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Oregon's Water Sports

Explore Columbia River, Hells Canyon & Crater Lake

There’s no way around it, you’re going to have some fun on the water in Oregon.

Set in northern Oregon, the city of Hood River is a four-season destination complete with impeccable alpine skiing and the deserved nickname: Windsurfing Capital of the World.

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Hood River area with a drive down the Mount Hood Scenic Byway, or scout your next spot for unmatched kayaking, kite surfing, and mountain biking.

Hood River is known as the Windsurfing Capital of the World, and for good reason. Whether you’re a beginner, or sitting pretty in the advanced level, Hood River offers plenty of windsurfing opportunities on the stunning Columbia River Gorge.

Lessons are offered through local businesses like Brian's Windsurfing, Hood River Waterplay, and Big Winds Hood River.

Looking to celebrate your love of windsurfing with fellow fans? Check out the annual Gorge Windfest happening in Hood River each June. The free Gorge Windfest features windsurfing events and lessons, plus food, parties, exhibitors, and live music at Hood River Waterfront Park.

Southern Oregon encompasses not only the stark beauty of the Cascade region, but staples of the state’s landscape like Upper Klamath Lake, and Crater Lake National Park. Set just northwest of Klamath Falls, Upper Klamath Lake is not only the state’s largest freshwater lake, but also a hotspot for canoeing, fishing, and just splashing around.

Surrounded by the breathtaking Oregon Cascades, Upper Klamath Lake borders the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and Rocky Point – found within the Winema National Forest.

Rocky Point, a little Oregon community dedicated to the great outdoors, is where travelers may go to access the Upper Klamath Canoe Trail – a 9.5-mile trail coursing through the beautiful waters of Upper Klamath. Divided into four sections – Crystal Creek, Wocus Cut, Recreation Creek, and Malone Springs, the Upper Klamath Canoe Trail is a must-do for those seeking an adventure in outdoor Oregon.

Southern Oregon is also home to the Crater Lake National Park – the only national park in the state and the deepest lake in the country. Cast out for Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow Trout – keeping in mind there are no limitations – or look forward to swimming, boat tours, and hiking. This 183,225-acre park features other attractions like the scenic Rim Drive, and hikes up Mt. Scott – Crater Lake NP’s highest point at 8,929 feet.

Found in the northeast corner of the state, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is your stop for rafting in outdoor Oregon. Get your feet wet on the Snake River – a scenic and adventurous waterway separating Oregon and Idaho – and splash your way through Hells Canyon on an invigorating raft trip.

Rafting companies like Hells Canyon Adventures and Winding Waters River Expeditions provide lunch and safety, as well as the opportunity for cliff jumping, fishing, and plenty of pictures to take home – all just a short drive from Oregon towns like Enterprise, La Grande, and Baker City.

Whether fishing, rafting, or splashing around in unforgettable lakes, outdoor Oregon is sure to deliver.

Cottage Grove Lake

Found just south of downtown Cottage Grove off of Interstate 5, Cottage Grove Lake is a three-mile long lake situated on the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. The lake covers more than 1,100 acres when full, offering endless opportunity for fishing and boating..

Ideal for spring and summer visitors of central Oregon, but certainly open all year long, Cottage Grove Lake is also home to to Shortridge Park and Wilson Creek Park – two premier destinations for a picnic or family gathering. Plus, summer visitors love the swimming beach at Wilson Creek Park.

Dorena Lake

Be sure to spend some time at Dorena Lake, a top Cottage Grove and central Oregon destination. As you travel along the Interstate 5 corridor plan a fishing, boating, or fun under the sun afternoon at the lake. Less than nine miles east of downtown Cottage Grove, Dorena Lake has consistently proven to be a favorite boating and fishing spot in Oregon.

A popular attraction at Dorena Lake is the Dorena Lake Loop, a nearly 33-mile long hiking, walking, and biking trail. You'll earn yourself a 360 degree view of Dorena Lake as the loop circles around the entirety of the shore. Anglers find themselves hitting their daily limits on a regular basis at Dorena Lake – land largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and a wealth of catfish varieties.

East Lake

One of the top aquatic destinations in the Oregon Cascades, East Lake is adjacent to Paulina Lake, and features a surface area of 1,044 acres.

Both Paulina and East Lakes occupy sections of the Newberry Crater and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Surrounded by the Deschutes National Forest, East Lake is ideal destination for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, yielding bounties of sockeye salmon, Atlantic salmon, and both brown and rainbow trout.

East Lake allows for both non-motorized and full-motorized boats, and is open year round.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Encompassing over 652,000 acres in eastern Oregon near Baker City, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area preserves the deepest river gorge in North America.

Established in 1975, Hells Canyon features over 200,000 devoted to the Hells Canyon Wilderness, making this an outdoors person's paradise.

Whether fishing and boating in the Snake River, trekking along the 900 miles of hiking trails, driving along the All-American Scenic Byway, bicycling or horseback riding, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Bring your camera to capture the Rocky Mountain elk, Bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain deer that live in the area.

Henry Hagg Lake

Formed after the construction of Scoggins Dam in 1975, Henry Hagg Lake is a reservoir found west of the Portland metro area. A part of the Scoggins Valley Park, the lake is a short drive from both downtown Portland and nearby Forest Grove.

Boaters will find two launching sites at Henry Hagg Lake, along with a number of different picnic areas, and over 13 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. The also features inflow from Scoggins Creek and outflow into the Tualatin River.

McCredie Hot Springs

Make plans to visit Oregon and head for the Cascades. Be sure to check out McCredie Hot Springs, an unincorporated community you'll find as you drive through Lane County. A short drive from Oakridge, McCredie Hot Springs is known for a small collection of hot springs near Salt Creek.

You'll find easy access to McCredie Hot Springs as you drive along Highway 58 – it's just about a 200-yard walk from the parking lot. With temperatures in the McCredie Hot Springs ranging between 115 degrees and 98 degrees, you'll find a dip to be quite refreshing during the cooler months.

Paulina Lake

Set in Newberry Crater, Paulina Lake is found within the Deschutes National Forest of the Oregon Cascades.

Covering a surface of 1,531 acres, Paulina Lake reaches 250 feet with nearly seven miles worth of shoreline.

Set south of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and just east of La Pine, Pauline Lake neighbors East Lake.

Paulina Lake is known for great fishing, yielding kokanee salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, tui chub, and blue chub.

Upper Klamath Lake

The largest lake in the state, Upper Klamath Lake is set in southern Oregon, between Klamath Falls and Fort Klamath.

At 30 miles long and eight miles wide, the lake remains a vital water source for irrigation in the upper Klamath Basin.

Upper Klamath Lake is monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to protect the fish populations living in the lake.

Visit this incredible lake for an wonderful day of aquatic recreation, viewing sites like the Link River Dam, Wocus Bay, and the shores of the Winema National Forest.

Willamette River

One of the major channels of the Columbia River, the Willamette River is a long-stretching body of water in central Oregon.

At 187 miles long and nearly 100 miles wide, the Willamette River stretches from St. Helens, through Portland, weaves through Corvallis, and winds up just past Eugene where it splits off beyond Oakridge.

More than 15 dams have been constructed along the Willamette River since 1900, and 13 of those are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As you explore the Willamette River, you'll find nearly 50 different bridges and crossing spread across its entirety. Many guests to nearby cities enjoy fishing and bird watching along the Willamette River.