Summer Day Trip Idea: Deschutes River

About an hour and forty-five minutes from Portland takes you to the gorgeous Deschutes River area and the town of Maupin. This is a great place to get away from the city to see a different side of Oregon- a more arid, desert-like landscape. Between the tan cliffs runs the Deschutes River which adds to the rich beauty of this scenic drive. There are lots of great places to pull off and enjoy views of the rapids the river is famous for. Between the breathtaking views and grabbing lunch in Maupin, this is the perfect day trip if you live in or visit Portland. Just take 26 and then take the 216 East.


This time of year the wildflowers are in full bloom. There seem to be flower fields everywhere!

portland day trip

We stopped and had lunch in Maupin at a great spot called Imperial River Co. They have a pretty outdoor seating area with perfect views of the river. We took our dogs down to the water after we ate and walked them out on a dock to look at rafters floating by.

the imperial maupin

imperial maupin

maupin restaurant

Downtown Maupin is super cute and quaint. It’s easy to take a quick stroll and check out the old-fashioned Main Street.

rainbow tavern maupin

free people portland

We drove to Sherars Falls which separates the Upper and Lower Deschutes River. This is a designated fishery, so there is limited parking available for tourists, however, there are a few spots to pull off and grab an Insta pic. The falls are also easily visible from the road, and you can even cross a bridge to see them from both sides.


deschutes river

free people jumpsuit

This area of Eastern Oregon offers so much for such a short little drive from Portland. It’s a great getaway when you want something different than the Gorge or the Coast, and best of all it’s inexpensive. While there looked to be some great camping spots along the River, there really isn’t a need to stay the night. You can see some awesome sites in the course of a day. Also, bonus tip… if you take 216 back, you’ll see gorgeous views of Mt. Hood from the road. We had such a lovely day, and I know you will too! Definitely a great spot to bring your dogs for a little off-leash time. Happy day-tripping this summer!