Willamette National Forest, OREGON
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Amazing view with quality fishing

Wow. That’s the first word that came to mind when we rolled up on the lake and saw the view. After a 5 mile gravel road trip that rivaled some of the worst washboard I’ve ever been on, the view was all worth it. Standing directly in front of you is a fantastic view of Three Fingered Jack. Several campsites are available and all are primitive. The lake itself is shallow till about 50 feet out where its a straight drop to a black abyss. Fishing is great for Rainbows and Cutthroat trout and the lakeside is great for setting up a hammock to kick back and enjoy the view. Not many trees left to block out the wind but it doesn’t really seem to take away from the experience. This small lake ended up being a great kayak spot with some interesting features in the water and a somewhat interesting shoreline to explore. Enjoyed watching a pair of Bald Eagles as they swooped fish out of the lake and carried them away. No real big problems with bugs aside from flies in the middle of the day, but its only May and that could soon change. Regardless, if you’re a fan of small, central Oregon hideaway lakes, this one should be on your list.

My Go-To Spot on the Metolius

The Lower Canyon Creek Campground lacks in many common amenities, but it more than makes up for this with its seclusion and selection of quality sites.

Whether you're in the mood for fishing, hiking, exploring the back roads, or a relaxing get away, this is the place.

A few pro tips:

The dispersed camping spots you'll see along the Canyon Creek road are all free to stay. Spots on the main loop require payment at the information board.

There is no running water at this campground so plan ahead. The Camp Sherman store sells water at a premium down the road a few miles. Campers share a two-sided pit toilet. If you're staying in the dispersed sites, you'll have a decent walk each way.

There is a trail head at the far end of the campground. Don't miss this walk. Less than a mile down the path you'll find natural springs gushing from the side of a hill. Keep following this path to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. If you have children, they'll love seeing the fish in all different stages of growth.

There is one dispersed site that is the absolute gem of the entire area. I won't give away this secret, but if you're looking, you'll probably find it. Please do everyone a favor and leave any site you stay in cleaner than you found it.

Near the river& mountains!

When we Stayed: January, Thursday-Saturday

The Cabins: we stayed in a deluxe cabin. It had a full bathroom and kitchenette - I've stayed in other state park campgrounds and this was the biggest cabin I've stayed in!

Location: beautiful wooded park with a trail along the river. On a morning walk I saw a herd of elk cross the river and run behind the cabins! The cabin area was large and private but I didn't explore the rest of the park since it was the middle of winter when we were there.

Dog Friendly: huge off leash fenced park that's a bit of a walk or quick drive from the main campsites.

Nice lake to kayak on

Campground is a more rustic/primitive camping experience. It does accommodate small to mid -size rv but there is no hookups. Drinking water faucets, vault toilets, picnic tables, and firepits are the only available services. Quiet and flat lake for kayak,canoe, and fishing. Nice beach area for kids to play. Close to Crane Prairie Resort if you need supplies or showers.


Campground, bathrooms, and showers are kept very clean. Campsites have plenty of room and some have shade depending on location. It is very dry and dusty but it is the high desert after all. Lots of Pine trees and wildlife. Paved road and parking. Great place to bring the whole family!

Beautiful campground

Campground, bathrooms, and showers are kept very clean. Campsites have plenty of room and some have shade depending on location. It is very dry and dusty but it is the high desert after all. Lots of Pine trees and wildlife. Paved road and parking. Great place to bring the whole family!

Central Oregon Gem

Ranger Review: OOFOS Recovery Shoes at Crooked River Campground

Campground Review:

The Crooked River Campground is one of two campgrounds in the Cove Palisades State Park. Located in Culver, Oregon, this high desert gem is just above Lake Billy Chinook which lies at the confluence of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius rivers. It is open, airy, and has amazing views of Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, Mount Bachelor, Broken Top, Three-Fingered Jack, and the Three Sisters. Super clean restrooms and friendly camp hosts, this family-friendly spot is sure to please. There is a swing-set, a couple of nice horseshoe pits, an animal exercise area, and a volleyball pit.

Top reasons I love this campground:

  1. Views!! On a clear day, you can easily see the majestic mountains of Oregon.
  2. Open year-round! It’s sister campground, the Deschutes Campground, is only open from May - September.
  3. A short hike up the Crooked River Rim trail offers a spectacular view of the entire area.
  4. Tons of wildlife including, owls, deer, hawks, and lizards to name a few.
  5. Awesome fishing on Lake Billy Chinook. Brown trout, rainbow trout, bull trout, salmon and Kokanee.
  6. Cool geology such as rimrock basalt and lava flows.
  7. The Erickson Air museum is a quick trip into Madras.
  8. Thunderegg digging!!! Dig for your very own Thundereggs at the Richardson Ranch. If your lucky, you will see hundreds to sheep grazing on your way out to the claim.
  9. You can rent a houseboat, kayak, canoe, or fishing boat from the Cove Palisades Marina.
  10. National Natural Landmark - The Island.

Note: VERY busy in the summer. We prefer to go during the off-season when we have the campground, hiking trails, and lake all to ourselves.


Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the OOFOS Recovery Shoes. I had previously heard of OOFOS from friends who run and spoke highly of how great they are. Well, after a long day of hiking, my tired feet fell in LOVE, love, love, with these shoes! They are insanely comfortable and like walking on two-inches of shock-absorbing heaven! Their revolutionary OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam and it’s awesome for aiding achy feet and joints. And that’s not enough, these bad boys are machine washable and bacteria resistant!

I tried two different shoes; the Women’s OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal in Latte ($59.99), and the Women’s OOlala Luxe Sandal in Rose Gold ($64.95

The OOlala Luxe Sandal is my favorite for during the day. It is easy to slip on and off and look cute. I prefer the OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal for the evening when I get super Klassy and wear them with socks.

I give these shoes 5 stars and will be purchasing another pair to keep at work when I kick-off my heels.

Detroit lake is very peaceful

There is so much to see and do in this area! The lake and it's tributaries are just amazing! The forest is lush, the water is nice. There is bathrooms, an ADA site, boat in, walk in and car camping. The fishing I'd plentiful, great waterfalls not too far away.


Great hot springs. Sites are very close together. Close to fly fishing on the McKenzie.


Rented a rustic cabin a couple weeks ago. It was perfect. Lights out at 10 but lanterns and propane heat keep you comfortable. Rented a boat for the morning and had a blast.

Next On My List

Checked out this campground while fishing and it looks amazing! Definitely worth a look and a stay!


Stayed here 20 years ago. Canoe around the lake and landed some fish.


Hiked here and around and up Grizzly Mountain but looking forward to staying here this summer.


Very nice and quiet! Close to the lake and far away from craziness. Sites are nice but close together.


Never stayed here overnight but come up for the day from ollallie! Beautiful and quiet.


Very quiet! Cougars are often in and around campsites.

Very nic

Very nice. Easily accessed from main road. River is beautiful.


This is absolutely our favorite place in Oregon!

Rustic but Scenic

This campground is a nice mix of rustic and scenic. No reservations are accepted, and it can be hard to find a spot, due to high popularity with fishermen and rafting guides at the Deschutes River takeout/put-in. People seem to stay put for a while. However, the sites are quite big, and we shared one with another group of people who generously let us make camp. We didn't have a table or fire ring, but we had the Westy, and fires weren't allowed anyway.

There's no potable water, but we were told that river water can be purified. We brought our own. There are several vault toilets.

In addition to a great river access point, there are some great hikes along the Deschutes and up Trout Creek. Also some amazing rock climbing, although several of the prime spots are closed half the year or more due to bird nesting.

There's a narrow tunnel on the access road, which limits the size of RVs that can get in. Rates are about 8/night during the week and 12 on weekends. If you share that could be less.

Snotty but beautiful

That that this park is closed to the public if you are not camping on site you are not allowed to use this part even though it is a state-funded taxpayers park me and my wife on our way to Arkansas from Oregon decided to stop eating lunch and shower we were told to leave the park because we we're not camping at that Park

Great campground!

First time camping/visiting this State Park. Beautiful, lots of big pine trees (including the largest known documented Ponderosa Pine in Oregon!), really close to the Deschutes River just north of La Pine, about 35 mins south of Bend, Oregon. Clean, well-equipped, spacious campsites. We stayed in the South Loop, as the other two (North, and Middle) loops were not open yet. The sites are a little close for my taste, but it worked out fine. The bathrooms are push-flush and heated, which was a great perk in 19° weather :) The hosts seemed really nice, and helpful if needed. Great place to stay -highly recommend!

So beautiful!!

Loved being able to camp here, at Tumalo State Park. There were a couple of great hikes nearby that I wanted to do, so brought my husband and dog and we camped here and did some hiking. Here are a few things I really liked about this campsite:

  1. Close to Bend. We wanted to stay somewhere that we were also able to tour and site see. We were able to spend some time wandering around Bend, eating at some great local places.
  2. Hiking Trails- Tumalo Falls and Tumalo Mountain
  3. Biking Trails
  4. Great tent sites, but they also have RV sites and some yurts that you can rent

Vaulted toilets on site, water source, and the camp spaces are decent size. Highly recommend this place because again, it is close to the city but also isolated for true camping!

Secluded areas

No reservations first come first serve. There's a beautiful lake a close store/ gas station.

Dry, not very private.

Good campground. The other campgrounds in this area are more forested and that's why this one gets 3 stars. I like trees. However, we were there for the eclipse and I got what I wanted. Nicer vault toilets, blackberry picking, wildlife viewing. Nice open beach area.

Great campground. Very smokey from the 2017 fires.

There are several Riverside sites at this campground. I had booked last minute and this was the only one available in the area. Nice vault toilets, lots of room for RVS the river is nice and back from the lake. Late checkout time at 1pm which is nice. Lots or restaurants and mini stores in the area. Black berry picking available All around the lake. Several hiking trails. I didn't explore much due to how bad the smoke was.

It was very smokey from fires, when I went

Im sure it is a very lovely campground. Unfortunately I didn't explore much due to massive amounts of smoke from surrounding fires. We went in August of 2017. There is tons of wildlife, we camped where the river meets the mouth of the lake. There was blackberry picking everywhere. The bathrooms were clean and the campsites provided plenty of room.

Great for vamping and getting married at the beach!

Large camping lots with RV pads, short walk to the docks, fishing, hiking and the ocean. Lots to see, beautiful sunsets.

Beautiful beyond compare

Camped here in mid October, not many people around but the view of the three sister mountains were phenomenal!!! Clean campground and nice camp sites

First to Review
So many hikes!

Located within the Willamette National Forest, and is near a river- Breitenbush River. The campground is located on the northern side of the river bed. You can walk to the river, which was one of my personal favorites. We spent a fare amount of time swimming and hanging out in the water, and definitely saw people fishing- although not sure what they were fishing for. The campground was great, and had all the basic necessities that most campgrounds have. Fire ring, table, have an area where you can dump your trash. DEFINITELY DO THIS!! this campground was pretty clean, which was nice. There is water you can fill your water bottle up in, as well as bathrooms to use (vaulted toilets). Hiking was my number one reason I wanted to come here. There is the South Breitenbush Gorge Trail which is about 3 miles round-trip, beautiful hike! Definitely recommend coming here, especially since it wasnt too busy when we went which was nice. Also found a nice trail to do some trail running with my pup which was awesome!!

Weekend Getaway

We really loved this campsite for a lazy weekend. Big campsites and Hi. I have a small dog that will sit on my lap if you dont mind. thanks friendly! Walk to lake/inlet is short and water is perfect.