Warm Days on Shitike Creek

Oct 07, 2021
As a last blast of warm summer and fall days, we feature the Land Trust's intern, Demi Miller, sharing a story about her favorite creek in Central Oregon, Shitike Creek.


As a last blast of warm summer and fall days, we feature the Land Trust's intern, Demi Miller, sharing a story about her favorite creek in Central Oregon, Shitike Creek.

by Demi Miller


Growing up in Warm Springs, swimming was a thing for kids. Whether it was getting your hair drenched in water during softball practice, jumping in the creek, or running through the sprinklers, we were always in the water. My family and friends especially loved going swimming on hot days, and when we were little, Shitike Creek was like playing in our own pool.

Shitike Creek runs from the northwest slope of Mt. Jefferson, down through the middle of the town of Warm Springs to where it meets the Deschutes River. It’s the third largest tributary to the lower Deschutes River. Bull trout love the clear, cold water of the headwaters of Shitike Creek, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have been working for many years to restore habitat in and along the creek. Of course, we didn’t know any of that as kids—we just knew it was a great place to cool off on hot days!

As I got older, I wanted more places to go swimming. The part of Shitike Creek where we went swimming growing up, was too small for us now and was basically a kiddy pool. We didn’t know very many other places to swim, so we started to go to Kah-Nee-Tah to go swim in the pool. Eventually those pools closed and we had to figure out another option. Luckily, one of my friends said they knew of a back road that led to a lot of spots to swim in Shitike Creek. There were so many to choose from, but there were only five spots that were deep enough to actually swim.

Finally, we had a place to swim and a lot of choices! It was good having a lot of options, because local people know about these spots, and sometimes, they would be too crowded so we’d head to the other ones we liked. I remember one summer my friends, family, and I went swimming most every day. That summer felt like the hottest one we’d had, and we didn’t have air conditiong. Going swimming everyday was fun and easy since it was just a five minute drive to Shitike Creek AND it cooled us off. I enjoyed seeing people I love having a good day every day that summer. I really can't remember any bad days—that’s how wonderful it was.