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Lake Billy Chinook, Madras

(4.2/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web)
Lake Billy Chinook is a reservoir in Jefferson County in the U.S. state of Oregon. Created by the Round Butte Dam in 1964, Lake Billy Chinook lies in a canyon at the confluence of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius rivers near Culver and Madras. It was named for Billy Chinook, a Native American of the Wasco tribe who traveled alongside American explorers John C. Frémont and Kit Carson in their expeditions of 1843 and 1844.GeologyThe canyon in which Lake Billy Chinook lies was carved by the three rivers that flow into the lake. The Deschutes Formation into which it is carved began forming about 11 million years ago, as alternating layers of basaltic lava, stream sediment, and volcanic debris flowed into the area from the Cascade Range. One to three million years ago, lava flows from the Cascades and Newberry Volcano capped the exposed material, forming the "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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A long drive from the coast, and the roads are narrow and busy so make sure that you are patient and well stocked with beverages and snacks. Lake Billy Chinook is a large area with many things to do. ...  more »
  • I moved to Madras to be closer to all the great destinations in central Oregon. I love hiking around this lake on Tau ma l Trail. Good food at Cove Palisades marina. Lots of places to swim.  more »
  • Whether your planning a day adventure or an extended holiday vacation this place is worth the drive, time and energy to get to. I am located along the I-5 Corridor and the drive to this lake is well w...  more »