Located along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, Wickiup Reservoir was built in 1949 on the Deschutes River for irrigation use. The Deschutes begins at Little Lave Lake, flows 8.4 miles south to Crane Prairie Reservoir, and then 5 miles south to Wickiup Reservoir. The second largest reservoir in Oregon, after Owyhee Lake, comprises 10,300 surface acres and 50 miles of shoreline.
Wickiup Reservoir area was a traditional Native American camping area and has been named for wickiups or wigwams – dome-shaped shelters made from reeds, grass, and brush.
The reservoir is a great place for wildlife viewing. A variety of nesting and migrating birds, deer, raccoons, bats, and sometimes even black bears are observed in this area. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, windsurfing, waterskiing, and swimming as well as camping and picnicking around the lake.
Sheep Bridge Campground is a huge campground on the Deschutes arm above the reservoir. This site offers tent and RV camping (hookups are not available), picnic tables, campfire rings, drinking water, and vault toilets. There is a boat ramp at the campground.
Gull Point Campground & Day-Use is located on the north shore 0.4 miles east of the North Wickiup Boating Site. The campground features tent and RV camping, picnic areas, drinking water, vault toilets, and a dump station. Two day-use areas have boat launches and fish cleaning stations.
Reservoir Campground & Boating Site on the west shore offers tent, trailer and RV camping (hookups are not available), boat ramp, picnic tables, campfire rings, and vault toilets. No drinking water.
The reservoir is well-known for excellent fishing opportunities. Its water is home to record-size brown trout at 16-20 inches. In 2007, a man from Madras caught 25-pound, 1-ounce brown trout. The state record is 28 pounds, 5 ounces, taken in 2002 from Paulina Lake.
There is a good chance to catch a rainbow trout, whitefish, brook trout, kokanee, and largemouth bass.
The reservoir is open for anglers from April 22 to October 31. Kokanee is limited to 5 per day in addition to the daily trout limit. The Deschutes Arm is closed from the ODFW marker at Gull Point to The ODFW marker upstream of Sheep Bridge from September 1 to April 21.
Check the current ODFW regulations before fishing.
Relatively shallow areas warm up in the late summer providing opportunities to take a refreshing dip. Gull Point Campground & Day-Use is one of the popular places along the reservoir shoreline for swimming, tubing, and canoeing.
Wickiup Reservoir | General Description
Open: Year-round; Due to snow in winters, the roads are closed
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Cascade Lakes Highway, Deschutes National Forest
Services: Campgrounds, restrooms, picnic sites, boat ramps
Activities: Swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking
Accommodations: Sheep Bridge Campground, Gull Point Campground, Reservoir Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 4,150 ft (1,265 m)
Wickiup Reservoir is located:
- 41 miles west of Bend
- 109 miles east of Eugene
- 170 miles southeast of Salem
- 200 miles southeast of Portland.
Directions to Gull Point Campground
- Take Highway 97 and travel 17 miles south to Vandevert Road
- Turn right onto Vandevert Road and drive 1 mile to S Century Drive
- Turn left onto S Century Drive and continue 1.1 miles
- Turn right to stay on S Century Drive and follow 18.2 miles to Forest Road 4260
- Turn left onto FR 4260/Twin Lake Road and continue 2.9 miles to Forest Road 4260-200
- Turn right onto FR 4260-200 and go 0.3 miles to the destination.