Tumalo State Park Is One Of Oregon’s Best Little Parks
Tumalo State Park is one of central Oregon’s best little state park getaways
With beautiful trails, fishing spots, cozy campsites and riverside picnic areas, Tumalo State Park is one of central Oregon’s best little state park getaways.
While much smaller and not quite as spectacular as some of Oregon’s more popular state parks, Tumalo is just what it needs to be: a nice river access point and serviceable campground close to Bend.
Found just off the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, the park is set in a lovely stretch of high desert riverside scenery. Ponderosa pine and juniper trees grow alongside willows, alders and poplars near the water’s edge. It’s a good spot for bird watching, with swallows, herons and meadowlarks commonly spotted.
Like most other full-fledged state parks, it comes with all the proper amenities, including flush toilets, a large parking lot, and reservable picnic areas. Crowds mostly show up in the warmer months, when the river is ripe for fishing and swimming, but you’ll see people there wandering the trails and sleeping in yurts throughout the year.
Here’s everything you need to know about Tumalo State Park:
For many, the campground is the main draw at Tumalo State Park. For those who want to pitch a tent close to Bend, there are few, if any, better options. While officially open year-round, the campground sees seasonal closures in the fall and winter. At full capacity, it features seven yurts, 54 tent sites and 23 full-hookup RV sites. There is also a pair of group campsites and a hiker/biker camp, both of which are open seasonally.
Tent sites cost $23 per night, with RV sites priced at $36, and yurts available for $57 and $67. Reservations are available up to six months in advance at oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com.
DESCHUTES RIVER TRAIL
There are many trails called the Deschutes River Trail, each covering a different stretch of the 252-mile river that runs from the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River. This section of the Deschutes River Trail runs 1.4 miles upriver to the Riley Ranch Nature Preserve, where it continues on and meets up with a series of loop trails. Once the trail enters Riley Ranch, dogs are no longer allowed. Bikes are not allowed on any part of this trail.
The highlight of the hike is a railed walkway over the rapids near the confluence of the Deschutes River and Tumalo Creek. The walkway gives a great look up and downriver, and allows hikers to peer down into the beautiful waters.
The day-use area situated on the banks of the Deschutes River is perfect for a picnic, fishing or relaxing by the water. The Deschutes River Trail leads through and beyond the picnic area, allowing hikers to explore a little farther. Flush toilets are open seasonally, with a portable toilet open in the winter. Additional amenities include a playground and a fish cleaning station. A pair of group picnic areas are open seasonally and can be reserved online.
— Jamie Hale