Lazy Bend Campground sits next to the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River, close to the city of Estacada. The adjacent river provides countless opportunities for rafting, kayaking, fishing and swimming. The lush, green campground is comfortable for individuals and families who want to escape into nature in Oregon's Mt. Hood National Forest.
Fishing is very popular on the Clackamas River. Anglers can expect a catch of winter steelhead, spring Chinook and late summer Coho salmon, as well as other species of freshwater fish.
The Clackamas bends and drops through the scenic Cascade Range and offers famous whitewater rafting opportunities. The Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is held annually in May and attracts rafters from all over the country.
A hiking trail follows the river north and south and begins at nearby Fish Creek Campground. A boat ramp is also available there. Scenic driving is available on the West Cascades Scenic Byway, which follows the river.
The campground offers single-family sites, most of which are designated for tent camping only. A few RV sites are available within the campground, though large RVs are not recommended and no hookups are available.
Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The campground is the forest's westernmost campground, situated at an elevation of 800 feet. It lies between the river and the adjacent highway, nestled among a dense stand of trees. Huckleberry bushes can be found throughout the region.
The forest provides habitat for the federally protected bald eagle and northern spotted owl, as well as an occasional peregrine falcon. A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area.
North Fork Reservoir is just over 5 miles northeast of the campground. Boating and other water-related recreation opportunities are available there.
The campground is 10 miles from Estacada, which offers a variety of dining and shopping options, groceries and fuel.
ADA Access: N
Nice campground along the river. Some sites have river views.
Campground Review Lazy Bend -- 3/5 Stars
Lazy Bend is a small, nice, basic National Forest campground on the Estacata River. Just off Highway 224, there’s maybe 20 spots or so with a couple of bathrooms (with flush toilets). Each site has a picnic table and fire pit, plus a couple water spigots near the bathrooms.
The sites have a medium amount of privacy, where all of them are pretty much visible from the main campground road, but there’s also trees between most spots. Almost all sites also have river views or easy access down to the river.
Spots are $23 each for up to one vehicle, which seems reasonable for the nice waterfront location and facilities.
Overall, a fun little spot to hang out and play in the river for a day or two that’s an easy drive from Portland with some lovely views.
Not a ton to do at the actual campground if you’re looking to entertain kids since it doesn't have organized activities such as ranger programs, playgrounds etc., though fishing might be a good option if you’re interested.
Product Review: humangear GoBites Duo -- 5/5 Stars
Several years ago we received a set of GoBites from humangear. This is basically a plastic nylon fork/spoon set that slides together for portability. The faces of the spoon and fork are fairly wide and rounded, so they function almost interchangeably as sporks if needed. For the past three years we’ve used these on an almost daily basis in kids' lunchboxes to eat whatever random food happens to be in the thermos, and they’ve held up incredibly well and functioned pretty much perfectly. We’ve sent these through the dishwasher on the bottom rack, occasionally used them as mini spatulas in frying pans, and generally used them frequently and well.
Recently we received another set of the same GoBites to try out as thedyrt Rangers, and I thought it would be fun to compare how our well-used set held up. Turns out, despite such heavy use, the old and new set are almost indistinguishable. The only difference, and only if you know exactly what you’re looking for, is there’s the tiniest little “scratches” if you hold the GoBites in just the right angle—and the scratches are really more just very fine lines practically indiscernible to the naked eye.
In addition to holding up so well, the GoBites have been practical. They fit well in your mouth and are well designed. The spoon is perfect for cereal and other liquids, while the fork has sharp edges on the sides for cutting and well-formed tines for stabbing. There’s been no gross spots where old food hides and the locking mechanism between the two parts is still in perfect shape.
Overall, I would love a dozen of these in different colors for all our picnics, lunch boxes and camping needs. They even look cute! There’s really nothing I’d change.
Lazy Bend is one of the best of the bunch of similar campsites in the area. You can find some seclusion with thick vegetation or seclusion and shade with tall trees…most sites with good river access. It’s more of a social area overall. But a huge variety of camping spaces, with most right off the campground road. Traffic is both a blessing and curse - this is about an hour from Portland, but right along a small freeway. Just enough away from civilization, but popular. There aren’t any good trails off the campground or within walking distance, but a lot of good ones a short drive away. Boating is the thing here - tubbing, kayaking especially - and fly fishing.
This place is pretty convenient to town and right off the main road, but gets snatched up quickly- especially during the busy season (summer/weekends) so you’ll be lucky yo find a spot! It’s right on the river and you walk down there and try to swim in the frigidly cold water! There are plenty of trails nearby. Bring cash. I think we paid $21 to camp? We brought our dog and had a nice spacious area with a fire pit and bench. It’s fairly quiet and clean. There are actual flush toilets, a sink, and drinking water (bring a flashlight though). We’d come here again! There are other sites if you keep driving. And if you drive past Indian Henry, you’ll run into a “camp anywhere” zone in case this place is booked up.
Located in Estacada, this is an unrated and wonderful spot along the Clackamas River. camp hosts are super friendly and this makes for ideal camping for anyone. Easy druve in sites that are roomy.
Most sites can easily fit two large tents. River side spots are limited. Flushing toilets and running water here as qell as firewood to purchase. be careful heading down to the river and there are many large boulders to maneuver around. A word of caution, this is a fairly busy campground.
a beautiful drive through estacada takes you to a great place to take the family and hang by the river for a weekend. pit toilets and fire pits are available, as well as RV hookups. excellent swimming holes in the area for tubbing or fly fishing.
Nice wooded campground just off the freeway. It has a very narrow entrance, but the advantage is that most of the campsites are right on the Clackamas River. Easy to walk out of tent and wade right into the water. There’s also flush toilets on site and fresh water available.
Not too many camp sites, but each feels fairly private in relations to others. The biggest downside is you’re not that far off the freeway and you can still hear cars.
I love the name of this campground- Lazy Bend Campground. This is definitely a place to come if you want to lay back and relax, but they also have great activities for those who want to be more adventurous. It sits right next to the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River, which is great for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and rafting. My family brought some tubes, tied them to a tree, and just relaxed in the water for a few hours. It was great. It is also within the Mt. Hood National Forest, so there are some great hikes nearby. My family and I stayed here 3 nights, and we hiked every morning. We saw some huckleberry bushes that we wish would have been ripe when we were there. I am assuming around September they would be ready to pick and eat. The campsites were good. Just your basic campsite with a table and fire ring. I would advise to bring your own grate to put over the fire ring if you plan to do any cooking over the fire. We brought our own and did breakfast/dinner over the fire. They have tent sites, and a few RV sites as well. They don't have hookups, though. There was a small store a few miles before that we stopped at to get snacks for the weekend. There was a biking trail that looked fun, so if you like to bike I would recommend bringing your bike! Pets are also allowed, which was great because we have 2 dogs. Overall, I would probably come back here- but there are so many other campgrounds to visit in Oregon!!
Private spots, huge trees I will definitely be coming back.
Outstanding location, 20 minutes outside of civilization, you get giant private sites, a path to the river, beautiful scenery and all the mosquitoes and gnats you can swat at.