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




The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius


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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Cregg Large, member since 2009

Cregg Large, member since 2009

“I came to Oregon 12 years ago from Texas. Texas, for all its size, has very little public land. Coming to Oregon has made me realize the special gift we as Americans have in our public lands. Volunteering with an organization like ONDA is my way of reciprocating for this gift. Through restoration efforts, I feel we are helping leave a better place than we found it. Through advocating for protection for public lands, we safeguard migration routes for animals and keep the land where it belongs: with the public.”

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.