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Roads

Established Camping

Elk Lake Campground

About

National Forest

Willamette National Forest

This 17 site tent-only campground, located adjacent to the Bull of the Woods and Opal Creek Wildernesses, is full of beauty in the summer. Wildflowers are a beautiful sight in the campground's meadows around July.__ Swim or paddle in the quiet waters of the non-motorized lake, go for a great hike with views of multiple Cascade peaks, or just kick back and relax in the campground.

Reservation Info

No Reservations. First-come, first-serve only. Campsite must be occupied every night paid.

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Location

Elk Lake Campground is located in Oregon

Detail location of campground

Directions

12.1 miles north of DetroitFrom Highway 22 at Detroit, Oregon, turn onto Breitenbush Road (FSR 46). Proceed 4.4 miles, turn left onto FS Road 4696. Proceed 0.8 miles, turn left on FS Road 4697. Follow FS Road 4697 for 4.5 miles and turn left at an unmarked junction (still FS Road 4697), continue 2.1 miles to a small spur road located at west end of Elk Lake (FS Road 390). The camping area is about 0.3 miles ahead.CAUTION: FS Road 4697 is not maintained for the last 4 miles into Elk Lake. Access by low-clearance vehicles and trailers not recommended as the road is rough and rocky.

Coordinates

44.82242817 N
122.1278175 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Available
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Good

Site Types

  • Tent Sites

Features

For Campers

  • Toilets
  • Alcohol

Reviews

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4.5

out of 5

4 Reviews

Darren N.
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2021

Little slice of paradise!!

Great beautiful place to stay! Once we found it that is. The road getting there is terribly rough as well.

Month of VisitAugust
Gayle B.
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2020

Good lake access...

Our first time at Elk Lake Campground.  Firstly, until The Dyrt updates the listing, the description and the reviews here are for the Elk Lake Campground by Detroit, OR in the Willamette Nat'l Forest - NOT Elk Lake Campground in the Deschutes Nat'l Forest up past Mt. Bachelor.  So my review and photos reflect the Deschutes campground :)

Nice views of the lake, but none are lakeside.  There are a few closer to the lake, but most of the sites are on a hillside above the lake.  Tough parking if you have anything bigger than a small RV or towable.  Traffic direction and site parking angles are such that you have to back in, which means your door will face the road in most cases lakeside.  Sites are a little close, and the resort with kayak rentals, store, and rental cabins are right next door, so this is a busy and crowded campground.

If you are hauling kayaks or paddle boards, most sites are a hike to the water entry.  The sites up the hill but with lake views are mostly not tent-friendly, as there were not large clear flat areas.  Doable, however.  There are cabins all along the west side of the lake, and the east side is all day use...it's VERY busy in the summer.  There is a marina at the resort, so lots of sailboats, a few pontoon boats, and a few small fishing boats.  Lots of water traffic.

It's a good campground, but definitely not at the top of our list.  Probably great if you have kids, as there is more "beach" area here than almost any other lake campground we've been to.

Cell service - whether that's a plus or minus, who knows.  We went midweek, so were happy we could keep an eye on business emails periodically.

IMO, site 17 is the best for a small RV or trailer, with good views of the lake.  18/19 are close together and smaller, with more trees obstructing the views.  8/9/10/11 are closer to the water, but also close together...better for a group and if you have backing in skills, as there is no turnaround down that row.

Site18
Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Gayle B., September 6, 2020
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Gayle B., September 6, 2020
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Gayle B., September 6, 2020
  • (6) View All
P
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2020

Beautiful - Very rustic

TENT CAMPING ONLY - there are about 17 sites.  We did an overnight stop here on our way to Bend.  It was full of beauty! Swim or paddle in the quiet waters of the non-motorized lake, go for a great hike with views of multiple Cascade peaks, or just kick back and relax in the campground. Pacific Crest Trail one only mile from the campground.  The sights are a little close together, not a problem unless they are full (which is often).

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Patti S., June 26, 2020
Stephanie Z.
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2019

Worth the Hike Your Car Will Take

If your car can make it up the 6 miles of "road" you'll be glad that you found Elk Lake. I made it up the hill in a 2001 Rav4. You'll definitely want some clearance for the trek up.

I used this campground for my base for hiking Battle Axe Mountain. The sites are not well marked and the campground was pretty empty- even leading up to a holiday weekend. There are fire pits and tables.

The campground is pretty primitive, you'll want to bring in everything that you need - including water and some kind of floating device to spend your days on the lake. There are several places where you can put in your boat, kayak or paddle  board, and the lake is actually pretty warm in August - warm enough for swimming (and I don't ever swim in Oregon water)

If you do the Battle Axe Hike in the late summer, study up on your edible berries before you come, there are so many huckleberries here I could have filled a bucket.

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Stephanie Z., September 1, 2019
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Stephanie Z., September 1, 2019
  • Review photo of Elk Lake Campground by Stephanie Z., September 1, 2019
  • (13) View All

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the elevation of Elk Lake Campground?

Elk Lake Campground is located at 3707 feet.

Does Elk Lake Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Elk Lake Campground does not have wifi.