Take advantage of river recreation without leaving the desert in this sunny spot.
Not far from the Central Oregon city of Bend, the small city of La Pine is a good jumping off point for exploring the Oregon High Desert and the Deschutes National Forest. Its proximity to area rivers and reservoirs make it popular with anglers and boaters alike, and its relatively dry climate here makes it a good option for those who want to go camping during the spring or autumn but don’t want to get doused by rain in the process. If you are after a lusher campsite, the wooded expanses of the Deschutes National Forest are just a short drive away.
Deschutes National Forest La Pine offers easy access to the Deschutes National Forest, a 1.8-million acre expanse that's chock-full of rivers, lakes, and mountains. Popular attractions include the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Mount Bachelor. Umpqua National Forest South of La Pine, Umpqua National Forest offers beautiful waterfalls and lots of great hiking and camping opportunities. It's also home to Crater Lake, the crown jewel of Oregon’s only national park. The Deschutes River Although technically in the desert, La Pine offers quick and easy access to Central Oregon's most popular rivers, including the Little Deschutes River, which runs straight through town. The Deschutes River and Fall River are also nearby, and the Wickiup Reservoir is just a short drive away.
Summers in La Pine are hot and dry, making the area ideal for camping and outdoor recreation, particularly if you want to spend time at one of the area’s many rivers. Just don’t expect solitude—Oregonians tend to be pretty outdoorsy, and campgrounds often fill up in summer months. Come in the shoulder seasons (April-May or September-October) for warmer temperatures, without the crowds. Because of La Pine’s high desert climate, it’s not uncommon for winter temperatures to drop below freezing.