Hiking Trails on the Eastside of Mt Hood

Well hello, Spring!

As we check folks in to the motel, we often get asked what kind of activities there are to do around the area. Now I won’t go too far into detail on the fun times, but I will share a rather unique trailhead on this side of the mountain to be explored by foot. Bring your cameras though because you’ll need them to catch the elusive wildflowers in this dry area.

Here’s a view to the south from the Ball Point Saddle…AMAZING!

School Canyon is located in the Badger Creek Wilderness of the Mt Hood National Forest This hike is 6.4 miles out and back to Helispot #122, and can be accessed from Highway 197.

Driving directions from the west, and traveling from Highway 197, along with the MAP can be found on the US Forest Service’s site.

It’s always best to practice going outdoors with your 10 MOST ESSENTIALS Hiking items in mind. It’s important to be safe out in the wilderness, and practice all precaution to avoid those inherit risks involved in outdoor recreation. It’s also helpful to learn the hunting practices in the area.

This time of year, the temps are just starting to increase into the mid-70′s, which means the wildflowers displays are on.
Bring plenty of water, a hat, and your sunblock. This hike is mostly exposed to the sunny southside, and can deliver a gorgeous sunset.

White River Whitewater Class II-III

The temps are beginning to show us Spring is in full effect. Some of the best rivers in Oregon are only enjoyable during the snow runoff. The White River is often scouted for those looking for new fun. RIVERFACTS.COM has compiled a short write-up about the 11.3 mile stretch just above the “White River Falls‘ State Park, another must see, in our area.

Speaking of river running, don’t forget to book your summer Deschutes river trips. It’s going to be a hot year!


With the quiet and peaceful season upon us, we are offering an…ONLINE BOOKING SPECIAL

QUEEN SUITES at $60 (taxes additional)

Now when you book online, you’ll get a Queen Suite for the price of a Fishermen’s Retreat, while supplies last!

Please be aware the 2015 Thanksgiving and Christmas season will require advance phone reservations.

What is a SOLVE Kiosk, anyway?

Hello there,

It’s been a very busy spring around here that rolled into a busy start of summer. You may be asking yourself, what is a SOLVE kiosk. And quite frankly, you should be because there isn’t another one like it. Let me explain…

Here’s a little update about the special pilot project taking place in Maupin. If it is successful in our area, we may see these pop up elsewhere. Don’t miss the boat!

We make our love of the river no secret, in fact, we are proud to holler about our passion for the Deschutes river. We bought a MOTEL to prove it! Naw… really, we just wanted to live in the best little central Oregon town we could locate with the river running through it. And here we are, as they say, the rest is history.

Dawna (Deschutes Motel, owner):

“One day last fall I was walking with a friend to get in our morning exercise in town and we stumbled upon a pile of waste. This dump sight was unnerving to be taking place right under our noses, right where we live, but more importantly this was a practice unnoticed by most and has the potential to impact us all. I’m not saying the area is trashed and all the conservationists need to save it, rather I believe that we can all do a small part to keep it beautiful for a very long time, and in doing so, we further our own survival in the system.”

See that day was eye-opening, as it served to spark a possible solution that once identified, I couldn’t help but notice all over the place. For the next couple months, as I would take walks, I began to really notice that the roadside litter is present in all places. This realization led me to consider that if I walked these locations daily and took it upon myself to pick up a small amount each time, that over time, it would add up and accumulate to the waste being where it belonged, in the garbage, and a pristine environment where I recreated.

I’m sure you’ve all met Gracie and know that we love our morning dog walks with her. We take a bag every time we leave the house because we know what comes with fun and play, the other side and the dirty work. Owning a pet teaches responsibility and owning the environment has the same long-standing impact. It only takes one person, one idea, one bag, and one decision to do the right thing.

During my recent involvement with the RiverFest/Maupin Daze committee, I implemented a project idea, sought the assistance of SOLVE, and  created a partnership between the City of Maupin and the River Stewards who aim to keep is clean.

I present to you the new SOLVE Kiosk, located in Maupin City Park, and available for everyone.

What is it and how does it work? This kiosk is designed to give the river steward an option to give back as they recreate. Not everyone has time or wants to be involved in a formalized clean up event and yet, they’d still love to be a part of the solution.

So, if you’re in the area and you find yourself walking, riding, fishing, rafting, or just plain hanging out by the river, grab a bag and offer a hand. We are proud to recognize that our town is a precious gem and we hope you’ll help us keep it that way. The kiosk is complete with instructions, small and large bags, and a logbook for anyone willing to lend a hand.

It is important to note that this pilot project is in special cooperation with the coordinator, City of Maupin, the BLM, and SOLVE. We hope to see it continue making a lasting impact for the rest of our lives.

April is Earth Month!

Howdy y’all! I have exciting news to share…It’s April and that means it’s time to celebrate Earth! Here’s the best part, Maupin has several events taking place over the next month that will honor the spinning rock through stewardship opportunities. You can escape for the recreation and add on a little extra to give Mother Nature a kickback!

Calendar of events:

  • 4/18/15SOLVE IT is Oregon’s largest volunteer Earth Day event and the Deschutes Motel will have bags available to give your river-steward-side a chance to give back as you recreate in the area.
  • 4/22/15 - EARTH DAY
  • 5/16/15Maupin Daze Environmental Booth: Learn how you can help! Unveiling the SOLVE Pilot Project to offer the state’s only in-land, self-lead, on-going clean-up station!

The PROS AND CONS of living along a natural landscape rich in resources:

Let’s face the facts here. The pros for having the access on the Deschutes River are amazing as it supports an economy in central Oregon that provides residents and tourists alike an open opportunity to live and recreate in nature. With all the management and protections in place, there are still conflicts about the amount of use allowed along the corridor as well as the amount of impact that it creates. The truth is the access itself, in any environment, whether strictly controlled or not, becomes the driving force behind the unintended side effect of human behavior. According to the first PSA (Public Service Announcement) in 1956, humans have been aware of that consequence and have been working to address roadside litter since automobile traffic became the dominate form of transportation. To be an explorer is nothing new for humans. The facts of life are such that the faster we go, the less we see;  and the more wake we make the greater we affect others. We can be a positive catalyst for change every time we make a choice, and let there be no other reason to rejoice than for the love of the land we honor and protect.

In case you hadn’t noticed from the recycling program we insist our guests and employees follow to the projects we undertake, Dave and I are pretty passionate about nature, the environemt in general, and we’re proud of  our own little slice of heaven in central Oregon.  Having left the big city life, I can tell you that when things slow down and you find peace, there is a certain personal commitment to keeping it that way. Environmental pollution comes in all forms, and Maupin could be accused of being part of the problem verses the solution when it comes to granting too much access, as our past decisions have allowed a major powerline network running right through our gorgeous canyon, a fiber optic line running across a man-made bridge, and not to mention a city born by no coincidence along a wonderful natural freshwater spring. These conditions allow folks to travel through an otherwise high desert land that would be too harsh to survive without the highway, the resources, and the kindness of the human presence. Stewardship means the “responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving” and that is exactly what living along the Deschutes river has solidified for us, the owners of the Deschutes Motel. Without the conservation, we become part of the problem. Our values cause us to go above and beyond the call of duty as motel owners and we do the work that gets forgotten about to keep our area protected. Diligently, we work to reduce our impact with our greener purchases and constant commitment to limiting waste and consumption, as well as we are heavily focused on restoring what was once old and still has potential, and aiming to recycle everything under the sun!

What’s the big deal, right? Well, when you live along the Deschutes River, you grow accustomed to the pristine landscape and the slightest candy wrapper or stray aluminum can offends the eye. When you love the sight and smell of sagebrush,  the Deschutes River has a way of drawing your heart in and asking it to stay a while longer. When the sounds of the birds chirping becomes the background of your days and you long for that kind of peace so plentiful that you’ll sacrifice all the abundance in access the big city has to offer that is when one knows their homage to pay is toward the grand Deschutes itself. Maupin is the only city located along this lower stretch of the Deschutes. Situated along the river corridor in a way that creates a stopping ground for city dwellers escaping the madness, for migrating bird life passing through, and for the lucky pioneer who finds oneself asking, “What am I doing and how did I get here?”

Again, its not by coincidence that we ended up along this stretch of river at this place in our lives. During the migratory periods of life, we all need a place to return home to or to stop in for a refuge along the way.  The motel is our migratory home and one we take great pleasure in sharing with folks who see the beauty in what this area has to offer. We cater to a the lovenests and those in love with the nest due to the nature of our location, and we let the feeder remind us of the wild that exists among us. We let the quiet days be the times when we appreciate the nature of business in Maupin. And the not so peaceful ones to remind us of the great freedoms of access in such an amazing land.

NEXT BLOG POST: What is the SOLVE Pilot Project new to Maupin?

And the Facebook Page created specifically for the purpose of documenting stewardship to promote its benefits.

Other interesting links:

Oh! My! God!

Mother Nature is calling be sure you’re listening.

Keep America Beautiful was the first. Wonderful Timeline!

Willie Nelson sings why he stands for the environment.

Wow! Fantastic week of reviews… Thank you all so much for the continued support!

Taken from Trip Advisor today.

Its nice to be recognized, so we thank you all very much for the support!  Without the public, we wouldn’t be here and without our fans, this would all be just work! ;) Graciously, Dawna

Mike P. said:

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago

Perfect for my wanderlust fly fishing trips! Small, quaint and friendly motel in Maupin is ideal for your outdoor adventure. It is clean and convenient for enjoying the Deschutes River area. I recommend the Deschutes Motel for your next Maupin trip and adventures on the Deschutes River.

Bronco N. said:

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago

Clean room, comfortable bed, good shower, peaceful, friendly owners, charming staff, always sleep amazing there, very good value. Perfect for me. I go there about once a month on average, year round. I love it.

Russell F. said:

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago

As “fly fishing people”, we make the drive from Portland several times during the course of the year, and have since 1987.
While we have seen changes in ownership over the years, one thing has ALWAYS remained the same. Friendly service.

The rooms are always clean, and we always feel safe.
Obviously in all those years we have tried other places in Maupin, but because of the value and the service we get here, this motel is our choice year after year.

I would (and have) recommended this motel to others.

There’s GOLD up in them hills!

Did you know that Spring time is the best time of year to explore the high desert. The greenery gets its refreshing dose of h2o, the birds are abundant as they are migrating thru the oasis nature that Maupin provides, and the sunny days are plentiful! That’s the secret around here… the gold in our hills is radiating sun! Even on a cloudy day, the shine is creating a perfect environment for wildlife to come to life. And if nature doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe another form of gold hunting will.

I have two practical options so you don’t have to sell your assets to start a mining operation!


Richardson Rock Ranch offers a self-lead opportunity to hunt for treasures in their vast central Oregon gem-yard! The 7 mile trip into the high desert private roads takes you toward places to search for Thunder-eggs known as Pony Butte, Blue Bed and Red Rock . What the heck is a thunder-egg anyway? “Thundereggs are agate-filled nodules found in various parts of the Western United States. They range in size from 1/4 inch to as large as 5 feet in diameter. Generally, they are about the size of oranges. All are similar on the exterior, but no two are alike in pattern, design or color on the inside. The most colorful and beautiful of Thundereggs comes from a small area in Jefferson County in Central Oregon (Pony Butte).” It’s only 10 bucks for a carload and they weigh you when you leave, so don’t eat too many;)

The local Native American folklore “of this region are said to have believed these strange, agate-filled stones were missiles thrown by angry, fighting “Thunder Spirits” or “Gods” who dwelt on Mount Jefferson and nearby Mount Hood, two of the several snow-capped peaks high in the Cascade Range. The Native Americans thought when thunderstorms occurred these rival, jealous gods hurled large numbers of the round-shaped rocks at each other in furious anger. Thus, according to Native American legend, Thundereggs were scattered over the high plateaus of Central Oregon.”


Have you ever heard of Geocaching? “Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,591,978 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.” ( And all you need to start is a GPS unit (iPhones work too), a passport for the tour and a desire to seek!

Here’s what you might not know about this other form of treasure hunting…Maupin has its our Geo Tour and for a very limited time you can still capture some of that gold! I am especially proud of this tour as its one of the projects I completed in 2012 for the Maupin Chamber of Commerce. The project opened my eyes to the immense wealth of history in the area. During the research, I was taken aback by the pioneers determination and fortitude to persevere. Those traveling along the Oregon Trail (Barlow Cutoff) were surviving in the same conditions we now call home, which stands a city living along the Deschutes river, named Maupin.  The desert conditions have never been easy to live in, and the pioneers passing through this area over 150 years ago just makes me shake my head. Phenomenal!  I am encouraged by folks of the past. I hope you’ll make your way to our rich area and enjoy the bounty. But be kind and minimize your impact…because 150 years from now someone might be writing about your journey through here.

Today, I’m giving a shout out to Rodney Woodside, the Richmond Service Station Owner, who loves to meet new folks passing through town. His station has acted as the Maupin Old Days (GC3WNTV) Cache Steward and I want to thank him for his support! ;)  I replaced the missing cache and added a Travel Bug, too!

History is rich, indeed!

Hello Fans and Friends,

I just wanted to take a second and share a couple links to the area history. If you get a chance to meet me (Dawna, the owner), you’ll quickly find out how enamored I am by the local history and how folks sought the refuge of the Wild West in hopes of pursuing a dream. We are very familiar with the idea of retreating from the big city life.

Living in Maupin has presented a wonderful opportunity to live and learn the history in a way of cultural immersion. Being a natural explorer, I have discovered a wealth unlike any other. I enjoy sharing the nature, the natural landscape, and the local history as it relates to the land.

If you’re arriving from the North on Highway 197, be sure to stop by The Dalles to try their “walking history tour” or the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum for an amazing journey back in time.

As you continue to travel South on Highway 197 from The Dalles, there will be an opportunity to pay respect to those historic travelers before you at the Rebekah Lodge Community Cemetery . Please practice kindness and allow the dearly departed to rest in peace. Please be respectful of the lands and its occupants. If you’re interested in learning more about historic sites like this, check out the State of Oregon’s Gravestone Heritage page.

Another must see and stop on your way to us is the Dufur Museum. And I could go on and on about all the things you could do from this point, but I want to see you this trip, so head on in and let’s chat…ice cream and hiking! Yes, please.

Maupin’s busy season is a lot like the Wild West and we get our kicks living among it. Last year, The Dalles was listed in True West Magazine as a True Western Town. The article describes the vivid and wild history of the area. Maupin carries the history one step further by inviting the wild fun to the area. I think we know a little something about a “Rowdy River Crowd.”

If you’d like other options to immerse yourself in the history, please be sure to check in with me about your interests. I love to talk touring the local area.

Another day trip down river! See how this cute local couple spent their Valentine’s Day!

From all points, you can travel each direction and get amazing beauty, wildlife, and wonder. This is what happens when you go North on the access road. Be sure to pack a picnic and a pole!

Touring the Deschutes and the rolling hills…

A lot of folks only think about Maupin in the summer when its hot outside, and they envision being blasted in the face with warm, sunny winds and cool nights! Well, let me give you a tip about the area…most of us actually love the shoulder seasons and we see the 6 months bookmarking the summer months (Spring and Fall months) as the real secret! Perfect 70 degree days are abundant in the heart of Oregon! What to do with all that time floating around on your hands?

- boating
- hiking
- geocaching
- bird sighting
- fishing
- cycling
- rockhounding
- drive tours
- hot springs/Warm Springs Tribal Exploration

I’ve included a link to our Clarno Day Trip Album from last year to give you an idea.

We’d love to join you all as you explore and tour the area, but we are super busy making all kinds of plans for the coming season. Remember that during the off-season (Nov – April), Maupin has more limited, small town hours. Our office opens at 3pm to check y’all in!

We cannot wait to see you all again!



Deschutes Motel
616 Mill St.
Maupin, OR 97037
(Find Us!)