Visit Destinations

Your national forests and grasslands are 193 million acres of vast, scenic beauty waiting for you to discover. Visitors who choose to recreate on these public lands find more than 150,000 miles of trails, 10,000 developed recreation sites, 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, and specially designated sites that include 9,100 miles of byways, 22 recreation areas, 11 scenic areas, 439 wilderness areas, 122 wild and scenic rivers, nine monuments, and one preserve. And remember, “It’s All Yours.”

Rec Area Description Status
Rec area marker Buttes Loop Trailhead

This trail consists of two loops: Upper Loop and Lower loop. The Lower Loop is on the low west flank of Black Butte and the Upper Loop circles Black Butte.

Rec area marker Cabot Lake Trailhead

From the Cabot Lake trailhead, the trail climbs westward past Cabot Lake toward the crest of the Cascades near Carl Lake.  It then turns northward parallel to the crest. There are junctions with the Jefferson Lake Trail #4001, the Sugar Pine Ridge Trail #4002, and the Shirley Lake Trail #4003.

This trail is within Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

The trail leaves the Deschutes National Forest where it crosses Jefferson Creek and enters the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

Rec area marker Suttle Tie Trailhead

This trail begins at the Suttle Tie Trailhead and ends at Suttle Lake.

Rec area marker Crane Prairie Reservoir

Interagency Annual Pass HangtagThis is one of central Oregon's premier wildlife viewing sites because it attracts so many nesting and/or migrating birds. The relatively shallow reservoir was originally dammed to store irrigation water managed by the Central Oregon Irrigation District. Most access to the shoreline is at recreation sites. Go to Osprey Point for interpretive signs about the local fauna, and to see artificial osprey nesting platforms erected after natural snags toppled from age.

Home of the famous “cranebows”, Crane Prairie Reservoir is also one of the top producing rainbow trout fisheries in Central Oregon. Rainbow trout here average 2 inches of growth a month during the summer. The record rainbow to date weighed over 19 pounds, with abundant rainbows in the 4 to 10 pound range. Crane Prairie Reservoir is a Wildlife Management Area. Osprey, bald eagle and many waterfowl frequent the area.

Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water. 

For boat launch information see Crane Prairie Boating SiteQuinn River Boating Site Rock Creek Boating Site,  Browns Mountain Boating Site & Crane Prairie Resort

Float tube launch points are:Rocky Point, the end of road 4270-470 and at Rock Creek.

Caution: The site is not accessible in winter due to deep snow.

Rec area marker Hosmer Lake

Hosmer LakeThe lake is a hidden jewel of green and blue surrounded by dark green forest. Thickets of bulrush wands hide the most secretive wildlife and fish. At the north end, water drains into a porous rim of lava. The best way to experience this lake is by canoe, but a shoreline hike will still produce wondrous sights and sounds. Take your camera to capture the spectacular view of Mt. Bachelor.

Hosmer is a “fly fishing only” lake well known for its breath taking viewsof Mt. Bachelor, South Sisters, Broken top, wildlife viewing and the big Atlantic salmon, brook trout and rainbows that are quite visible in this shallow clear lake. John Huber (1998 compares Hosmer Lake to a spring creek because many of the fish are easy to see, giving you a clear view of one denial after another. At Hosmer Lake, the Atlantic salmon average 16 inches (largest in the 22 inch range) and brook trout average 14 inches. Hosmer Lake is also a very popular lake for canoeists because of the beautiful surroundings, the abundant wildlife, waterfowl and easily seen large fish swimming around.


  • Bring insect repellant!
  • Secure all your food items so black bears don't become a nuisance or safety hazard, which would require their euthanasia.
  • Deep snow commonly limits road access except during the months of June through October.

Motorized "electric motors only" and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water. 

See Hosmer Lake Boating Site for more information.

There is one other access primarily for float tubes and canoes is at the Mallard Marsh Campground off a trail between campsites 14 and 15.

Rec area marker Wickiup Reservoir

Wickiup Reservoir


This is one of central Oregon's best wildlife viewing sites because it attracts such a variety of nesting and/or migrating birds. The relatively shallow reservoir was dammed to store irrigation water that is managed by the North Unit Irrigation District. The water level often lowers dramatically by October. The easiest access for shoreline viewing is at recreation sites or along the 2.6-mile earthen dam.  

The reservoir covers an area on the Deschutes River which was known as the Wickiup's. It was a camping area for Native Americans during the fall. Wickiup Dam was started in 1939, and was completed in 1949. Wickiup Reservoir is very rich, highly productive, relatively warm water and cooler deep channels generate some of the finest fishing in Central Oregon. 

Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water. 

Caution: Winter access is typically hindered by deep snow.

For boat launch information see Gull Point Boating Site, North Wickiup Boating Site North Davis Boating Site, Reservior Boating Site Sheep Bridge Boating SiteWest South Twin Boating Site  and Wickiup Butte Boating Site

Rec area marker Ground Hog Rock Crawl and OHV Play Area

A cooperative agreement between Central Oregon's Combined Off Highway Vehicle Operations (COHVOPS) and the Deschutes County 4-Wheelers of Bend Oregon made this play area a reality in 2006. Complete with a rock crawling pit and large gravel mounds which are remnants of the old rock quarry; this play area has something for every OHV enthusiast.

In addition to all this, Groundhog also makes for a convenient staging area for accessing 318 miles of trails on the East Fort Rock OHV Trail System. The pit and play area is open to all classes of vehicles, the trail system is open to Class I (Quads, 3-wheelers less than 50" wide and 800 pounds) and Class III (motorcycles).

Ground Hog pit is operated and maintained for your enjoyment by Central Oregon Combined OHV Operations (a Forest Service, & Bureau of Land Management Cooperative agreement), in partnership with Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation ATV Funds, Deschutes County 4 Wheelers, and other user groups and volunteers.
Rec area marker Elk Lake

elk lakeElk Lake has a picturesque setting, with the Three Sisters toweringover the north end of the lake and Mt. Bachelor dominating the eastern horizon. It is not a rich lake but is so transparent you can see the bottom clearly from any location on the surface. The kokanee are commonly 7 to 10 inches in length, not large but abundant, make excellent eating because of the cold water. These fish are mainly found at the south end of the lake near the lava flow where it is the deepest part and few kokanee are caught elsewhere on the lake. Night crawlers, eggs, and periwinkles; still fishing, wind drifting, and jigging. The water level at Elk Lake can fluctuate as much as 15 feet through the year, but the boat ramps remain usable. There are no obstacles to boating on the lake, and the few weed beds stay pretty short.

Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water. 

For boat launch information see Elk Lake Boating SiteLittle Fawn Boating Site Point Campground and Elk Lake Resort.

Rec area marker Irish & Taylor Lakes

A pair of lakes nestled in the Cascades of Central Oregon.

Rec area marker Scout Lake Day Use Area

This is a popular, heavy used site that is located at Scout Lake, south of Suttle Lake.  There is a beach for swimming and several picnic tables around the lake. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Scout Lake is one of the few recreation sites on the Forest where DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED because of safety and sanitary issues.  The two primary reasons that dogs are not allowed in the swimming area are sanitation and safety concerns related to the high numbers of people, including young children, who visit the lake.  Sanitation is a concern because no outlet exists for the small lake and water quality becomes an issue, especially later in the season as the water warms.      

If you plan to go to Scout Lake, the Forest Service encourages you to leave your dog at home or visit another lake where dogs are allowed.   Suttle Lake, located near Scout Lake, offers four day use areas where dogs are welcomed. 

People may be fined $100 if they bring onto or possess a dog in a swimming area where dogs are prohibited (36 CFR 261.17(k)). 

There is a campground adjacent to this day use area.

Recreation Fee Site: Parking at this site requires a recreation pass. Passes are available at this site, but can also be purchased from Forest Service offices or vendors. Please check here for more information about recreation passes and where they can be purchased.

Acceptable passes include:

  • $5 Day Pass
  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Interagency Annual Pass
  • Interagency Senior Pass (America the Beautiful, Golden Age)
  • Interagency Access Pass
  • Interagency Military Pass
  • Every Kid in a Park Pass
  • Northwest Forest ePass