Deschutes Basin 101

Get to Know the Deschutes River Basin

The Deschutes River Basin is the second-largest watershed in Oregon, covering more than 10,000 square miles, much of this located on the ancestral lands of the Confederated Tribes of  Warm Springs.

The map to the right shows the State of Oregon (grey), the Deschutes Basin (blue), the Warm Springs Reservation (red), and the Ceded Lands (white) of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs -- lands ceded to the US government upon the signing on the treaty in 1855, but on which Tribal members retain the right to fish, hunt, and gather foods.

A major tributary of the Columbia River, the Deschutes flows north 252 miles from the Cascade Mountains through an arid high desert landscape to its confluence with the Columbia. You can visit the headwaters ​of the Deschutes at Little Lava Lake off Century Drive in the Cascade Mountains. The largest communities in the region are Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Warm Springs, Madras, Sisters, and La Pine.

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