Put on your hiking boots, grab your fishing rod or strap on your skis to explore Deschutes National Forest. Find some of the most beautiful protected wilderness in the state in this 1.6 million acres (647,000 hectares) of central Oregon.
Set up a tent and sleep under the stars at Deschutes. Choose from more than 125 campgrounds, ranging from basic spots in the backcountry to sprawling sites with electricity.
Explore by hiking, biking or horseback riding. Trails through the Three Sisters, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Diamond Peak and Mount Thielsen designated wildernesses are very popular. Pass soaring volcanic peaks, deep alpine lakes and dramatic glacial formations. Follow the portion of the epic Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail that snakes through the forest.
Dozens of lakes and creeks are scattered throughout the forest. Canoe, kayak or water ski on Suttle Lake. Marvel at the pristine blue water of Paulina Lake and East Lake. Try your luck catching the many fish stocked in the lakes, including trout and salmon. Stay in one of the campsites lining their shores.
Check out Newberry National Volcanic Monument, a 54,000-acre (22,000-hectare) area within Deschutes managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Its massive volcano is close to the size of Rhode Island and remains active to this day. Drive to the summit of Paulina Peak to enjoy spectacular views across the Cascades and the High Desert.
Enjoy special offerings of Deschutes during winter at Mount Bachelor. As one of the nation’s largest ski resorts, it caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Watch the freestyle riders take on its jumps, jibs and a superpipe. Go dogsledding or snowshoeing or have a meal at one of the resort’s many restaurants and bars.
Come to Deschutes National Forest prepared for varying weather. Because of its wide range of elevation, climate can vary drastically within the forest. Expect sudden thunderstorms or snow squalls, depending on the season. Contact the forest headquarters in Bend, Oregon, for weather advice and recreational tips. A day fee applies from May until October. Parking is available throughout the park.