your boat or jet ski. Haystack Reservoir has two boat ramps and several day-use areas for enjoying an afternoon paddle. Swimming and fishing are also popular here.
For water fed from the Ochoco Mountains, we head over to Prineville Reservoir State Park. This 15-mile long lake is great for motorized water fun including jet skiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and waterskiing. Take it easy on a kayak and keep your eyes on the skies for bald and golden eagles as well as osprey.
We play on the Deschutes River a lot. Depending on the spot, we fish it, raft it, canoe it, and just plain float it. Launch your standup paddleboard or your floatie on a stretch of the river at Eagle Crest Resort. Cline Falls State Park has a number of inviting swim spots as well as picnic tables for spending a relaxing day on the river.
For swimming with a little adrenaline rush, we head to Steelhead Falls in Redmond for a 20-foot cliff jump into a crystal clear Deschutes River swimming hole. We pack a picnic to savor next to the waterfall as well. When we need to splash around without the big jump, we wade the river at Cline Falls State Scenic Viewpoint. It’s a small park with easy access so all ages can enjoy a quick swim. You might also find us with the kiddos at Centennial Park in downtown Redmond. Their splash park is perfect for a mid-day cool down.