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Deschutes Canyon Currents
May 2021
Buckwheat blooming on the Middle Deschutes River rim / Tom Iraci
We work to preserve and restore the wild landscapes of the middle Deschutes and lower Crooked Rivers and lower Whychus Creek through advocacy, stewardship and education.
           -FANs of the Deschutes Canyon Area's Mission Statement

Help Remove Spotted Knapweed in McKenzie Canyon

If you feel ready for a meaningful challenge, join Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area members for a remote area spotted knapweed removal project. The affected patch is a riparian strip along the Middle Deschutes River at the extreme north end of McKenzie Canyon (directly across from Riffle Road river access). We have obtained permission for hiking on mostly private land to this infrequently visited area. The path to the river is bounded by interesting canyon wall formations, and the steep drop down to the river follows an old ranch irrigation pipeline, adjacent to a spring-fed gully.  There is a cave nearby with Indigenous art which we will take time to see during our lunch break.

Our hike in is about two miles, and we will be carrying our tools. This area was treated in 2019 and again this past April, but we were unable to remove all of the knapweed at that time. Our goal is to remove all of the remaining knapweed along the river and in the steep and difficult gully. We will be digging up old plants to get to the new rosettes before they have a chance to bloom. Everything pulled will be stacked in place.

Learn more and sign up for this project.

Join a FANs Guided Hike in June
Cindy Murray, Hiking Coordinator

We are pleased to offer seven diverse hikes in June.  All guided hikes are free. To help reduce damage to the trail, minimize social impacts on other visitors, and protect wildlife habitat, group size is usually limited to a total of 8 hikers (including guides) and pets are not allowed. Registration opens one month before each hike.  If the hike is full, sign up on the wait list, and you will be notified if a space becomes available.  If you have to cancel, send us an email at as soon as possible, as same day cancellations make it difficult to add new hikers.  Current standard COVID precautions will be in effect.

Crooked River National Grassland Nest Box Trail
Saturday, June 5, 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Rating: Easy, 2 miles
Guide: Diane Randgaard
This easy, level hike will include stops to monitor eight bluebird and two kestrel nest boxes on the Peninsula north of Crooked River Ranch.  We may see nests, eggs, baby birds, and some surprises! Adults with children are encouraged to participate.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Whychus Canyon Preserve
Tuesday, June 8, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Rating: Moderate, 7 miles
Guide: Cindy Murray
Enjoy hiking through this 930 acre Preserve along Whychus Creek. This land is privately owned by Deschutes Land Trust and open to the public. The trail descends to Whychus Creek and through old growth juniper, cottonwood and aspen stands. Wildflowers will be abundant.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Medicinal Plants and Evidence of the Past - Shelf Court Trail
Thursday, June 10, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Rating: Moderate-Difficult, 2.5 miles
Guides: Wendy Fink and Eric Hanson
Learn identification and the many practical and historical uses of wild edible and medicinal plants commonly found in our beautiful canyons. Learn about some of the historic cultures that lived in the area.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Steelhead Falls Wildflowers
Tuesday, June 11, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Rating: Moderate, 2.2 miles
Guide: Marilynne Keyser 
This hike will focus on native plants, including summer wildflowers. The incredible Cascade views from the rim, geological marvels and Steelhead Falls will also be highlights. Our hike will include a stop at FANs Monarch Waystation near the river.

Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Crooked River Wetlands Birding
Tuesday, June 15, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Rating:  Easy, 2 miles
Guides:   Chuck Gates and Marilynne Keyser
This is a great opportunity to learn about Central Oregon birds at Crooked River Wetlands in Prineville. This hike is designed for beginning birders.  The trail is flat and mostly paved.

Learn more and sign up for this hike.
Scout Camp Wildflowers
Friday, June 18, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Rating: Moderate-Difficult, 2.2 miles
Guide:  Marilynne Keyser
This visually stunning hike involves a fairly steep 700 feet descent to the Middle Deschutes River and a short, but difficult, climb over very large rocks to complete the loop.  The hike will focus on identifying native plants, including summer wildflowers, so we will stop often along the trail.

Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Lookout Mountain Trail #804
Wednesday, June 30, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Rating:  Moderate-Difficult, 8 miles
Guides:   David Vick and Amy Sue Matthews
Learn how to identify wildflowers using the Peterson method.  Peterson Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers will be provided for each participant to use. This loop trail ascends 1000 feet through open meadows, stands of beautiful old growth ponderosa and mixed conifer forests.

Learn more and sign up for this hike.
June is a great time to hike on challenging Scout Camp Trail.  Photo: Tom Iraci
Look for Friends and Neighbors of the
Deschutes Canyon Area Booth on July 3

We will once again have a booth at Crooked River Ranch's Independence Day Celebration on July 3.  Mark your calendar!  We hope you will come by and say hello.  If you would like to help with this year's booth, send us an email.


Lotte, Jeff, Diane at Penny at FANs Independence Day Celebration booth in 2018.

Deschutes River XI, Necropolis
Watercolor and Story by John Hermannsson
Among the steep cliffs in the Deschutes River Canyon, I hike by a hulking formation that stands out from the others. It bares its teeth to the river.  The river responds by altering its course into a sharp flanking bend but does not escape the formation before being squeezed between cliffs and cast into a boulder strewn rapid. The river emerges from the other side of the formation exorcised - serene, and mellow. 

It is known that the Ancients buried their dead in the caves of the Deschutes River Canyon, but the exact locations remain a guarded and well kept secret of the descendants. I have named the formation in the painting the ‘Necropolis’ because of its particular siting, excellent views for its occupants, and the spiritually uplifting expression of its design. If any Ancient is buried in this canyon, I am willing to bet that the Necropolis is a burial site.

Share your photos of
spring birds and blossoms!
We'd love to share your photos with other FANs members. Send them to

Mountain bluebird nestlings in a nest box at Crooked River Ranch.
Photo: Diane Randgaard


Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area
is proud to be a part of

Friends Grassroots Network
Central Oregon Conservation Network

Board Meeting Schedule

Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area board meetings are usually held on the second Sunday each month.  Copies of the agenda are available before the meetings.  Public comments are welcome at the end of board meetings.

Our next board meeting will be June 13, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at the home of Marilynne and John Keyser. Please email if you would like to attend this board meeting.


FANs Board of Directors
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors focuses on our mission: Preserve and restore the wild landscapes of the middle Deschutes and lower Crooked Rivers and lower Whychus Creek through advocacy, stewardship and education. 

You can read more about our Board of Directors and Leadership Team by clicking here.

FANs is a 501-C-3 Nonprofit Organization  EIN #45-4986167

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Our mailing address is:
Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area
PO Box 2127
Terrebonne, OR 97760
541.771.FANS (3267)

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Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area · PO Box 2127 · Terrebonne, OR 97760-2127 · USA

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