Haystack Campground (East Shore) is located in central Oregon's scenic Crooked River National Grassland. With a view of Mt. Jefferson in the distance, visitors can enjoy the beautiful vistas while relaxing in the high desert.
Fishing is a popular pastime at the reservoir, which is regularly stocked. Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, kokanee, along with crappie and catfish are some of the species that inhabit the water. Recreational boating is also popular with paved boat ramps available at Haystack Campground as well as at the West Shore Campground. Swimming is also permitted.
Nearby areas provide other activities such as rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and ATV use.
Haystack Campground offers 24 spacious campsites that will accommodate tents to large RVs. It is located on the east shore of Haystack Reservoir and has paved interior roads and site pads. Each campsite has a picnic table and campfire ring. There are five vault toilets conveniently located throughout the campground. Potable water is available at the RV fill station located just past the entrance station.
In addition to the individual campsites, there are Day Use areas that have covered picnic tables.
Near Madras, Oregon, Haystack Reservoir's 240 surface-acres are surrounded by a high desert landscape of juniper trees and sagebrush.
The expanse of water attracts waterfowl such as common loon, horned grebe, red-necked grebe, and eared grebe for a respite during migration. Rarities that have been reported are trumpeter swan, surf scoter, black-necked stilt, sanderling, bald eagle, osprey, and eastern kingbird. The spring breeding season in April through May produces nature's own concert from Pacific chorus frog.
Smith Rock State Park, a very popular area for rock climbing is about a 20-minute drive to the south. Also, a spectacular view of the Crooked River Gorge is available from an old highway bridge, now accessible by a short walk from a rest area just off Hwy 97 about 15 minutes south of the campground.
ADA Access: N
Our experience here was a quiet one, and we chose the campground for its proximity to Smith Rock, which I had never been to, and as a dark spot from which to watch the Perseid meteor shower. In those two ways, the campground worked pretty well! Unfortunately, the lake was in the midst of an algae bloom, so not ideal for swimming and we saw no one on the lake. There was also a fire ban in place at the time.
This is a better campground than the other side, except there are a lot of mosquitos all year long. Good fishing though