Simply Nahala

Writer. Photographer. Soul Traveler.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lake Billy Chinook

Oregon is known for its diverse landscape and natural wonders that include a rugged coastline, a fertile valley, dense forests, the Cascade Mountain Range, the high desert and the eclectic City of Portland. There is so much to explore, and I'm so grateful to call this state my home.

There's a special place in Central Oregon just west of Culver where the Round Butte Dam holds back the Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked Rivers to form the gorgeous Lake Billy Chinook, also nicknamed "The Cove." The lake is named after Billy Chinook, a Native American of the Wasco tribe who traveled with John C. Fremont and Kit Carson during their American West expeditions in the 1840s. A peaceful place in rimrock country with a Cascade Mountain backdrop that is calm in the winter, yet full of life in the summer as it is a camping, fishing, water skiing, jet skiing and boating paradise.

The Cove Palisades State Park surrounds most of the lake and offers beautiful and clean camping sites, rustic log cabins, day-use areas and 10 miles of hiking trails rich in wildlife and high desert scenery. The park hosts two special events: The annual Eagle Watch Event in February, and The Lake Billy Chinook Clean-Up/Festival in September. The Crooked River Petroglyph is a historic site and located within the park as well. There are several boat launches around the seven mile lake. Cove Palisades Resort and Marina is located on the east shore, which offers houseboat and watercraft rentals.

I'm really enjoying winter this season in the high desert as we are getting lots of snow, and it has truly been a winter wonderland. However, I'm so excited about returning to Lake Billy Chinook in the summer when the weather is sunny and warm to do some kayaking, camping and hiking. I also look forward to getting up close and personal with the canyon walls as they must have some fascinating stories to tell!

Exploring Oregon,


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