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Lake Billy Chinook Images and Information

The Lake is a unique feature of Oregon's geology, as it is in a steep canyon formed at the confluence of the Crooked River, the Metolius River, and the Deschutes River. It is known as a nesting and gathering place for Bald Eagles, and some locations on the lake offer stunning views of Mt. Jefferson to the west.

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2017 Lake Billy Chinook Annual Event

Our volunteer on-site staff:

  • Event Manager [Marcia Medler]

  • Trips Coordinators [Al Matson]

  • Concierge [Amy Ream and Steve Getlein]

The Event Team/weekend “Headquarters” will be in campsite #60.

Travel to the high desert in May and go kayaking in the sun. The Lake is a unique feature of Oregon's geology, as it is in a steep canyon formed at the confluence of the Crooked River, the Metolius River, and the Deschutes River. It is known as a nesting and gathering place for Bald Eagles, and some locations on the lake offer stunning views of Mt. Jefferson to the west. Additional trips are often planned for neighboring Lake Simtustus.

What: A camping and kayaking trip on a lake that has towering walls and beautiful views. Evening campfires and camaraderie. Paddle trips will occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

When: Thursday-Sunday, May 18-21, 2017

Trips: Typically, Level 1 and 2. Level 1 trips may be limited due to the potential for wind. We do need to drive between two-five scenic miles within the park for most trips; some require more driving. All trip sign-ups will be done on-site.

Clothing on the water: A wet suit or dry suit is recommended, but clothing requirements will follow the OOPS Cold Water Policy. Wet exit certification is required, as is compliance with all other OOPS safety policies. Bring layers and wind protection. Organizer will communicate requirements.

Meals and Gatherings: Bring your own food, stove etc., and plan on at least one potluck. Registrants will receive more information from the Event Concierge. Please do not bring firewood. Your event fee covers the cost of firewood that we will purchase locally. Please plan to join us for group campfires!

Accommodations and Cost: As in year past, we will again camp at the Crooked River Campground within The Cove Palisades State Park. We have reserved 12 sites; they are large and flat. All have electricity, water, and are suitable for RV-hookup. There is a spectacular view to the west over the canyon toward Mt. Jefferson. Bathrooms with free showers are steps away. Registration fee for the entire event (not per day) is $52. Your event registration fee, if you aren’t joining us at one of our 12 reserved sites, is $9 for the weekend. See detailed campground information below.

Parking: If you stay outside the park, you will need to purchase a day pass at the entrance booth to launch from sites within the park.

Weather: Usually nice, up into the upper 60s in daytime, down to high 30s or low 40s at night.

Time from Portland: About 2.5-3.5 hours.

Special Considerations: Services such as gasoline, food, restaurants are in nearby Culver. Cell service may be poor or nonexistent in some areas of the park; it should be fine at Crooked River Campground. Invasive species permit required.

How to sign up or get more info: Go to the OOPS website Calendar, and click on Lake Billy Chinook.

Camping Details: For 2017, OOPS has reserved sites 52-54, 56, 58-65. The Event Team/weekend “Headquarters” will be in campsite #60. Check-in begins Thursday at 4 p.m. Campsites will be shared. We have planned for approximately three-four people and 2 vehicles per site. You will have a chance to identify which campsite you would like to stay in during registration. Campsite requests will be accepted on a first come first served basis, and we may not be able to honor all requests.

What if you don’t know anybody to share a campsite with? This is your chance to meet some new paddle buddies! We are a friendly group! OOPS will assign the campsites based on your vehicle/equipment needs and the size of the campsites.

Your per person campsite registration fee is for the complete event. This includes three nights of camping and additional vehicle fees. DO NOT pay the extra vehicle fee until you have visited your campsite or HQ (Site 60), and you are sure that you are the “extra” vehicle, not the first vehicle. The Event Manager will pay for or refund any extra vehicle fees on site.

State Park firewood advice: “Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by getting your firewood at the campground, or close to it. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference.”

General Information about the park - click here

Map and brochure - click here

Directions:

From Portland: Take US Hwy 26 E to SW D Street in Madras, OR. Turn right onto SW D Street, continue onto OR-361 S, continue on to Jefferson, continue onto SW Culver Hwy, turn left onto SW Gem Lane. Turn right onto SW Frazer Drive. Turn right on to SW Peck Road. Follow Peck down into the park, and take the first left once you are within the park to turn into the Crooked River Campground.

From Salem:  Take Hwy 22 over Santiam Pass through the town of Sisters. On the east side of Sisters, take Hwy 126 to Redmond. At Redmond, turn left or north on Hwy 97. Go for approximately 17 miles to the Culver turn-off. Turn left and follow park signs for approximately 5 miles. The Crooked River Campground (Loop E) is the first road to the left after passing the park entrance sign.

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