Lake Simtustus Tour
Oregon roads and byways offer an opportunity for great Porsche driving experiences and breathtaking scenery. Our tour will take us through the flat Crooked River National Grassland into a 400-foot-deep canyon. This canyon, home to Lake Billy Chinook was carved by convergence of three rivers, the Crooked, Metolius and Deschutes River that flow into the Lake. The Deschutes Lava Formation, into which it is carved, began forming 11 million years ago. One to three million years ago, lava flows from the Cascades and Newberry Volcano capped the exposed material, forming “rimrock basalt” which is visible atop the canyon. Further erosion by the three rivers, volcanic activity, and wind have continued to form and erode the canyon. We will drive though arid Oregon Ranch Land to the awe-inspiring lakes and canyons of Central Oregon. You will have dramatic views of the rugged peaks, many varied mountain ranges, beautiful lakes, steep canyons, and single car bridges.
Our first stop will be Round Butte Overlook*** which gives a spectacular view of Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus and has interpretive information on the canyon formations. Driving into the canyon we will be winding though roads leading to breathtaking views surrounded on three sides by vertical cliffs at heights of 200 feet to 700 feet above the lake. The lake's name honors Billy Chinook, a Wasco Indian who joined the John C. Fremont expedition in 1843. Lake Billy Chinook, created by Round Butte Dam, fills the canyons**. Upon driving out of the canyon, to the other side we will be crossing narrow bridges and a winding road leading to the other side of the canyon.
Returning South, we will drive past beautiful horse Ranches on twisty country roads to lunch at the Eagle Crest Resort Events Center where we will enjoy lunch while overlooking the Deschutes River. At the conclusion of lunch, you will be at your leisure for exploration of many of Central Oregon’s treasures.
** Credit to USDA Forestry Services, fs.usda.gov
Drive Dates: Thursday and Friday September 15 & 16, 2022
Tour Distance: 150 miles
Tour Duration: 6 hours