How to Experience the Rivers, Lakes, and Waterways in Sisters

Chris Smith | 05.31.22

It may be known as high desert country, but Central Oregon is also home to some pretty wonderful waterways. From stunning mountain lakes to mighty rushing rivers, there are so many ways to have fun on the water – especially if you’re staying in Sisters. Add in more than 300 days of annual sunshine and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a cool and refreshing experience. 



Central Oregon is home to some fine fishing, and there are some great spots just a short drive away from Sisters. The Metolius and Deschutes Rivers are known for challenging fly-fishing and trophy-sized trout, and Crooked River is one of the most productive trout streams in the country. You can also hop on a boat or fish from the bank of dozens of emerald mountain lakes full of brooks, rainbows, kokanee, and largemouth bass. Just remember to read all local fishing regulations and use the appropriate gear. 


If you’ve never tried trout fishing, a guide like Just Add Water Fly Fishing can help you navigate some of the best angling spots in the area. 



If you’re looking for thrills (and possibly a few spills), whitewater rafting is the activity for you. The Deschutes River is one of the most popular spots for rafting in the state, and its reliable summer flows and class III rapids make it ideal for first-timers, families, and outdoor enthusiasts. You can also make a trip down McKenzie River, where a steady plunge and renowned scenic beauty offer continual excitement for rafters of all ages and abilities. There are a number of companies throughout the area that offer guided tours, gear and expert advice to help you have a fun and safe rafting adventure.



Our tranquil mountain lakes offer prime opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing). Suttle Lake is a popular place for kayaking, and you can rent all sorts of non-motorized boats right at the marina. Another great option is Sparks Lake, a biodiverse wetland full of interesting landscapes to explore (and a stunning view of South Sister peak.) You’ll find plenty of outfitters in and around Sisters to help you get your paddling gear. 


Summer Canoe Tours

See the Cascade Lakes in a whole new light with Wanderlust Tours. Their summer starlight & moonlight canoe tours will find you paddling on a mountain lake in the light of the moon and twinkling summer stars. You’ll spend 2 hours on the water as your naturalist guide highlights the sweet spots and shares age-old stories, myths, and fun astronomy facts. It’s a peaceful and illuminating tour that’s fun for the whole family! 


Tours are $110 per person and run every night of the week from June to October. Prices include your gear, transportation, and complimentary refreshments. Book one of their special night sky dates for a spectacular view of the starry sky! 


Reserve Your Rental on the Metolius River

There’s no better way to experience our waterways than by staying just steps from the shore! Sisters Vacation Rentals can help you reserve one of our award-winning cabins in Camp Sherman, where you’ll have easy access to fishing, swimming, floating, rafting, and all the fun the mighty Metolius can offer. Grab your suit and book your stay today! 

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