Prineville Reservoir, Oregon, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Prineville Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Prineville Reservoir

Lake Locations: USA - US West Region - Oregon - Central Oregon -

The 3,030-acre Prineville Reservoir is one of Central Oregon’s prolific fishing and outdoor recreation water bodies. The lake’s well-developed public recreation areas provide many opportunities for a fine mix of water-related outdoor activities. Boating, camping, fishing, birding, hunting and wildlife viewing are the highlights for any visitor. The nearby scenic drive along the Crooked River and over Bowman Dam is particularly worthwhile. Prineville Reservoir is located 15 miles south of the town of Prineville and about two hours from Bend, Oregon.

The US Bureau of Reclamation, as part of its Crooked River project, built the Arthur R Bowman Dam across the Crooked River in 1961. The new Prineville Reservoir was created by flooding a sagebrush and juniper-filled canyon along 18 miles of the Crooked River upstream from Prineville, Oregon. With the ability to hold up to 150,000 acre-feet of water, the new man-made lake serves to store irrigation water, alleviate flooding, and provide welcome recreational opportunities to the public. At its deepest points, Prineville Reservoir reaches 130 feet.

Prineville Reservoir’s 43-mile shoreline offers a wealth of opportunities for anglers who come to seek the rainbow trout that proliferate in the lake. Stocked annually with as many as 170,000 trout, optimal conditions allow for many of the trout to reach 10 inches, with 14-inch fish often caught. The many inlets and coves shelter large populations of catfish, smallmouth bass and black crappie, nearly guaranteeing some form of success for every visiting fisherman. Excellent fishing can be anticipated January through June, and ice fishing is often productive for trout. Fishing from shore is often successful at Jasper Point, Prineville State Park, and the dam.

A 3,800-acre wildlife management area encompasses the northeastern part of the lake. The area of protected land and water provides a refuge for a variety of wildlife including mule deer and many different species of waterfowl. Camping is available in Prineville State Park, including tent sites, cabin rentals, and sites with electrical hookup or full hookup. Jasper Point sites have electric hookup. Both sites are open May through September, and both have boat ramps and campground activities. For geocachers, there are many caches in a five mile area.

Pack your rods and head out to Prineville Reservoir. A visit of days can easily stretch into weeks as the peace and serenity of the reservoir, coupled with vast star-filled night skies, make visitors loathe to leave.

Things to Do at Prineville Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Prineville Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Prineville Reservoir

If you’re considering a Prineville Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Prineville Reservoir Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Prineville Reservoir lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Prineville Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 3,030 acres

Shoreline Length: 43 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,211 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 3,114 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 3,257 feet

Maximum Depth: 130 feet

Water Volume: 150,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1961

Drainage Area: 2,635 sq. miles

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