Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway

Maupin, Oregon

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A 36-mile Type I and II paved and gravel byway that parallels the Deschutes River in the bottom of a deep gorge in north central Oregon. The byway follows the Deschutes River’s east bank for 36 miles at the bottom of a deep, twisting canyon carved into the ancient lava flows of the immense Columbia River Plateau. Recreation for byway travelers includes rafting, fishing, hiking, and camping. The double-lane byway is paved for 9 miles , with the rest of the route an all-weather gravel road. Numerous scenic pullouts allow river access. The gravel road sections become very washboarded in summer. Caution is necessary, particularly on busy summer weekends, on the road’s narrow, sharp corners. Livestock is also present along the byway. Trailers are not recommended on the upriver segment from Maupin; the turnaround at road’s end is tight. Visitors should allow two to three hours to drive the entire byway. Special Attractions: Sherars Falls, Beavertail Recreation Area, Macks Canyon Recreation Area, rafting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, camping. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.

Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway Professional Review and Guide

"A 36-mile Type I and II paved and gravel byway that parallels the Deschutes River in the bottom of a deep gorge in north central Oregon. The byway follows the Deschutes River’s east bank for 36 miles at the bottom of a deep, twisting canyon carved into the ancient lava flows of the immense Columbia River Plateau. Recreation for byway travelers includes rafting, fishing, hiking, and camping. The double-lane byway is paved for 9 miles , with the rest of the route an all-weather gravel road. Numerous scenic pullouts allow river access. The gravel road sections become very washboarded in summer. Caution is necessary, particularly on busy summer weekends, on the road’s narrow, sharp corners. Livestock is also present along the byway. Trailers are not recommended on the upriver segment from Maupin; the turnaround at road’s end is tight. Visitors should allow two to three hours to drive the entire byway.

Special Attractions: Sherars Falls, Beavertail Recreation Area, Macks Canyon Recreation Area, rafting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, camping. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more."

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Maupin
Distance: 36
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management
Driving Directions: Directions to Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway

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May 2018