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Detroit, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: May-13-2012, Hits: 4,168, Rating: 3, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Detroit, Oregon Travel Guide Restaurants (6)
Hotels and Lodging (2)
Bars and Nightlife (1)
Attractions (7)
Services (5)
Links (2)
Oregon Travel Forum (20)
Location: North America
Geography: Mountains
Vacation Type: Family, Adventure
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path, Moderate Tourism
Costs: Budget
Attractions: Scenery, Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Facts and Stats:
City Population: 271
Land Area: 0.5 sq mi
Government: Constitution-based federal republic
Country Dialing Code: +1
Area Code: 503
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: United States Dollar
Time Zone: PST (UTC-8)
Current Time:

Detroit is a tiny town located on Detroit Lake, a popular summer outdoor recreation area. Residents from the Willamette Valley trying to beat the summer heat, flock to the area to camp, boat, fish, swim, and hike. The lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout, Kokanee and Chinook Salmon. Detroit offers Kane's Marina which is unusable during the winter months as the water level falls when the lake is drained to prepare for winter precipitation. The result is an other-worldly looking bed of old growth tree stumps emerges as the lake begins to look more like a river. There are many other lake access points including Detroit Lake State Park and Mongold State Park, the latter having the only boat access during the winter months.

Detroit is located in Marion County on the Northeastern shore of Detroit Lake at an elevation of 1,595 feet. The town is approximately 50 miles southeast of Salem on the western edge of the Cascade Mountains.

The lake is over 400 feet deep and over nine miles long with more than 32 miles of shore line. It was created when the North Santiam River was dammed in 1953.

Brief History:
As you may have guessed, Detroit was named after Detroit, Michigan in the 1890's due to the relatively large number of migrants that lived there.

In 1952, the original town was relocated to its current location as the Army Corps of Engineers completed the Detroit Lake Dam and flooded the previous location. The dam was built to assist in flood control and hydroelectric power generation as part of the Willamette Valley Project.

In 2010, residents voted down a proposal to change the name of the town from Detroit to Detroit Lake.

Getting There and Around:
To get to Detroit, you will need to drive up Highway 22. Below is a mileage chart from various locations in Oregon.

Bend80 miles
Eugene100 miles
Portland97 miles
Salem50 miles
Stayton38 miles

The "downtown" portion of Detroit is only a few blocks long and several blocks to the waterfront and marina. As the town has very few services, you may need to drive to nearby towns such as Mill City, Lyons, or Stayton to find them.

Detroit has cold snowy winters and temperate summers that are significantly cooler than the Willamette Valley. Below are the current conditions and weather forecast for Detroit.

The table below shows the average temperatures and precipitation.

Month Avg High Avg Low Average Rainfall
January 44 34 12.48"
February 47 34 11.0"
March 52 36 9.45"
April 57 39 7.31"
May 64 43 5.56"
June 70 48 3.51"
July 78 52 1.04"
August 78 53 1.35"
September 73 50 3.28"
October 62 44 6.41"
November 49 38 14.08"
December 44 34 14.17"

User Reviews (1)

Reviewed by: sloshed
Review date: Jan-11-2012

Detroit as a town is a pretty strange little place... And I mean little. However, during the warmer months it transforms from a town full of half-crazy people into a popular weekend getaway destination. Its a good area for boating and camping... 

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