OwSR No. 17: Metolius River

Kayaking on the Metolius River

Kayaking on the Metolius River | Photo: Zach Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Deschutes National Forest (USFS)
  • Designated Stretch: From the Deschutes National Forest boundary to Lake Billy Chinook
  • Designation Length: 28.6 miles (17.1 miles Scenic and 11.5 miles Recreational)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Geologic features, hydrologic, ecology, fisheries resource, wildlife resource, scenic resource, prehistoric values, historic values, and recreation
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: October 28, 1988

More Information

Celebrated by Michael Hughes on May 7, 2017.


Metolius River and Mount JeffersonMichael Hughes: My first trip to the Metolius was on a camping trip in the early spring of 2016. We spend the day biking along a gated road that follows the river from Lower Bridge Campground all the way the Lake Billy Chinook. We stopped along the way and fished a couple of holes and learned first hand how hard the fishing can be. The scenery is unreal, beautiful blue water, flowing pack great mountain views. A bit of a hidden gem not far anywhere.

Metolius River and Mount JeffersonZach Collier: I paddled the "scenic" section of the Metolius River from Lower Bridge Campground to Monty Campground with my friend Adam Elliot (Wild River Life). It's a continuous Class III section of whitewater with a few poorly placed pieces of wood.

It is a very scenic section of river and what stood out the most were the birds. We saw at least 15 Bald Eagles as well as many Osprey and what looked like Golden Eagles but may have been immature Bald Eagles. The water quality was also spectacular and we saw several fishermen fishing for Bull Trout.

After paddling we camped at Monty Campground where we did some hiking and saw more Osprey than we could count.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 18: The Clackamas River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division