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Willamette National Forest, OREGON
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Most Recent Willamette National Forest Camping Reviews
Great Little Secret

Beautiful place, quiet with sites right next to the McKenzie river.

This park not in Kansas

Kansas does not have this big of hills nor is the ocean nearby

Very low water in August

While the campground itself was nice, with spaced out sites for privacy (larger campground than I expected), in August the water was so low that we went to next door South Twin Lake for boating and swimming. We weren't the only ones-- it was packed!

Great camping, busy during peak season

Lots to see and do at South Twin Lake. I really enjoyed the hiking trails and exploring. The lake and day use area was very busy at times (very family friendly!) A fun spot to go lay out in the sun, go swimming, or trout fishing!

I miss this place!

I grew up going here several times a summer. It's an awesome spot with a swimming hole, you could (not sure about current status) jump off the bridge, and play in the creek below the bridge where there are neat smooth rocks.

Rugged boondocking

Beautiful recitation area… Mostly roadside limited facilities and or services but beautiful area.. large mountain lake tucked into beautiful mountain valleys …windy narrow road a couple state campgrounds and day use areas… limited places to turn around… But well worth the adventure!

Overnight waterfront ..

Great little spot for a family get together and overnight stay … On the river good fishing… but be aware… current is swift.. swimmers seem to get in trouble every year here ….

Love this campground!

Have stayed4-5 times in the past 2 years… All sites are wooded and private feeling and have room for a tent guest as well .. lots of hiking trails… swimming holes rafting grass areas … definitely one of our favorites!

Our families have been coming here for 30 years! Delightful!

Our families have been coming here for 30 years! Delightful!

Nice riverside campground

Nice clean campground. Make sure to say hi to the hosts Floyd and Opal in their big RV. Very friendly. This was Summer 2017.

Sites are pretty close together but very clean, with nice access to the river.

Be sure to head up to Opal Creek for a great hike.

Arid but with a lake so the gills dont dry up

This is high desert so sites are pretty much just dirt. Some have cool vegetation, grasses and even some sage. Scenery is still awesome and the lake it a lot of fun. If getting out on the water is your thing, can rent boats/kayaks. Sunsets are epic. Has showers and legit bathrooms for those who like civilization. Plenty of hiking nearby.

Our favorite

We stayed in a yurt here and inside was a sign in book with a lot of fun adventures shared from other travelers. There’s walk path across the street to the river and park which was fun to tube down in the summer heat. This was our second time staying and we will definitely return. It was well kept.

Tent Camping is nice!

Clean and very scenic view coming in. We tent camped for four days and really enjoyed the quiet here. Not a lot of people which was great in the summer. Nothing bad to say about it. We would definitely return again in the summer but probably RV insurers of tent camp.

Perfect tent camping

Very nice campground. The river at night is so peaceful. We camped in the tent only spot at the end and was surrounded by water. The toliets were clean and there are fire pits. I will definitely be camping here again!

Great place!

Really enjoyed our stay here this past fall. The colors were amazing!! My favorite time of year, by far. Really loved the campground. Here are a few things we liked:

  • Big campsite spaces that were well separated and spaced. This is something we always like!! Trees and shrubs separated each campsite. Great trees for hammock hanging!
  • get a site by the river! Or at least we liked it. I love the sound of rushing water at night. Puts me to sleep.
  • Clean- everything was well kept and clean
  • great and friendly rangers/assistance. They directed us to some awesome hikes.
  • easy access/easy to find. Right off highway 58
  • great hiking in the Willamette National Forest. We also did some mountain biking on the Tire Miuntajn Trail.

Overall, great experience and would definitely come back!

Beautiful camping, easy access to gorgeous hiking and just primitive enough

This campsite is the perfect place if you enjoy secluded tent camping in a primitive style but still want the comforts of a fire pit, picnic table and a toilet. The scenery is hard to match. Views of Three Sisters makes for the most breathtaking sunrise and hiking around the lake is beautiful. There is also hiking up to Tenas Lakes or Scott Mountain that makes for a good day trek. It was serene, quiet, picturesque, clean, and free! We paid $5 to park and the walk to our cite was not bad. Get there early to get the best spot; first come first serve.

Funky sites, but fabulous location

I often pull my pig of a trailer (25') so comment based on those experiences. I got into this campsite late and just needed a place to park the pig. Oregon State Parks have the best website, brochures and information so you can often drive in totally prepared. USFS has some major catching up to do. I talked with the campsite manager (who was just great) and looked at the campground map that was posted (a first) and still had to stop and walk into numerous sites before I found one that could safely accommodate the pig. I'll be honest, the campground layout was very weird. However, this campground is on the gorgeous McKenzie River so it gets major points for that. Many sites were right on the river and from any site you could hear it. As usual with USFS parks this one was super dark and quiet. Got the dogs out for a hike on a trail I'd spotted and it was awesome. Lots of huge trees and again this is where I feel USFS falls short. I have no idea where the trail went, does it loop, etc. No signage, maps, info available to help. No matter. I love USFS campgrounds!!!!!

Want to mention that Hwy 242 is one of the most amazing discoveries I made this trip. However, this is NOT a road for RV's of any kind. There is NO wiggle room as this extremely narrow "highway" was carved through lava fields and those lava walls are literally inches off the edge of the road. Not to mention the turns are many and super tight. It was white knuckle for 40 miles. Not to mention none of the campgrounds on that highway cater to RV's….fancy that!!!! So take your small cars and tents and enjoy!!!! Or if you have an RV, park on either side of Hwy 242 and drive your small vehicle in on day trips.

Fun spot for kids!

My kids are helping us out with reviews for parks. Kids loved Sunriver-Bend Thousand Trails because there is bunnies, bullfrogs, mini-golf, a great little river to float on or swim in, ladderball, bingo, movies outside, and some pretty great pools!

We will definitely be coming back here!

Minimal

Great, it is very minimalist. 2 vault toilets, no water, and if you get the right site you can't see or really hear your neighbors. Easy Access to the Brice creek trail, and the Tressel creek falls. Also there is gold panning allowed in the creek.

Stunning!

Absolutely beautiful view, huge sites and fairly remote.

Remote location - nice view & hike of falls!

Koosah falls within Linn County and tailors to backpackers/small group visits. Koosah (meaning sky) was once a trading location for local tribes. This water source joins with the Mckenzie River/Trail and is considered one of the three major waterfalls. It has a great day-use site that allows you to walk in and see the Koosah Falls. I recommend hiking the Waterfalls Loop Trail to see Sahalie Falls as well. Unfortunately, we ran out of time but hope to return to see and complete our full adventure. Nearby you can visit Clear Lake, fed by a natural spring that stays a consistent low temperature that does not allow vegetation to grow, creating an astounding experience for fishing and boating. So, after your hike of the falls stop here for some snacks and rent a boat for $25 to relax. I also recommend checking out Blue Pools that connects later down the McKenzie River closer to Sisters. (Blue Pools names because it is also SO clear!)

See link below for more information through FS:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4404

Should be called “Roadside” instead of Riverside

Don’t be alarmed, this campground sits along HWY 22 AND along the Santiam River in the Willamette National Forest. Despite the road noise, if you can grab a campsite along the water you will feel at peace with the whispering waters and tucked away in the old growth forest that surrounds you. This site has a feature that many others do not, which is a little roundabout at the end of the site. The pathways are paved which makes this site great for families with kids who may want to ride their bikes or scooters while not in the water fishing/playing/swimming. Potable water is available as well as vault toilets. (Bring soap!) There are no showers at this location. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.

This site is both walk-up and reservable through Linn County Parks & Rec. See more info here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4224

Gorgeous Falls no matter the season!

This location is hike in only!

The are no amenities whatsoever.

It is located on the McKenzie River trail and can be a stop along your hiking, biking or backpacking travels.

To camp you need to do so responsibly as there are no designated camp sites. If you have a small fire, make sure to do so respectfully anand in a controlled nature as you should always do when backpacking.

This is a splendor to behold!

Close to road, but lake side is quiet

This is a narrow campground with limited sites. Some have full parking pads for two vehicles, but mostly parking is dirt next to the drive lane. Spacious sites for the size of the campground.

Sites on the side near the road are very noisy, so make sure to check the map before you reserve.

Dog friendly, tent sites, bathroom, river access, no showers.

Camp above the Santiam riverbank

Camp above the Santiam riverbank and enjoy a night of peace and rest listening to the water flow. This site has access to vault toilets, potable water. The sites are large enough for rv or tent sites with vehicle pull through. The sites have enough old forest growth to provide privacy for the family. If you camp near the river you cannot hear the road, even though you are only a skip away. I do not recommend camping in the sites near the road if you have kids/pets with you or if you are a light sleeper. The roads are paved which can be great for family cars or for little ones wanting to ride their bike or scooter around camp. The site that we stopped at would have been great for fishing trout or salmon. Don’t forget your fishing license!

You can reserve this site through Linn County Parks & Rec: 1-877-444-6777 - And like most sites in the Willamette National Forest dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes and check out time is 1pm.

Quiet and spacious

Tis a narrow campsite between blowout road and Detroit lake. There are several large pads for vehicles, but mainly tent sites, some of which you park near the road and make a short walk in. Not being able to camp near your car may not be a bonus for you, but this helps with the road noise and the sound of your neighbors pulling up in the middle of the night.

Dog friendly, bathrooms, portable water pump. Mainly reserve sites.

Limited, primitive camp sites

House Rock is more primative than the nearby campsites, meaning it has more weeds and less number of sites in comparison. To get to this site you have to drive down long switchback grave roads (follow signs - see photo/video) and there was an odd smell once we reached the bottom bank. We were not sure if it was from the trickle of a creek or the neighbors. I would assume that the trickling is more of a steam in early summer/late spring, so plan your trip early in the season. There is one site that has access to shade and the river, but if you do not get that site you will be baking in the sun by late afternoon.

Great for group/large family camping

Lost Prarie Campground is great for group or large family camping, but it would be a worst nightmare for couples seeking quiet and relaxation. ALL CAMPSITES are open and have a grid system between each other, making it easy to connect between sites and/or see kids playing with each other. There is a creek that flows nearby with a few trails down the road. No showers, but vault toilets are available. Make sure to bring extra soap and containers to carry water. Potable water is available. Mosquitos can be a problem for some, and with the grass nearby I often wonder about ticks - Deet-free bug repellant like “picaredin” works best, even if just sprayed in shoes and is safer for kids.

These sites at Lost Prarie are reservable through Linn County Parks & Rec.

Tucked away peaceful spot

This camp ground has has spacious sites and room enough at most for an RV pad with a couple of tents. Portable water stations, fire rings, benches/tables and restrooms. Great shower facilities and a beautifully taken care of campground! Dogs welcome.

These sites are reservable, but many are first come first serve.