EXPLORING PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR STATE PARK
It’s Memorial Day weekend and the weather forecast is looking optimistic in Oregon! We decide, like every other Portlander, to escape the city for a long weekend camping trip, pack a LBR Explore Oregon hoodie and hit the road. Within 15 miles, in either direction, we have hundreds of destinations and paths to choose. We head east and travel through a twisted highway lined with pointed firs, into Central Oregon. About 10 miles outside of Prineville and near one of the state’s best lakes is an outdoor mecca complete with camping sites, cabin rentals, fishing and water recreation. We post our "tent" and partake in some of the favorite things to do at Prineville Reservoir State Park.
R&R Along the Reservoir
Set within the rolling desert foothills, the reservoir offers a breathtaking panorama of Central Oregon’s stunning scenery on a large lake that hosts bass, trout and crappie alike. The water level is best during late spring/early summer and drops in late August. Prepare for stunning sunsets with pinks, purples, oranges and blues. There are many ways to get your boat into the reservoir and plenty of room for swimming, fishing and kayaking. With no speed limit on the reservoir, it’s an ideal place for recreational water sports including water skiing, tubing and jet skiing. Block the sun with a LBR Explore Pacific Wonderland trucker hat!
Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway
While the drive through the Crooked River Canyon is considerably simpler, it’d be a disservice for avid bikers to leave out the new scenic bikeway. This 37 mile out-and-back ride begins at Rimrock Park and starts off flat and easy. As the path begins to narrow, you are squeezed in a rocky canyon, while taking in views of subtle color changes within the rock formation. The trail drops you into another valley of breathtaking rock formations and large trees. The River runs alongside the path to deep caverns. Suddenly the path takes an abrupt climb as you enter the turnaround with just 20 miles to go to reach the end of the route. The view at Big Bend Campground is possibly one of the most thrilling experiences of biking anywhere in Oregon, overlooking the river and numerous rock formations of varying color and shapes. Check out this LBR Night Rider t-shirt for the occasion!
Waking Up to Wildlife
Within the campgrounds of the Prineville Reservoir State Park and amongst its magnificent visual beauty, are the sounds and sights of wildlife. During the day, be on the lookout for chipmunks, deer, jackrabbits and eagles. Wake up in the early morning hours to softly singing songbirds. After laying your head down to sleep, prepare to be awakened by coyotes, owls and Canadian geese. Be sure to wear your hiking shoes when walking along the campgrounds as there are a number of side trails and moderate rocky hills to climb and catch glimpses of wildlife. You should most-definitely take a LBR tote for your snacks, camera and everything you need :)
5 Billion Star Hotel
The night sky soars above the campground, offering a spectacular view of the celestial world above us. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Prineville Reservoir gives access to a few large telescopes on Saturday Nights. Every year in May the State Park holds an annual star party to kick off the summer season. Within the observatory, you can gaze into the clear sky and view planets sharing the night with clusters of stars and galaxies without the obtrusion of light pollution. This year, Jupiter dominates the night sky and leaves you with a celestial experience not to be missed.