Owyhee Reservoir Dam Lake at Owyhee Canyonland

• Owyhee Reservoir is Oregon's longest lake
• The Owyhee Dam served as a prototype for the Hoover Dam

Agate HuntingFishing OregonBoatingCamping OregonPhotographingHiking Oregon

Owyhee Reservoir is located in the Owyhee Canyonlands near the Idaho border. The lake stretches for 53 miles, making it Oregon's longest lake.

This remote gem boasts a striking landscape filled with deep canyons, volcanic rock formations, and offers numerous outdoor adventures.

Owyhee Dam

The Owyhee Reservoir is an artificial lake created in 1932 following the construction of the Owyhee Dam. Built during the Great Depression on massive volcanic rocks, the dam stands 417 feet high. It features a visitor center that details its history and significance. The Owyhee Dam served as a prototype for the Hoover Dam.

The dam's primary purpose was irrigation. In the 1980s, it was retrofitted to generate power, too. Subsequently, the dam also created a fantastic recreational lake.

Leslie Gulch Recreation Area

Leslie Gulch Recreation Area Recreation Area on the southeastern shore is one of public access with a boat ramp and Slocum Creek Campground with 9 campsites.

Lake Owyhee State Park

Lake Owyhee State Park is the most developed spot on the lake featuring two campgrounds with 64 campsites, Gordon Gulch Day Use picnic area, and a boat ramp.

Owyhee Reservoir Dam Lake at Owyhee Canyonland

Things To Do At Owyhee Reservoir


Owyhee Reservoir is an excellent spot for boating. There are multiple boat ramps around the lake including at Leslie Gulch Boat Ramp and Lake Owyhee State Park.

From the boat, you can fish and discover unique sites. The lake has hidden coves and stunning volcanic rock formations only visible from the water.


Anglers at Owyhee Reservoir can catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, brown bullhead, and yellow perch. Also, the reservoir is occasionally stocked with rainbow trout. You can fish off the bank or from the boat.


The Owyhee Lake area, along with the entire Canyonland, is a hiking paradise. Multiple hiking trails surround the reservoir. Leslie Gulch, for example, provides access to four scenic trails.


The banks of Owyhee Reservoir are productive for rockhounding. Follow BLM guidelines for rock collecting around the lake. Owyhee Canyonland has additional rockhounding spots, such as Succor Creek State Natural Area. You can find various interesting rocks, including thunder eggs, jasper, and agate.

However, rockhounding is prohibited in some areas, such as Leslie Gulch, which is an Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

Wildlife Viewing

The diverse habitats around Owyhee Reservoir support a variety of wildlife, making it a fantastic location for wildlife viewing.

You can spot California bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and deer along the canyon walls. The area also hosts numerous bird species, including chukars, quail, and waterfowl.

Owyhee Reservoir Dam Lake at Owyhee Canyonland

Owyhee Reservoir Dam Lake at Owyhee Canyonland

Owyhee Reservoir: Camping, Lodging, and Vacation Rentals

Indian Creek and McCormack Campgrounds at the Lake Owyhee State Park should be reserved via Oregon Start Park Reservation. No reservation is required starting October 1 and sites are available first-come, first-served. Both campgrounds close for the season on November 1.

Slocum Creek Campground at Leslie Gulch Recreation Area is less developed and is a free, first-come, first-served.

Lodging is available 40 miles east in Homedale, Idaho or 45 miles northeast in Ontario, Oregon.

Lodging in Homedale, ID

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Homedale, ID

Lodging in Ontario, OR

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Ontario, OR

Owyhee Reservoir | Facts

Open: Year-round
Managed by: Bureau Land Management (BLM) and Oregon State Parks

Amenities: Campgrounds, picnic tables, boat ramps, flush toilets, showers, potable water
Activities: Hiking, nature viewing, photography, picnicking, boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, camping

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended
Day-use fees: None

Elevation: 2,800 ft (853 m)

Owyhee Reservoir is located:

  • 78 miles west of Boise
  • 152 miles east of Burns
  • 283 miles southeast of Bend.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Owyhee Reservoir (Lake Owyhee State Park)

From Adrian,

  • Head north on OR-201 N/1st Street and follow it for 1.8 miles
  • Turn left onto Overstreet Road and follow it for 5.3 miles
  • Turn left onto Owyhee Lake Road and follow it for 17.3 miles.

Phone: (800) 551-6949

Address: 1298 Owyhee Lake Rd, Adrian, OR 97901

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