House Rock Campground is perched on the confluence of Sheep Creek and the South Santiam River in an old growth forest grove.
Campers enjoy hiking the House Rock Trail, which starts at the day-use area. Part of the trail shares paths with the historic Santiam Wagon Road, a trail used to transport livestock east across the Cascade Mountains to central Oregon's grasslands.
Swimming is popular, especially because many sites have riverfront access to shallow swimming areas. Anglers can cast for native cutthroat trout.
In addition to the House Rock Trail, hikers have access to a variety of other trails in the Tombstone Pass Area, like the Iron Mountain Trail.
The campground road and parking spurs are composed of packed dirt and rock. The double-loop area comes with accessible vault toilets and drinking water from hand pumps. Picnic tables, campfire rings and grills are at each site. The campground host sells firewood.
House Rock Campground is perched on the confluence of Sheep Creek and the South Santiam River in an old growth grove.
The river is a 66-mile tributary of the Santiam River that is fed by snowmelt from the Cascade Mountains.
Visit Foster Lake or Green Peter Lake for lake fishing and boating.
ADA Access: N
Site #1 walk up only, creek side of the road
2 compact, on creek
3 compact, on creek
4 nice one! Near bridge across river and swimming hole. Tons of space
“5 -same as above but more on the river side . #6 more open, compact. Amazing swimming hole right at campsite.
7-11. Ok sites. Some up away from the river, all have nice views.
12 -cliff spot, jumping off spot right at campsite, nice site
13- behind bathroom, no view
14 AMAZING! river front, huge site
15 AMAZING!!! More privacy, huge.
16, nice, this site opens up to 17. 16&17 are great for a large group-booked together.
17-AMAZING! Last site with a short river hike to the falls. Huge site.
Spots are very roomy for the most part and the water views wont disappoint. Only one water well pump was working but no biggie. Bring your own wood or buy some off the side of the road as the host doesn't stay on site but does drive around and has in his truck. Vault toilets can get beyond stinky think they needed to empty them. Great short hiking trails and some great swimming holes. We will definitely be back.
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.
Part of the Willamette National Forest, managed by the Linn County. Best for those who camp with Tents, van campers or Trucks with campers. Would not bring a pull trailer, because the road is all down hill with pin curves, and a very small sites for camping, about 17 sites. Can RSVP your site through Linn County Parks www.linnparks.com 541-967-3917. There are a few sites for first come to first serve, $18 a night for 2018. Has a few hiking trails to see House rock falls and the Santiam wagon trail.
I was in the area to hike the nearby "Iron Mountain" to see the unbeatable views of the Cascade peaks from the lookout at 5500 ft. elevation. You can see from Mt. Hood to the north, down to Diamond peak in the south; on a clear day. I unfortunately got a view of the west's own smokey mountains due to all the wildfires in the area. Good excuse to come back and top it again someday.
House rock was one of a few grounds that are right off hwy 20 within 10 or so miles from this and many other hikes. It is down a short gravel road from 20, so just far enough away to only get faint road noise. It is nestled in an Old growth forest with many Douglas firs and Big leaf maples; among other plant species.
Being the busy season in Oregon all of these campgrounds had the "full" signage at the entrance. I've learned not to trust these signs, as anything can happen, and with all of the campgrounds, these signs sometimes don't get flipped daily; especially if there is not a host on site. This visit is a perfect example, there are only about 10 sites in this two loop small primitive campground. All of the sites had been booked weeks out with tags behind tags on the site posts. I did luck out as the last empty spot I checked was a walk up site and the previous campers checked out and left; so I snatched it.
This is a pretty cool campground right on the Santiam river, with a few swimming holes, a waterfall and nice short and longer hikes. The shorter is to the cascading falls across a long wooden foot bridge. The longer is a trail that follows the old Santiam wagon road from back in the 1800's. You can still see the ruts in the trail at some points and you even pass by a large "House rock" with a cave that was used by pioneer families back in the day to seek refuge from storms. This trail continues on across and down a gravel road and then becomes a trail once again. You can follow this trail for about 4 miles one way to white mile post marker 5 and take a spur trail to the right. Take this to the top of "Knoll" viewpoint, here you get amazing views of the valley, Cone peak, Jumpoff Joe mountain, and if you plan to hike Iron mountain you can size up the challenge here before you tackle it. Although, Iron mountain trail starts at the trail head at Tombstone pass further up hwy 20.
I stayed here peak season and on the weekend, so there were some large groups that had booked a few sites together. This meant some whooping and hollering into the night, but also meant a peaceful early morning for me.
At $18 a night I was surprised at the lack of amenities, these include: 3 all gender pit toilets, garbage service, and an old fashioned water pump, that's it.
For me this was a great place to stay the night to prepare for the hike the next day. That way I could get up early and start my hike and have the mountain to myself. I'm glad I only stayed one night, I feel like this would be a good shoulder season campground, when there is still some snow on the mountains and not as busy.
Camp among Giant pines right along the edge of the river, this is a spectacular treat and a camp not to be missed.