Deschutes River State Recreation Area


Backpack - Deschutes River Trail

Desert, two nighter in North-central Oregon, just East of the Columbia River Gorge. Enjoy solitude, wildlife, wildflowers, warmth and sun.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • *Varies*
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 30.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 1,500 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at Deschutes River Recreation Area at  Noon.  

It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Seattle. The Recreation Area is located 18 miles East of The Dalles, Ore. right off of I-82. It is an all Freeway Drive.  Alternately you can drive via I-90, I-84 and US 97 (via Yakima) and also get there in about four hours.There is a $7 fees for parking.

Covid-19--we will follow all Mountaineers protocols.  All participants must bring a cloth facemask and hand sanitizer.  Masks must be worn when within 6' of others.  We will not share gear. 
This trip is about 32-34 miles total on a low incline former railroad grade that follows the East shore of the Deschutes River.  The terrain is open with typical sage brush and grass, scatter small trees with hills and cliffs on each side of the canyon.  There should be wildlife and early Spring wildflowers.  We would hike 10 miles in on Friday and camp two nights at Falls Canyon Camp.  On Saturday we would hike about 12-14 miles, 6-7 miles each way, further up the trail along the river, and explore a side canyon, carrying only daypacks. Sunday we hike 10 miles out.  We will be making fires each night.  The current weather forecast for this trip as of 3/14 is partly cloudy with high in the mid-upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s. 20% or less chance of rain.   There we be about 10.5-11 hours of darkness each night.  Below is the Gaia track for the trip. Bear Canister or Ursack required.
This trip is leader's permission only.  Please tell me what you have been up to in the winter that demonstrates you are in condition for this backpack.  Please tell me something about you recent backpacking experience.  Thanks Rob

Deschutes River State Recreation Area

  • Green Trails Columbia River Gorge East No. 432S

    BLM Prineville District: Lower Deschutes and John Day Rivers

    see Land Manager
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or Ursack
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Rain gear may be required
  • extra warm clothes, warm hat and gloves
  • sun hat
Trip Reports