Friends and Neighbors of Deschutes Canyon Area

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Eleven people participated in a FANs hike to the Peninsula area, near Cove Palisades State Park on June 15. The group plans another hike July 19. A local conservation group known as FANs (Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area) sponsored a hike out on “the Peninsula” on June 15.

The unique area extends out from the end of Crooked River Ranch’s boundary for four miles and is largely managed as part of the Ochoco National Forest.

There are, however, two privately owned parcels out there, one of which one has a new house. The very northern end is managed by the Cove Palisades State Park and features the Tam-A-Lau Trail, which can also be accessed from Lake Billy Chinook.

CRR is the only community in the country to have two federally designated sections of Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Deschutes and the Crooked rivers, as its boundaries, according to Ramona Steinberg, who led the hike.

In addition, the rivers are in deep canyons that flow into Lake Billy Chinook, a major recreation destination for Jefferson County, she pointed out.

Eleven hikers turned out for the event, along with four playful dogs. Prior to the group's start, a cyclist with his dog and another two hikers with their two dogs were also setting out.

The group hiked out on the dirt road extension of Peninsula Road to view the Crooked River upstream, the Smith Rock formations and Juniper Butte.

"Looking down, you see a lower bench and the Opal Canyon Trail, which is the extension of the Otter Bench Trail that starts from the end of Horney Hollow Road on Crooked River Ranch," she said.

"Further down on that side, you can see where the white water line comes up from the top of the Crooked River canyon and several large storage tanks topside," she said, remarking upon Deschutes Valley Water District's water tanks for storage of Opal Springs water. "This pure water gets bottled and sold by the Opal Springs Co. and EARTH2O Co. This water comes out of the same deep Deschutes aquifer that comes out of our CRR water faucets — another plus for CRR."

The hike then took the group across to the west side where they overlooked the deep canyon of the Deschutes River with large rock formations the size of houses on the slope and spectacular mountain views on the horizon.

"Everyone enjoyed the hike and is looking forward to the next hike which will be on July 19 off of Riffle Lane on CRR to view some pictographs and hike down to the Deschutes River," she said.

For more information and to sign up, contact Steinberg at 541-550-8033, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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