OWSR No. 27: Crescent Creek

Crescent Creek Oregon

Crescent Creek | Photo: John Nestler

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Deschutes National Forest (USFS)
  • Designated Stretch: From just below Crescent Lake to Crescent Creek Campground
  • Designation Length: 10 miles (10 miles Recreational)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Scenic Vegetative, Geologic
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: October 28, 1988

More Information

Celebrated by Kristen Bryson and John Nestler on September 18, 2017 by hiking along it's banks.


Crescent CreekKristen Bryson: John and I visited Crescent Creek on our way back to Grants Pass from Bend. We started our exploration at Crescent Lake, where the waters of the lake flow through a small dam and into the creek. Crescent Creek is designated a Recreational stretch of river which means that it may have impoundments (the dam) and at times it flows by roads and other developments. This enabled us to easily view various sections of the creek through out its ten mile Wild and Scenic stretch from Crescent Lake to its boundary at Crescent Cutoff Road. Crescent Creek starts as a shallow stream and gains depth after its confluence with the Wild and Scenic Big Marsh Creek, it then enters a short canyon and flows on to connect with the Wild and Scenic Little Deschutes River. The outstanding remarkable resource of Crescent Creek is its scenery. After visiting this Wild and Scenic River we can confirm the pastoral views and ambiance make it a stretch of river worthy of protection.

John Nestler: It’s really fucking pastoral, so you should probably get out of your car for 5 minutes and look at this fucker. But really, if you’re trying to run the shit, don’t think about this one.

Crescent CreekZach Collier: After I got my truck out of a mud marsh between Big Marsh Creek and Crescent Creek I took some time to check out Crescent Creek. It's slow and lazy (and beautiful) between Crescent Lake and Highway 58. There are a few places to see it above Highway 58 without bushwhacking through marshes.

I drove down Crescent Cutoff Road after it's confluences with Big Marsh Creek. After losing sight of the creek I parked at a turnout and scrambled down the hill side among large onderosa Pines to see the lower part of the Wild and Scenic section.

This section very different than what was upstream of Highway 58. The creek tumbled over rocks and through easy rapids through a forested V-shaped canyon. I wish I could have paddled this section but I hear there are a lot of log portages.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 28: The Wallowa River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division