Explorers

A trapper and trader named Peter Skene Ogden was the first white man to make a recorded journey up the Deschutes River. In December 1825, 20 years after Lewis and Clark’s visit, he led a trapping party up the Deschutes for the Hudson’s Bay Company. They started at the river’s mouth, traveled as far as the Crooked River, and returned a few months later.

Ogden’s trip was plagued by mishaps. He lost four horses trying to cross a rain-swollen Deschutes at Dry Creek. And a few weeks later, while exploring the Crooked River, food ran low and the party was forced to eat one of the remaining horses. To top it off, he returned with only a few beaver pelts.

The upper reaches of the Deschutes were explored for the first time by Nathaniel Wyeth, in December 1834. Wyeth, a trader and explorer of national renown, was the first white man to visit the future site of Bend. During his two-month trip, Wyeth encountered a severe snowstorm. His diary reports reaching Pringle Falls and confronting more than three feet of snow.