Lost Lake is so magical! The crystal clear waters and perfect views of Mt Hood made this an incredible spot to camp. Camp site is very clean and well kept and it was really nice to have a store on site as well! It’s also really close to Multnomah Falls and Oneta Gorge which is a must do hike through water if you have the time
We had to wait over an hour for a site to be vacated at this campground (I suspect this was partially related to a lot of Mazama being closed), but our persistence paid off and we were able to put our tag on site 3 as the previous occupant was packing up.
Upsides: inside the park, convenient starting point to go on a boat tour the next morning, good hammock trees at site, quiet (we hardly heard or saw any of the other campers), cheap!!
Downsides: not a lot of shade, no water at the campground unless you filter from the creek, bathroom building is closed (but the Porta-Potties were clean), lots of mosquitos
All the other loops are pretty cool as well
Beautiful campground. Amazing weather. Smells like green. Kind host. Very clean water. Dog friendly.
Took the kids camping here for the first time tent camping and we had a blast. Albeit a bit dusty and rustic, we couldn’t believe how beautiful the lake view was from atop the trailheads and how spectacular the views of the pinnacle rocks were on drive down towards the lake. The campground is clean, well kept and there is bear proof boxes to keep them hybrids of your things which was reassuring and helpful. We will definitely be returning.
It was only $5 a night to stay here! Granted there was no running water and the only toilets were plastic portable ones but to camp in the incredible Crater Lake National Park that felt like a steal! Lost Creek is tent camping only and there are no fires allowed. There's only a handful of sites that were almost full by later afternoon. The sites are separated by low brush that doesn't provide too much privacy but also keeps the campground from feeling crowded. It's a quiet campground about 3 miles from the Rim Road. Another 4 miles down the road is are the Pinnacles, super cool formations left behind when the volcano erupted 7,700 years ago.
I visited mid-September and it was very chilly in the evening and early morning when the sun was behind the mountains. I woke up to a solid layer of frost and ice in all my water. There is water available throughout the park but campers are encouraged to bring their own form outside Crater Lake so as not to put pressure on the watershed.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking one of the ranger led sunset hikes up Watchman Peak. Or, if learning about history and nature along the way isn't your thing, walking up to the peak alone.
just breathtaking. One of our natural wonders of the world
First of all, let me be up front and say that I did not actually camp here; I camped at Mazama next door. Officially, Lost Creek was closed when I visited in June and I thought it was a great opportunity to snap some photos to add to Dyrt—because I am actually super excited about a one spot go to for camping info.
I believe Mazama is the only reservable campground at Crater Lake, making Lost Creek first-come first-serve when open. There is a creek that runs through the campground, but it’s hard to see at first glance. Sites, like number 5, are creekside (whIch is really neat). The campground has what appears to be plumbed bathrooms when open. The privacy in the central, rather than perimeter sites, is more limited here due to the nature of the forest environment as opposed to the spacing of the sites themselves. Lost Creek is as far from the rim as is Mazama. However, it’s a solid drive down the road from both Mazama and Rim Villages. This may be just what is wanted to get away from the busy-ness of the villages.
Both villages have restaurants, visitor centers, and gift shops. Mazama village also has a payphone, a small laundromat, showers and a camp store with limited grocery goods. Check out my Mazama review to learn more about the services in the village, including photos.
All in all, Lost Creek campground seems as tucked away as the creek. It is down a long dead end road that only serves a waterfall trailhead, the campground, and the pinnacles.
I have kind of a love/hate thing going on for Lost Lake Campgrounds.
Pros: It is beautiful. There's a reason it's one of Oregon's most photographed sites. There's a 3-mile hike around the lake that shows Mt. Hood and its lovely reflection in the lake. There's fishing, swimming, boating, and a camp store that has "It's It" ice cream (definitely a pro). The camp sites are nice, decent sized, and surrounded by trees.
Cons: It is crowded. We're talking thousands of people on a nice summer weekend, traffic jams, and no place to actually make it into the lake (except right at the boat dock) unless you claim your picnic spot really early. There's also no cell phone reception (at all), and while that may sound lovely in theory, when you're a family trying to find each other somewhere on the trail or in the campground it's a real pain.
On weekends and holidays, you also need to book not two, but three nights in a row (Thursday/Friday and Saturday, for example), so if you're trying to get away for a regular 2-day weekend you're out of luck.
In general: 140+ camp sites including several walk-in-only sites right near the lake. There's also cabins and yurts, though those don't include a bathroom on site, so the $70-$150+ seems pretty steep for still having to use an outhouse (we haven't stayed in the cabins personally yet, but have seen them in person). You can book online for both cabins and camp sites (reserveamerica for the camping).
Tips: For day trips, there's a $8 parking fee that you can avoid if you park outside of the entrance and walk the 1/4 mile or so. Also, cabins and yurts are half-price in May, something we may remember for next Memorial Day well in advance (since everything books up so quickly).
We got in late and were very sleepy, so we pitched our tent and didn't look around much. The next morning, we saw all the great mountain views.