Located in Oregon’s scenic Crooked River Canyon, the Big Bend Campground is just a 20-mile drive south of Prineville, or a 33-mile drive east of Bend. This is part of Oregon’s High Desert area, nestled between the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests.
The campground, situated near the west end of the Prineville Reservoir, is small and spartan, with 12 individual sites and 1 group site for tents and compact RVs, and 3 walk-in tent sites. All campsites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings, and some are partially wooded for a little shade. Trash containers and vault toilets are available onsite, but drinking water, cell phone service and RV hookups are not available. Dogs are permitted, but be aware there’s rattlesnakes in the area. Campsites are free, and first-come, first-served.
Adjacent to the campground, the Crooked River meanders through the colorful, steep-walled basalt canyon. This is a perfect spot for swimming, fly fishing, and paddling around to beat the summer heat—which can get downright sweltering in midsummer. For more on-the-water fun, head south of the campground, across the Bowman Dam, to a swim beach and boat launch at the Prineville Reservoir. Popular catches in the lake include rainbow trout, bass, crappie and catfish.
For a short hike, head north of the campground, to the 1.4-mile Chimney Rock Trail. This moderate path climbs to a juniper, sagebrush, and wildflower plateau on the east rim of the canyon for panoramic views over the Crooked River Canyon and Oregon’s High Desert.
Basic dry camp with only a couple actual spots. Right on the river. There is a vault (pit) toilet on the hill. Super hot in the summer. My husband and I love to get away here each summer, no cell service for miles, very few other people. Great to just set up camp then fish, swim, read, or nap all day long.
Medium size campground close to the boeman dam and prineville reservoir. Dump toilets but no water
Big Bend Campground in Oregon is a great place to visit. My favorite time to come is during the summer months. Although the weather can get pretty dang hot, the river close by provides a great place to cool down and have fun. The last time my family and I came here we brought tubes and laid in the river. We tied really long rope to each of the tubes, and tied the rope on a tree that was next to the river- That way we didn't float away. This provided great entertainment for hours! Highly recommend doing this. It truly is a peaceful place to come and enjoy the outdoors. The campsites themselves aren't "oh-la-la." They are a bit small, and there is NO shade whatsoever. My family has a camper so that made it nice to escape the heat. It has a but of a "desert" feel to it. We didn't see any snakes, but I definitely feel like with the conditions and heat, they are out there! There were some fun hiking trails also. My favorite one (can't remember the name) was along the river. Bring lots of water!! Another recommendation I would have is to bring your own toilet paper. There was a few times that the TP was out!! The bathrooms aren't the greatest, but at least they are there.
Great spot for tent camping, friendly people.