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Lake Billy Chinook, Madras

4.2
#17 of 23 in Nature in Central Oregon
Water Body Nature / Park
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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70 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This attraction has been popular for years and extremely busy on the weekends. It used to have beautiful clear blue water, but for some reason during the summer months particularly, it has a massive a...  more »
  • Amazing drive down the canyon to the lake! Many picnic areas to chose from to enjoy a great day relaxing!  more »
  • We have done some houseboating at Lake Billy Chinook several times over the years. It's always amazing. Beautiful views and landscape. Fun place for water sports.  more »

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