Lakes & ReservoirsThe lakes and reservoirs of Jefferson County are brimming with wildlife amid dramatic scenery. The most popular destination is Lake Billy Chinook. Nestled in the canyons carved by the Deschutes, Crooked and Metolius Rivers, the lake was formed by the completion of Round Butte Dam in 1964. Home to bald and golden eagles, as well as a host of other birds, Lake Billy Chinook is an ideal location for wildlife watching. The waterway is also a favorite of anglers, boaters, water skiers, wake boarders, hikers and campers. Houseboat rentals are also available on the lake.
Formed by Pelton Dam, Lake Simtustus offers fishing, boating and water skiing on the 630 acre reservoir. Like Billy Chinook, Simtustus is framed by rugged, high canyon walls. Lakeside camping is available at Pelton Park and Lake Simtustus Resort.
Located seven miles south of Madras, Haystack Reservoir is popular with local residents for fishing, swimming, boating and picnicking. The magnificent view of Mt. Jefferson is well worth the visit. Nearby camping is available. Speed boat races are also held each year.
Suttle Lake is the ideal mountain retreat from the summer heat. Just east of the Santiam Summit and 15 miles northwest of Sisters, Suttle Lake is a recreation oasis. Summer activities include fishing, boating, water skiing and wake boarding—plus biking, hiking and camping. During the winter, the area is used for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.