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Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests & Crooked River National Grassland, OREGON

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Camping Oregon Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests & Crooked River National Grassland
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Difficult to find

There are 2 Campground’s in the same area with similar names the one we stayed at didn’t have a pier and the other one did. Since we stayed here in October we really didn’t need a reservation but we didn’t know that prior. It would of been easier just to show up because the one we stayed at was hard to find. Anyway we were practically the only ones there. The reservoir is contaminated. There is duck hunting allowed here which is weird being such a small place. There’s really no place to hike and that’s what we like to do but it’s close to Smith Rock which is Amazing and I recommend you go there but stay away from the edge because it’s dangerous. Smith Rock is a State Park with Spectacular beauty in a canyon like setting.

Super quiet area

We glamped here in our 32 foot c class motor home on October 13. Super quite as it is deep in the National Forest. Dry camping only. There is a dump close to the park entrance for $10.00 but no potable fill or Sani flush water was working when we were there. Fun hikes all around.

Beautiful sunrise

I was super desperate when I pulled into this campground at 10 pm. 15 felt like a steep price for what it was, primitive camping with vault toilets, but the sunrise was pretty spectacular, and there is pretty convenient lake access, for those who need that. As I showed up so late, I car camped so can't say anything about the tent spots, but there are big RV spots.

Small Campground on the Crooked River

This small campground is one of many along the Crooked Wild and Scenic River.  It has only 7 spots, 1 being a group site.  The campground sits between the Crooked River and The highway.  Luckily the highway is not a busy one and traffic didn't cause too much noise at night.  The spots were large and could fit multiple tents or some RV's depending on size.  Some of the spots were next to the River while a couple were nearby the river and more next to the highway.  There were several river access spots for people looking to fish.  I did stay here during hunting season, so a lot of the people camping looked like hunters and were firing off guns very early in the morning. 

There was 1 pit toilet and trash bins, but no potable water.

I would recommend this campground if you find yourself in this area.  Does seem like it could fill up in the summer.

Stunning!

So when I first found this campground I wasn't sure what to expect being as reviews and info were sparse so I'll do me best to sum it up. Things to know that arent stated. It is free may require NW forest pass. It's a drive, hike, bike and walk in. I didn't see any spots big enough for RV but there is space to park that isn't officially a site.

Location: Beautiful sits about 5,000 feet right off McKenzie Pass Road (closed from November to June)

Sites: I saw 6 drive in with fire ring, picnic table also 2 vault toilets…. There's more walk/ hike in but we had to much gear to do that.

Directions: Very easy to find spots all along lake and Google maps took us right to spots.

Activities: Great! Had a kayak/boat launch also had the Scott Mountain TH right there within 1/4 walking distance on dirt road. It seems that a forest fire was pretty recent ontop but the grounds seemed kind of untouched

Warnings: This was my first time up this pass. Elevation is very high which means incremental weather. Aka woke up in October with snow which happened to us.

Overall 5 stars must visit. We will be coming back next year when less snow and road reopens

Great Campground

I stayed in a yurt in this campground and had a great time. Beautiful scenery coupled with a short distance to the ocean make this a great spot. There is easy access to the bathroom and the layout of the paths and the road make this site very easy to navigate and enjoy.

Relaxing Creek Side Campground

This small campground sits alongside Candle Creek and is awesome.  The sites are huge and the creek provides great white noise.  The sites are large and can fit multiple tents.  I put my hammock up and relaxed all weekend. 

Please note, it is easy to get lost following the android directions.  I followed my phone and went way in the wrong direction before turning around.  If in doubt the camp host at one of the many other campgrounds along the road gave great directions.  Also the road did have big pot holes that could be difficult for low clearance vehicles.

There is also no potable water, so bring your own.

Amazing Lake Side Camping!

This campground is a hidden gem on the west side of Big Lake!  Its a smaller, quieter campground compared to the much larger campground across the lake.  All of the spots are lake side, and the spots are huge.  I had the spot at the very end, which was also the Patjens Lake Trail-head.   People using the trail-head did create a bit of noise throughout the day, but died down once it got dark.  The design and past fire scars created a unique experience.  If you have a trailer, please note the actual table/spot/lake was a distance from where trailers had to park on the road.  Also slides could not hangover the road.

The best part of the campground is the view!  A full view of Mt. Washington.  Also having full access to the lake.  If you are going to be in this area, I highly recommend this campground!

Spot close to Suttle Lake!

This campground sits next to Suttle Lake.  It was a great campground that was a short walk to the lodge where there are water sports rentals, a camp store, and small deli.  The spot was very large and could have fit a large group with lots of spots for multiple tents.  The campground is a very popular one so reservations have to be made months in advance.  I booked exactly 6 months before and all of the lake side spots were gone.  The one con was the highway on the opposite side of the lake, which with it's down hill grade meant loud semi's, ambulance/police activity which went kind of late into the night.  Also recommend getting firewood before getting to the campground bundles were twice as much as the bundles 12 miles away in Sisters.   Overall great campground

Campground and Resort lakeside, with views of Mt. Hood

This campground is located on the shores of Lost Lake, with amazing views of Mt. Hood.  It is a very popular campground, it took me years to finally get a spot which I had to book exactly 6 months before.  Because of it being so popular, it was very busy and completely full.  Thankfully due to it's large size it doesn't fell as crowded as you would think.  There are so many activities offered such as water sport rentals, trail around the lake, various trails linking the different camping sections to the resort, a full camp store, movies at night and so much more.  We were in loop D which is kind of in the middle of the campground, and a bit of a walk to the resort and a very long walk to the horse/group camping sites.  Would recommend bikes to get around.  We SUP'd around the lake and it was amazing.  The site we had was kind of open and had a great view of the toilets and parking for the near by walk in sites.  I really enjoyed this campground and would definitely go back.

Lava Tube. Lost lake

There appears to be some confusion over "Lost Lake campgrounds", there are more than one in Oregon.

One in Mt Hood and this one on the Santiam Pass area.

This one is a few spacious ,nice campsites spaced out around  seasonal lake.

The lake dissapears down some lava tubes under the surface, so by high summer there is just a swamp with some pools.

Nice place to see wild life,

There is a couple of vault toilets buts its a long walk from most campsites during the night.

very peaceful even if its just off the main highway.

Couple of very nice spots

I loved campng here this summer. 

Its free and the road is pretty rough, but i managed to get the old beater Grand Caravan up there..carefully but it can be done.

Like others have said there was a major wild fire run right through the area, but its beginning to recover.

The 2 bests spots with magnificent views over the lake are at the very top of the campground.

You can easily walk around the small lake , its an easy comfortable hike.

Talking about hikes one of the main entry points the the PCT is just don from the camp ground..most weekends in the summer there is a lot of activity there

Hike, Bike, Kayak, and Relax

Lovely park with traditional amenities. Bathrooms, showers, electricity, firewood for purchase. 

Pros:

1. Mountain biking and recreational biking. On trails of all difficulties

2. Hikes from easy to difficult

3. This part of the Deschutes river is very easy to navigate. Great for a beginner or trying out a new boat.

4. Close to the city of LaPine and Sunriver

5. Affordable for the amenities available

6. Close to Paulina and East Lakes. Those campgrounds are hard to get a reservation in.

Cons:

1. Campground roads are extremely bumpy and need repair. Very hard to ride a bike on, and I'd say, very dangerous. The North Loop where I camped was the worst.

2. yellow Jackets abundant in September, not sure how bad it must have been in the middle of summer.

Clean and friendly

Very clean state park campground. Camp hosts were awesome, other campers very respectful. Very close to town and nature. Most full hookup sites seemed easy to maneuver with RV/trailer. We had 30’ TT and had no issues. Nice paved sites with bench and fire pit. Book early!

Beautiful Oregon lake.

North Waldo has great beaches. Some of the sites are huge. Many are lake front.

It was nice and quite!

Not a bad place, the ground is sloped but very doable for tents. The road is really nice and car worthy. I was on my motorcycle and went off the back south side which I would not recommend for a family car.

Lovely, cozy campgroud

12 is great. #11 is pretty good. There are several that are great to group together for a few families or group. Gateway to many hikes -short drive on scenic hwy. and lakes. Cheap and reservable.

Pretty campground

We stayed on a Sunday night so there weren’t many people. Our site was next to the creek and it was a short walk to the lake. Sites aren’t close together. Would like to go back.

Suttle Lake Serenity

This is a very pretty medium-sized lake. The sites are fairly large and well spaced, so you don't feel too cramped. There's an easy 4-mile trail around the lake, right at the water's edge most of the time.

We were attending the Sisters Folk Festival, so we were mostly at our site for sleeping and breakfast. It would be a good central point for exploring the Metolius River area and for hiking.

The campground was clean and generally well-maintained. A few drawbacks: There's no electricity for RVs, so several had generators coming on and off. There are also not clearly marked paths to the vault toilets, so you feel like you're walking through other people's sites. Our site was along the rim, so we had nobody walking through.

Overall, we had a nice experience.

Ranger review: Banner and Oak Baseball hats at French Pete campground

Ranger review of Banner and Oak Baseball hats at French Pete campground, Oregon.

As a Ranger for the Dyrt I have the pleasure and opportunity to test and review product every so often, this is my review of the Banner and Oak "Sierra" and "Nebo" baseball hats; conducted at French Pete campground off hwy 126 in Oregon.

Campground Review

   French Pete campground is a smaller, somewhat primitive campground located in Oregon, Off hwy 126 and the Aufderheide forest road #19. It has less than 20 sites, two pit toilets, water and trash services and costs less than $20 per night. They also offer wood sales from the onsite camp host. French Pete is not a year round campground, and does not offer full hookups.

    My site, #16 was in the rear off the grounds right on the small river that feeds the Mckenzie. It being late August the river was low, but you could tell that if you stayed in spring during the snow melt, the river would come right up to your "doorstep" or tent step; if you will.

  Within the campground there is not much for the kids other than enjoying nature and learning the outdoors. Up hwy126 though, you will find many hiking opportunities and waterfalls such as Tamolich blue pool, and Sahalie/Koosah falls. They are some distance from the site, but are highly suggested for anyone who enjoys the scenery Oregon has to offer. If you don't want to venture too far, there is the French Pete trail across from the campground, and just a ways back down 19 is a very popular (clothes optional) "Terwilliger" hot springs.  Just be ready, as this is the most popular hot springs around this area.

  Overall a decent campground off the beaten path, I suggest bringing all your necessitates with you as it is a trek to get back to services and would break the solitude that this campground offers.

Product review

**https://bannerandoak.com/collections/hats?gclid=CjwKCAjwzdLrBRBiEiwAEHrAYkMK0KP-YclvbaiBT0CkYv8WHgI2EaDywGGzLmmeX9GR68j7oJOEbhoC9H0QAvD_BwE
**

https://youtu.be/y6BpvP4_n3A

   Banner and Oak are U.S.A. based and everything is made here as well. They offer clothing geared towards the outdoors and have a small selection of apparel based accessories.

   I chose the "Nebo" baseball hat; named for the mountain, and the "Sierra" baseball hat; not sure of the origin of that name…

Both hats are ol' school snapback, with high crowns and a slight curve to the bill. Personally I prefer fully curved bills like I used to wear playing baseball. You can hand curve these to fit your style, but I noticed that they don't hold a curve too well. No biggy, just means I have to re-curve each time I wear them.

  They are very well made, with stitched on patches and outdoors inspired logos. I have received many compliments on how they look and how they fit. I recommend checking out their site to see if you can find a style you like, you wont be disappointed.

Beautiful Bird Habitat

Close to Bend, but far enough to feel you are really getting away. We came in mid May, risking temperamental spring weather. Yep, it rained all but a few hours. Stopped just long enough to wet our kayaks and get in a few hours of paddling before sunset. There were a lot of mosquitos because of the wet and the temps were chilly. We’ve also been here in the summer, which made us want to come back. The campgrounds are full in the summer season. There is a minimum stay time of two nights. There is fresh water available as well as pit toilets and wash up water dump wells, not to be mistaken as a sanitary dump. There is a boat ramp, with rental boats and a store if you need it. I think we will try it in the fall to avoid crowds and mosquitos next time.

Perfect location, sweet park

We have camped in this park for years. Walking and biking to restaurants, shops, movies, breweries, festivals, and many bike trails. Be aware, this last visit, we were told in NO uncertain terms that dogs were NOT to be left in rv unattended, specifically, “where you go, your dogs go”, by the park host. A first.

ok camp at awesome location

We arrived late in the evening and accidentally ended up at the free side of the camp (on the way in you need to turn left for the maintained area, which we didn't notice, but there was couple campsites built by the road continuing further). It was totally fine, we missed having a picnic table, but still there was a grill spot. Awesome location, in general I recommend it

Obsidian & Hot Springs

Beautiful family + four-legged friendly campsite right on the lake. I stayed at site #56 which was great b/c it is away from the main road and right next to the Paulina lake loop trail.

The 7-mile loop around the lake was stunning w/views at every corner. The trail was lined with beautiful obsidian. Hike in about 3.5 miles and you’ll be able to soak in the hot springs and take a dip in the lake. Trail was pretty flat so definitely kid + dog friendly.

Make sure to check out the obsidian flow on your way out.

I will definitely camp here again. Bring your own wood if you have the room. There is one person who sells wood here and they never seemed to be open.

Secluded and serene

Great campground, huge sites. Great hiking, waterfall. Short drive to Paulina lake.

Lava lake campground

Gorgeous lake. Amazing trail systems! Lodge is great with boat rentals as well. There are two campgrounds right next to each other- lava lake RV park and resort, and lava lake campground. Both have boat ramps. Then, little lava lake campground is a short walk/drive away. Some sites at lava lake are great, others are very open and not well secluded from each other…

Good RV spot

Nice park. We we're passing through the area. Decided to stay a 2nd night & go see Lake Crescent, 20-30 min drive away. The park was quiet & clean. Showers are nice, old houses converted to showers. So they have more of a "home" feel to them. Rather than the "public shower" a lot of places have. RV spots have partial & full hookups. Wifi & cable hookups as well. Good cel coverage in area too.

Paulina Lake Campground

Great campground! Spaces are large, but kind of close together. Larger size campground on the lake, just across from the resort. Plenty of trees to hang hammocks! $18 per night for a tent site. Campground has a boat ramp and dock as well.

I took one star off due to the bathroom situation. For some reason their bathrooms are out of service at the moment. However they do provide porta potties.

A River Runs Thru it (well, next to it anyway).

Just north of Sisters, OR, which is just north of Bend, Or, you'll find a series of small National Forest Campgrounds along the Metolius River. Instead of huge parks the Forest Service designed these little campgrounds so more people could appreciate the river without being overwhelmed in an RV park style camp that would feel out of place. THANK YOU FS!

This camp only has 10 sites. The reservable ones are, generally, reserved long weekends all summer long, but site 6 is first come, first serve. There are about 8+ (not exactly sure) similar campgrounds spread up and down the river that have a similar setup with with each having a few 1st come, 1st serve sites. It is a simple loop with a trash dump and pit toilets.

There is one couple who serves as the park hosts for all the campgrounds along this side of the river. They work hard but sometimes things aren't done quite as quickly as if there was a dedicated host. 

The true star here is the river itself. It rushes along the backside of camp, and directly along half the sites. There are little enclaves next to the river perfect for setting up a chair and knitting, or reading or drinking or napping or any other thing you can imagine. 

There is also a trail that runs along the rivers edge. Even if it is "your" campsite the trail is accessible to everyone. Take the trail 1 mile south and it takes you back to Camp Sherman. You'll never really leave civilization as there are campgrounds along the whole way, and a few house abutting the river near the general store. Take the trail north, and for a mile you'll be meandering thru other campgrounds on a dirt trail before a steep incline and then veering far inland around a private property before being routed back to the river (also down a steepish switchback). It's at this point the river turns into the incredible, almost glacial blue. Look down and you can see two distinct currents below. 4 miles away you come to a bridge and a fish hatchery where you can see fish being bred for sport, and feed the fish in the semi wild pond. If you're lucky and eagle or osprey will swoop down for a snack. #Nature

Amenities: 

  • Pit Toilets
  • Flat ground
  • River access
  • Fire pit
  • Beautiful night skies
  • Camp Sherman General Store

*Pro-Tip 1: If headed north thru Sisters, OR to get here during the summer months, plan for heavy, heavy traffic in Sisters if anywhere close to a weekend. There is only one way in or out of town, and the weekend warriors from Bend are here gassing up or getting last second supplies. Getting gas on a Sunday afternoon took almost an hour.

* Pro-Tip 1a: There is the Camp Sherman General Store 1 mile from camp. It DOES have a gas pump. It is only a few pennies more than in town. Good on them. They have any sort of supply you need from food to wine to fishing to coffee to wine to souvenirs to books to wine.

Perfect basecamp

Friendly and knowledgeable camp hosts. Vault toilet, mix of tent sites including some walk-ins that are up against the reservoir- you can hear the peaceful running water all day and night. Brand new picnic tables, brand new fencing, and excellent trails. Perfect mix of sun and shade for many of the sites. We stayed at 15 and I can’t wait to go back. Very spacious sites can hold multiple tents of all sizes. Beautiful drive to and from campgrounds- the McKenzie River area is definitely worth exploring!