Hiking, exploring, photography, bird watching and sight seeing:

With over 10 miles of Hiking trails and thousands of acres of public lands nearby Lake Billy Chinook the opportunities for hiking, exploring, photography, bird watching and sight seeing are immeasurable.

The Tam-a-lau Trail is the hiking experience of a lifetime. The hike gains about 600 feet in elevation from the trail head to the plateau. A round trip journey on the trail will be around 6 miles if you start at the campground and 7 miles if you start at the trailhead. Along the hike you will experience unique geological formations, native vegetation in its natural state, wildlife and spectacular views of the Cascade Mountain Range and the magnificent scenery of the Deschutes River and Crooked River Canyons. This is a must see and be sure and carry lots of water and a good camera.

There is an Eagle watching event at Lake Billy Chinook every spring and the Bald Eagles are visible at many points on the lake. By using a boat to access the far reaches of the Metolius River arm you likely will have the opportunity to get within a few hundred yards of a Bald Eagle perched in a tree or many times will get to see an Eagle sweep down and pluck a fish right out of the water. The fishing prowess of these magnificent birds have a way of humbling the local fisherman.

While visiting the lake you will want to see the Crooked River petroglyph boulder located at the Cove Palisades State Park. The rock weighs over 15 tons and is covered with petroglyphs that have social and religious importance to the Native Americans.

There are balancing rocks located around the lake that will amaze you. If you can visualize a large SUV balanced on top of the roof of a compact car you can kind of get the idea. These are formed by millions of years of erosion. It is a sight that you have to see to believe.

Stop by the Cove Palisades Resort located at the bottom of the hill on the Crooked River arm of Lake Billy Chinook to get directions to these treasures that you must explore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping:

There are four campgrounds available at or near the lake. The state run Crooked River Campground is located on the bluff above the Crooked River arm and is open year round. There are 91 electrical sites with water and three deluxe cabins by the water. The state run Deschutes Campground is open mid May through mid September and offers 82 full hook up sites, 92 tent sites with water nearby and three group tent areas. Both state run campgrounds offer small concessions open a limited amount of hours that have liquid refreshments, ice, firewood and sundries. Perry South campground is a United States Forest Service Campground located near the upper end of the Metolius River arm of Lake Billy Chinook. 64 camp sites are disbursed among the trees and a boat launch is available. This is a popular area for Eagle watchers, fisherman and people seeking a little more solitude. There are no electrical or water hook ups available.

The Monty Campground is available a few more miles to the west. Offering 12 camp sites and a short hike to the Metolius River.

For all your camping needs, a great meal or to rent a fishing boat, ski boat, kayak, pedal boat, waverunners, or water toys visit the nearby store at the Cove Palisades Resort that is open year round.

 

 

 

Fishing:

Hooked on fishing? Lake Billy Chinook offers year round fishing opportunities. What is your pleasure? Do you want to pursue the next state record Bull Trout? These predatory fish have a voracious appetite, sharp teeth, put up a great scrap and can be well over 20 pounds. It is not uncommon to catch a 32 plus inch fish shaped like a football. These fish can be caught in a variety of ways like trolling herring, plugs or lures. Casting lures near the shore or just relaxing in the boat and jigging lures or mooching herring works also. Just remember not to stick your thumb in their mouth or it will be sore for the next few days afterword.

Prefer chasing the great fighting and incredible tasting Kokanee. These silver sided fish are pound for pound as scrappy as a fish comes. Use your fish finder to determine the depth the large schools are at or watch for them jumping and then move in. These dynamos are available year round and can be caught by trolling flashers and special Kokanee lures with worms or white corn or by jigging lures. Fly fisherman for these fish are few and far between but the astute and dedicated fly fisherman can have a hay day when they figure it out.

The small mouth bass grow fast and starting around Memorial Day are hungry and feisty. They grow to a few pounds and there are a lot of them. It is the perfect fishery for kids and adults alike because once you figure out where and how to fish for them the fishing is  fast and furious. The normal methods for these fish are worms, rubber worms, jigs and lures.

Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout and German browns are also present in the lake and some grow to impressive size. They are not pursued heavily but do offer a fun fishery and likely will make up a part of your catch.

Please be sure and review the Oregon State Fishing Regulations to be familiar with the rules and bag limits. Fishing the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook requires a Warm Springs Tribal Permit.

All the lures, bait and advice you need is available on the Crooked River arm at the Cove Palisades Resort store and at the Three Rivers Marina store on the Metolius River.

 

 

 

Water sports:

Slingshot at Lake Billychinook! from Slingshot Sports Wake on Vimeo.

Lake Billy Chinook is maintained at full or within a foot of full capacity from mid June through mid September. That factor combined with the 72 miles of shoreline makes this a great experience that has room to accommodate all recreational interests. Whether you want to be the first on the water and ski the glass or sleep in and then chase the wakes later in the day. There are coves to sneak into and areas of the lake with 10 mile per hour speed limits that allow those that prefer the pursuit of paddling, pedaling or lower horsepower entertainment to satisfy their thirst for entertainment. Gasoline, motor oil and the items necessary to keep your boat going are available at the marina at The Cove Palisades Resort on the Crooked River arm and at the Three Rivers Marina on the Metolius arm. Both marinas offer day and seasonal moorage as available.

 

Houseboating:

Experience the only lake in the state of Oregon offering the rentals of Luxury houseboats.

With 72 miles of shoreline, pristine waters, diverse scenery and secluded coves, you can truly get away from the grind of life and relax in nature. Imagine starting your day by relaxing in the hot tub on your houseboat and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the moment. The only movements are the bald eagles looking for a fish, the wildlife coming to the water and the sunrise painting glorious colors while climbing the canyon walls.

Now that you are truly relaxed it is time for a little adventure. Over 300 days of sunshine a year at Lake Billy Chinook makes it easy to get out on the water in  your boat or one of the many watercraft available to enhance your stay. Whether it is firing up the motor to jump wakes, chasing the 20 plus pound Bull Trout or just grabbing the kayak and paddles, the fun of playing on the water is awaiting you.

In the afternoon you have options too. If you want to take that hard earned nap or just enjoy a little adult quiet time then send the children to watch movies on one of the TV’S or let them play around the lake in a pedal boat or kayak which will entertain them for hours and not leave you feeling guilty for not being there to be their private entertainment system.

Now that evening has arrived picture yourself barbecuing on the bridge of the boat while the sun is setting over the glassy water with 200 foot canyon walls surrounding you and the splendor of the snow capped Mt. Jefferson in the background. The Kokanee are jumping everywhere and an otter is swimming along the bank heading for home.

Once the sun completely sets, the views of the shooting stars and night sky will leave you truly awe inspired. If the closest you have come to experiencing a natural night sky without the disruption of city lights is a planetarium, then you and your children are in for an experience you will never forget and will always cherish. The only hard part is breaking away from the starlit night so you can get recharged for the next day. That is why you should consider the nap.