The Paddle Trail
The Deschutes Paddle Trail includes the navigable sections of the Deschutes River and Little Deschutes River in Deschutes County, along with nine of the largest Cascades lakes in the county.
The river portion of the Deschutes Paddle Trail includes:
- 26 miles of the Little Deschutes River, from LaPine to the river’s junction with the
Deschutes River near Sunriver.
- 95 miles of the Deschutes River, from Wickiup Reservoir in the south to Lower Bridge in
the north, which is the last take-out before leaving Deschutes County.
Although the Deschutes Paddle Trail has sections that everyone can safely enjoy, the levels of difficulty include everything from placid easy sections (Class I) to very difficult (and dangerous) sections (Class V) that are for experts only.
Because the Deschutes River is the source of water for agricultural irrigation in Central Oregon, its flow levels are seasonal. This means that portions of the rivers can be paddled only at certain times of the year. Generally, the sections south of the north end of Bend can be paddled between April and October, while the sections north of Bend can be paddled between October and April. Likewise, the Little Deschutes River has minimal flows in the winter because of impoundment upstream at Crescent Reservoir.