Liz Donovan: Cruisin’ Down the Deschutes

Cruisin’ Down the Deschutes

Instagram Handle: @edonovan85

Location: Deschutes River in Bend, OR

Board:  ISLE All Around


Launched near Miller’s Landing Park                                                                                Getting settled on the board


Our dream has always been to paddle board with our dog, Tegan — a rescue pup. Once we got our board, we had elaborate plans to lure her on with treats, but she was a natural! She jumped right on the front of the board and away we went! She absolutely LOVES it.

Living in Portland, Oregon we’ve had many great opportunities to take our board and explore some fun places in the Pacific Northwest, but our absolute favorite place to paddle is in Bend, Oregon on the Deschutes River. Drake Park is a nice place to launch, although the river is very accessible so there are many other great launch sites south of Drake Park. The best is to paddle heading south against the current, and when you’re ready to turn around, you just cruise back to your starting point.

The curvy river will take you under tons of cool bridges, past an Old Mill that has been transformed into a shopping district, countless parks (including a riverfront doggie park!), and beautiful scenery with amazing views of Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters. You’ll never feel lonely paddling on the Deschutes in Bend because there are always fellow river adventurers — SUPers, kayakers, and the most popular — inner tube floaters. It truly doesn’t get any better than paddle boarding in Bend with our adventure pup, Tegan.

Pro Tips (with a pup!) :

  • Bring a doggie life jacket if your dog is not a strong swimmer — preferably one with a handle on top.
  • Test out paddling with your dog close to the shore until you know they are comfortable.
  • Remember, you can always kneel! We’ve found that our pup feels more stable getting on the board when we kneel and work our way up to standing.

Drake Park

Tegan, content as can be