Seasonal Closures at The Cove

It is that time of year when parts of The Cove Palisades State Park close for the season.  If you drive Jordan Road through the park in winter, please drive slowly and look for possible hazards such as rocks in the roadway, wildlife or ice/snow.

As of October 1st the following areas are closed –

  • Deschutes Campground (will reopen 05/15/20)
  • Group camp (will reopen 05/15/20)
  • Middle and South end of the Crooked River Campground (*North end is open for nightly reservations and walk-ins.  Full campground will reopen 05/01/20)
  • Lower Deschutes Day Use/Park Moorage (will reopen 05/15/20)
  • The Marina

Closures December through February –

  • *All of the Crooked River Campground –  12/15/19 – 2/13/20
  • The dump station at the Crooked River Campground – alternative station available in Culver at the Fire Station
  • Parking for the Wetlands Trail and the Overlook Trail 12/15/19 – 12/13/20
  • Cabins closed 12/02/19 – 02/29/20
  • Possible closures – some or all of the boat launches in Crooked River Day Use/Upper Deschutes Day Use, based on hazardous winter conditions, if in doubt, please call the park before arriving 541-546-3412.

Open All Year –

  • The Crooked River and Upper Deschutes Day Uses
  • The Tam-A-Lau Trail
  • Warm Springs Wayside, along US 26, north of Madras
  • Peter Skeene Ogden Wayside, along US 97, north of Terrebonne

Culver Crawdad Festival

Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 10 am – 5 pm

Parade is on 1st Ave, between Iris and D Street, at 10 am and then the festival follows in Culver Veterans Memorial Park.

J.R. Beaver is looking forward to seeing you at the Parade!

The festival is fun for the whole family with music, games, food and a variety of vendors – and of course, crawdads!  This year Crawdad dinners or Steak, with cornbread, corn on the cob, watermelon and soda is only $10.  For more information, please go to Culver Crawdad Facebook Page

Make a day of it –

HUG A TREE & SURVIVE  08/18/19 | 8:30 pm – 9:15 pm

If you are staying at The Cove Palisades State Park over the weekend, join Crook County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Deschutes Campground, at the Camp Coyote Amphitheater,  for Hug A Tree and Survive.  This is a fun but super important 45 minute program that teaches the whole family how to stay found!  Hand outs for children provided.

Camping in Summer Heat

It’s summer!  Time to hook up the boat and load the car with family, pets, coolers, the kitchen sink? and then …head for the lake.  Before you go, take a few minutes to do your homework so your trip is memorable for the right reasons.

Is a Volvo XC90 the Right Car for Your Family?


WEATHER – They say in Central Oregon if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it’ll change.  Needless to say, if you are planning a trip to The Cove, you need to be prepared.  It can be hot and dry, thunderstorms can pop up out of nowhere, wind can blow over your carefully set up camp.

FIRE DANGER – Check fire danger in the area that you are going.


According to Central Oregon Fire Info – Whether accidental or intentional, people start wildfires every year in Central Oregon. These wildfires cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress and endanger lives and our natural resources. Let’s all do our part to protect these places we live by being diligent with our ignitions and leaving all fireworks at home.


  • Make sure it’s legal to have a campfire!
  • Keep your fire small and manageable
  • Keep your fire contained inside a fire ring or clear an area and build your own ring
  • NEVER leave your campfire unattended – even if you’re just leaving for a few hours
  • Have a shovel and water available
  • Keep your firewood stored at least 10 feet away from your ring


  • Slowly add water to put out all flames
  • Stir, scrape and separate coals
  • Add water until the steaming stops
  • Feel for heat using the back of your hand over the coals.
  • Continue to add water and stir until no heat remains

TRIP PLANS – it’s always a good idea whether you are camping, hiking, boating or hunting that you fill out a trip plan and leave it with family or friends.  Just in case you get lost or hurt, a plan will help search and rescue personnel find you much faster.  Don’t forget to get a map of where you are going too!



ICE – by keeping food cold,  you and your family stay safe.  Block ice lasts much longer than bags of cubed ice.  These are essential for coolers – don’t leave them in the sun or on the hot asphalt either!

WATER – Don’t underestimate the value of drinking plenty of water when camping in hot climates. On an average day, we lose more than 10 cups of water just in the course of our basic bodily functions such as breathing, sweating and waste eliminations.   How to plan how much water to bring:

  • Adults: 2 cups (about 1/2 liter) of water for every 1 hour of hiking
  • Children: 1-2 cups of water for every hour of hiking

So, if you calculate that your hike will be 5 hours, then you need to bring at least 10 cups (2.3 liters) of water per person.  Obviously, if it is a hot day, then you are going to need to drink a lot more water.  In hot or humid conditions, calculate 4 cups (1 liter) per hour, per person!  Bear in mind that these are just general rules!  Some people drink a lot more water than this.  However, it is a good guideline to go by.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHODS – most of the time, if you can’t have a wood  campfire or charcoal BBQ, you can have a gas camp stove.  It may lack the quintessential smell and look of a wood campfire but you won’t go hungry and it’s a lot safer.

TARPS/ROPE – when picking out your campsite, look for plants that can provide shelter, shade, and insulate you from the sun (like trees and grass).   Even best laid plans may leave you high and dry (or wet) –  you never know if you’ll need additional shade or a respite from an unplanned thunderstorm or a layer between you and a flood so bring a couple of tarps and rope to tie them down.



As a park ranger, one of the most frustrating things is to witness a pet that no one planned appropriately for, that is suffering.  Remember when your pet is somewhere new unfamiliar environments may make your pet act differently than they would at home.  Make sure your dog wears their ID tags on a collar at all times. ID tags should have a phone number that you can be reached at while camping.  They are likely bombarded with unfamiliar people, smells, sounds, wildlife and other pets.  Plan for your pet and remember to bring their leash.   Pets need plenty of water and shade too.  Plan some quiet, downtime and bring things that are familiar like a favorite toy or bed to sleep on.  Don’t leave you pet in the car.  According to the SPCA, ten minutes is all that’s needed for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees on an 85 degree day. In thirty minutes, the car will be around 120 degrees.  The same study found opening the windows a bit for extra air didn’t help; the cars heated up at a similar rate.

DSCN3370For more tips, see Know Before You Go – Have a fun summer vacation!

Earth Day Volunteer Project

Saturday, April 20, 2019

9:00 am – 12:00 pm


Be part of Earth Day’s biggest Earth Day event in Oregon – Sponsored by SOLVE Taking Care of Oregon.  To ensure enough resources and supplies, please sign up Solve It

Welcome to The Cove Palisades State Park! You are invited this Earth Day to come out and help remove non-native plant species from the Crooked River Nature Trail. This area is flat and mostly sunny. If enough volunteers come, we may do some trail work on the Rim Trail as well, this is a little steeper.

Please wear closed-toed shoes, dress in layers, as it can be cool in the morning and warm up towards noon, and bring garden or leather work gloves to work in. Hats and sunglasses are recommended. Tools, trash bags, sunscreen, refreshments and water will be provided.

CMS STEAM 2016 (14).JPG
Students from Culver Middle School removing invasive mullen from the trail.

For questions, or more information, please call Ranger Erin Bennett at 541-546-3412 x 229 or email at

5th Annual Eagle Watch Art Contest Winners Announced

McKaylie Capps, 12th grade, Redmond High School

The 5th annual Eagle Watch Art contest encourages students from Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties to show their knowledge and love for birds of prey!  (Native bald or golden eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures and owls are encouraged.)

Judges are made up of a panel from Eagle Watch partners – Jill Nishball, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Thad Fitzhenery, Portland General Electric and Stacy Lacey, United States Forest Service. Winners are chosen based on creativity and originality of their chosen medium by grade level. This year students from six Central Oregon Schools submitted amazingly creative representations of these mighty birds and their habitats in eight different mediums.

Awards will be given out at Eagle Watch, a “Culver Tradition” since 1996, on Saturday, February 23rd at 12:30 pm.  Congratulations to all this year’s winners!

Kay Olivera 10th grade Redmond High School

Madeline Gardner, Cascade Middle School

Technical Category for High School/Prezi Presentation – Red Tailed Hawks – Jesus H., Culver High School

Honorable Mention Awards went to:

  • Info/Drawing (6-8) – Magdalena Rowe, Cascade Middle School
  • Pen & Ink (6-8) – Mielle Sebulsky, Cascade Middle School
  • Pencil Drawing (6-8) – Kristen Forrester, Culver Middle School 
  • Mixed Media (4-5) – Abby Powers, Black Butte School
  • Mixed Media (6-8) – Oberline Short, Lauren Burkey, Isabella Richads, Culver Middle School
  • Photography (6-8) – Logan Macy, Culver Middle School
  • Colored Drawings (6-8) – Kailee Macy, Culver Middle School
  • Ceramics (9-12) – Alix Kostrba, Redmond High School


Astronomy Lovers, this is your year!

There is so much to get excited about in the night sky, here is a partial list of the highlights to come:

2019 is featuring five eclipses, a rare planet transit, one of the best meteor showers and a super blood wolf moon. The new year will also bring three supermoons, a blue moon, multiple meteor showers, close approach by the moon and Jupiter and several rocket launches. For more information, check out KTVU’s recent post. (

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The first major event you don’t want to miss is the super, blood, wolf moon on January 20th photo credit: NRIS

A “blood moon” is essentially a poetic name for what’s called a “total lunar eclipse” that occurs during a supermoon. On an ordinary day, the moon gets its shine from direct sunlight reflecting on its surface, but during a lunar eclipse, the moon moves through the Earth’s umbra (the darkest and most central area of Earth’s shadow).  During this time, the Earth, moon, and sun are almost perfectly aligned. You’d think this would make the moon go completely dark, but instead, the moon gets illuminated by indirect sunlight. The first full moon in January is typically known as a “wolf moon”; however other cultures may have different names for each month’s full moon. North and South America should have a great view if clouds don’t get in your way. NASA projects the total eclipse duration at about 1 hour and 2 minutes. The peak, in Oregon, is expected at approximately 9:12 pm PST (or 12:15 am EST), according to  No special equipment will be necessary to view the eclipse, just find a dark, clear, uncluttered bit of night sky, then sit back and enjoy the show. For those of you who go to bed early, you’ll have to wait until 2021 to see the next one.

The Cove Palisades State Park will have summer programs highlighting some of the years special astronomical peaks beginning in May – Check out the Programs Tab to join us! Prineville Reservoir State Park, just an hour east of The Cove, boasts the darkest night sky in Central Oregon. This is the 20th annual, Star Party which will be all day fun for the whole family. Check for more information, coming soon. Also, visit the Oregon Observatory at for telescope stargazing that is out of this world!