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Deschutes River

The Deschutes River in central Oregon is a major tributary of the Columbia River. The river provides much of the drainage on the eastern side of the Cascade Range in Oregon, gathering many of the tributaries that descend from the drier, eastern flank of the mountains. The Deschutes provided an important route to and from the Columbia for Native Americans for thousands of years, and then in the 19th century for pioneers on the Oregon Trail. The river flows mostly through rugged and arid country, and its valley provides a cultural heart for central Oregon. Today the river supplies water for irrigation and is popular in the summer for whitewater rafting and fishing.


The Deschutes River State Recreation Area is a tree-shaded, overnight oasis for campers. The sparkle-laden, swift, green rush of the Deschutes converges with the Columbia here, and there's no better place for family outing activities like hiking, mountain biking, camping, rafting, world-class steelhead and trout fishing. Equestrian trail riding permitted March- June with a reservation (closed July-February).


The Deschutes River begins on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains southwest of Bend, Oregon, flows north through Central Oregon, and enters the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 204. Five miles upstream is Biggs Junction Oregon and the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge, connecting Oregon with Washington. Across from the mouth of the Deschutes hugging the Washington shore, is Miller Island, and slightly upstream on the Washington side is the Maryhill Museum and the location of Maryhill, Washington. Downstream on the Washington side is the small community of Wishram. On the Oregon side of the Columbia River, west of the Deschutes drainages rises the basalts of Fulton Ridge while further downstream lie Celilo Park, the Oregon Trunk Railroad Bridge, and The Dalles Dam. Fifteen miles downstream is the community of The Dalles.


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