Within an hour’s drive from Bend and just west of Terrebonne, the rugged canyons of Whychus-Deschutes remain astonishingly wild.


South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds


Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Our quest to protect the Oregon Badlands

Located just 15 miles east of Bend, Oregon Badlands is a 30,000-acre wilderness area filled with fascinating lava flows and ancient juniper trees Arriving in the Badlands, so named for its rugged and harsh terrain, can feel like stepping

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Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

Wild Waters in the High Desert

The Whychus-Deschutes proposed wilderness holds popular places such as Alder Springs and Steelhead Falls as well as less-well-known wonders waiting to be discovered. The frothing whitewater at the confluence of Whychus Creek and the Middle Deschutes River creates a lush oasis for wildlife. Flyfishers ply these waters for native fish and everyone enjoys the jaw-dropping views.

Whychus-Deschutes: Wild and Free

Hiking in the Whychus-Deschutes backcountry

Jim Davis   Website

Steelhead Falls

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Whychus Creek

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Old growth ponderosa pines above Whychus Creek

Brian O'Keefe   Website

Winter hiking on the Middle Deschutes River

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Hiking and fishing are by far the most popular activities in the Whychus-Deschutes area, but a wide variety of non-motorized recreation pursuits, including horseback riding, in-season hunting, camping, and bird watching, are also allowed.