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Going Luxe on Lodging Along the Lower Deschutes

Nov 07, 2023

BySam StitesJune 8, 2023

Tiny homes overlook the water at Lake Simtustus Resort, just south of Warm Springs.

Image: courtesy lake simtustus resort

Who says being outdoorsy means sleeping on a quarter inch of foam among bugs and sagebrush? The Lower Deschutes River has plenty of options for refined lodging. Here are four good spots to sleep:

If You Like Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury: Just a 15-minute drive south of Warm Springs, Lake Simtustus Resort is a slice of paradise for those who enjoy high desert activities but also like pampering. The resort sits on the hillside of a canyon laden with juniper, sage, and ponderosa pine, and offers 75 full hook-up RV sites, 11 luxury tiny-home units, a marina with boat moorage, a seasonal restaurant, general store, pickleball courts, a putting green and nature trails.

Most sites and units have dazzling views of the lake and surrounding canyon, but the best views are offered from the tiny homes, which feature cozy yet spacious layouts at just over 200 square feet. Each unit has its own outdoor space with a private hot tub, grill, and either a deck or artificial lawn area to hang out on and enjoy the views.

Fold down beds allow flexible space that makes these rentable tiny homes a great option for those who need the comforts of home while being close to world-class fly-fishing, boating, rafting, and other activities.

Image: courtesy lake simtustus resort

While 200 square feet might sound small, there's no wasted space inside these units, where high ceilings temper any hint of claustrophobia. Each contains a kitchenette stocked with cooking essentials and a spacious full bathroom. Some units contain a single fold-down queen bed while others feature two or three beds in lofts or fold-downs. A handful are pet friendly.

If You Like In-Town Action: The Imperial River Company Hotel is a charming option right in Maupin. This riverfront property, restaurant, bar, event center, and whitewater outfitter is a one-stop shop for families and groups looking to be in the thick of things. Each of its 25 rooms has a unique theme, such as fly-fishing or cowboys or geologic features (think the columnar basalt flows distinctive of the Lower Deschutes). A large suite for honeymooners and a double-queen bunkhouse unit for families are also available and offer a bit more privacy than other rooms.

Each of its 25 rooms has a unique theme, like fly-fishing or cowboys or geologic features.

Fishing fans can pop into The Angler, a room that features a Field & Stream mural on the wall and plenty of fly-fishing books. Second floor riverfront rooms with names like Cattle Baron and Expedition give you access to a balcony where you can sip a beer and watch rafters float by while the kids play beach volleyball. The large, lush lawn along the river also makes a great place for a picnic when the ground-floor restaurant is packed.

If You Dig Vintage Vibes: The Oasis Cabin Resort is another cozy option for in-town stays while recreating on the Lower Deschutes. This set of a dozen cabins and two campers in Maupin has a cute 1940s feel and is located across the road from the river offering quick access to the backcountry byway. Some units have a small kitchen and their own bathroom while others are stripped down to provide a truer camping experience.

If You're a Tenter or RVer: Just need that fluffy patch of grass or hookup? Look no farther than Maupin City Park's 25 RV sites, 22 tent sites, and three group campsites. It's right next to the river, yet still in town. This campground is great for families and gives you the river access you'd expect of a primitive BLM site alongside the amenities of a more developed park (think flushing toilets, potable water, and Wi-Fi).

If You Like Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury: Lake Simtustus Resort If You Like In-Town Action: Imperial River Company Hotel If You Dig Vintage Vibes: Oasis Cabin Resort If You're a Tenter or RVer: Maupin City Park's